By: Chris Beckett
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.
Suppose for a minute that 5 humans from Earth travel through a wormhole, then have a mechanical failure on their ship? What if the only planet that’s hospitable is one with no star for light? And what if the only female and one of the males remain on the planet while sending the other three to attempt to make it back to Earth in the damaged ship? Jump forward a few generations (six I believe), and you’ve got the setting for Dark Eden.
The planet, Dark Eden, has no star, and thus only has what light and heat as it produces itself. There’s hints of some sort of heat source at the core of the planet, and many of the trees and plant life glow in some way. After six generations, the people are suffering from genetic disorders from all being descended from the two left on the planet, and only a few small traces of Earth culture and language remain.
The book switches perspectives often, giving it short chapters, and a sort of omnipotent viewpoint as things escalate through the plot lines. There’s a rich world and culture that’s been built, and is overshadowed by the deeply human story that evolves through the book. Which is amazing because it really is a great job of world building and culture building.
Dark Eden is a great book that centers around a story of human growth and human nature that happens to take place on a wonderfully built planet. If you’re a fan of science fiction world building, you’ll enjoy the world that Beckett has built in Dark Eden, and the story is one of new beginnings.