#Review: Edenborn by Nick Sagan. #Post-apocalyptic #dystopian #book review.
I think, for me, Edenborn is the vegetable after the delicious main course but before the yummy dessert. You gotta get through it, make the best of it, find what you can enjoy from it, but you’re not thrilled during, and you’re super glad when you’re done. Let’s move on to cake!
First, let’s talk about this book.
Edenborn is the second installment of Nick Sagan’s Idlewild series. Set 18 years after the kids were released from their pods, we are introduced to the first children created after the apocalypse (via Black Ep) completely wiped out every last gasp of humanity. I use the word “created” because these aren’t natural-born children … they are clones. Some cloned yet engineered with genetic variance (aka, imperfections) and others cloned yet engineered to be as durable as possible. All iterations are required to take daily medications to continuously fight the enduring (and constantly mutating) Black Ep.
The original Kids (now all 36 years old) are split up around the world, yet are able to keep in contact with pretty useful high-tech gadgets. Video phones, airplanes, (heli)copters, constant access to IVR … this is no post-apocalyptic world where back-to-basics reigns. High-level medical equipment appears to be available, and everyone does a pretty good job at staying connected. We’re still minus Halloween and Fantasia, but not for very long.
The first half of the book is tortuously slow-paced. We learn in fits and starts who this new generation is made up of .. their hopes, dreams, desires, beliefs… Some are massively disappointing cliches, some are a product of their upbringing and massively religious, and others still are exactly who their “parents” wanted them to be (clones of themselves). We learn about the minutiae of their days, the drama of their interactions, and the futility I imagine one might feel in the face of the End of the World.
At the end, however, I found myself missing the slower pace. I found myself yearning for what “used to be” merely 100 pages ago. I realized what I had that I was losing in the span of a chapter. Life as we knew it was turned upon its ear and chaos took hold. The ending is dramatic and nauseating and confusing, and had I not been teased with the first chapter (ish) of the next installment, I would have scratched my head asking, “Wha…? the hell just happened and how do I reconcile it?”
There is no reconciliation. There is no good explanation. Shit happens, and it happened in Edenborn.
The snippet of the next book looks to be really good, though. I may need to take a break for a bit to recover and renew.