(photo & ARC courtesy of netgalley.com)
*I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Seeds of Eden was my first ARC (advanced reader copy) so I was quite excited to start my ARC-review journey with it. And yes, I have zero shame in admitting that I enjoy YA fiction even as an adult.
The premise blurb on the site about this book seemed quite promising. It even reminded me a tiny bit of The Wrath and the Dawn with all of its intrigue. (Review for that is coming soon). There was a strong female character and a not-quite-hero that grew to be more. Even their relationship had a slow culmination which was a nice change of pace. And that is where the similarities end.
**Some Spoilers Ahead**
Let’s talk about the good first: The Biblical characters twist was an interesting spin on religion and even reincarnation. I thought that the spin on Evey being who she was was quite interesting and a unique concept. I also liked that when presented the truth about her life, Evey wasn’t just ready to go fighting in a blaze of glory. Nope. She cried and was heartbroken over her loss. She questioned nearly everything she was told and even found it hard to believe at times (which was completely understandable given her past.)
Another thing I enjoyed was the lack of insta-love. Sure, she thought Conrad was cute but it wasn’t in an “the earth stopped” kind of way. Her wondering why she had dreamed about him actually made sense.
However, with that being said, we now come to the bad: Conrad’s semi-persistence in pursuing Evey was incredibly annoying. Yes, I get that he had loved her for a long time but what started off as non-insta-love unfortunately transformed into something quite similar to it. The “love” between Evey and Conrad lacked chemistry. Conrad’s initial attraction to Evey seemed more based on who she actually was and that “pull” she had on everyone that actually him being drawn to her as a person. Not just that, but the emotional tug-of-war that they pulled with poor Helen was so immature and high-school-like that I had to remind myself that I was, in fact, reading YA. (Not that YA books all have that love triangle plot mess.)
The general character that was Aden was a bit lackluster to me given that he was mostly spoken about in 80% of the novel and his very short appearance in the final portion of the book was downright confusing. He just flip-flopped too much for my taste. And yes, I get that Evey has this ~magical~ hold on people but why was that hold only in private for Aden?
How could a man that had loved Evey for so long want to destroy the only family she’s known? (Even his hatred towards Conrad was a bit understandable, given his level of betrayal, but not towards the rest of them that were protecting Evey.)
*End of Possible Spoilers*
Overall, I’d give this book a solid 2.5 out of 5 stars. The reason being that while the beginning and middle were strong, well written, and kept me interested, the ending fell so flat for me. It was too much wish fulfillment (Armani gowns? Honestly?) and too little plot progression to the point where I kind of wanted Aden to win. Everything about the ending was just so rushed. It was almost as if the author remembered that this book was about to end so everything went to hell in a handbasket for our protagonist. And fast.
Even though it ended on a cliffhanger (not a spoiler since the book establishes that it’s part of a series), I’m unfortunately not really interested in reading any more about these characters.
However, if you’re a younger reader or a general fan of more romance-y YA, this might just be your cup of tea.
Much Love and Literature,