Eden ~ David Holley

  • Title: Eden
  • Author: David Holley
  • Series: Eden #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  After enduring a horrific plane crash, a small group of survivors must work together in order to withstand the harshest conditions imaginable in the remote wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island.

The year is 2022, and their epic journey, fraught with danger and mystery, will alter the course of human history forever.

Led by charismatic Special Forces captain Noah Lockheart and his wife Evelyn, an accomplished scientist, the band of weary travelers must battle the elements along with their fears, as they race toward civilization, and their hope for rescue.

Among the survivors is Mia Sinclair, an extraordinary girl who can glimpse the future. Through their trials, the Lockhearts begin to uncover the girl’s ability in spite of her best efforts to keep it hidden. But even as Mia proves to be an invaluable ally, her gift comes at an unbearable cost.

Each step brings them closer to salvation– and to unraveling the mystery of their abandonment. But just when they think they are saved, they realize that they have never been farther from home.

Eden is a bold, heart-pounding page-turner, told through the seamlessly shifting perspectives of the eccentric band of survivors. As the thriller unfolds, so do the survivors’ inextricable links to one another in a plot rife with twists and turns, till the very end.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  Eden is the debut novel from David Holley, the first in a series. The story follows an ensemble of survivors who are trying to make their way back to civilization after a horrific plane crash leaves them abandoned on a remote beach in New Zealand.

The book is action-packed and well-paced, making it a fun read. The crash is just the beginning of a series of dangerous adventures faced by the survivors. At times, it did feel that the group was a little too remarkably well-equipped with gear, considering they had just faced at least two evacuate-now-or-die situations. It bugged me a bit, but I understand that the author had to provide means for survival. It would not have been a very interesting book had they all reached the beach and died. On the other hand, I did appreciate that the author was willing to sacrifice some characters to illustrate the full impact of the scenarios being faced.

Holley did a great job of creating a cast of rich characters. He was able to create distinct and vivid personalities through their actions and flashbacks filling in back stories. The dialog between characters is not great, it often came across as stiff and forced. However, the depth of the characters helped to compensate for this shortcoming. The author captured the humanity of his characters, making some more likeable than others, without actually casting any as a true villain. For example, Max is petulant and spoiled, but when push comes to shove, he will step up for the greater good. He is a character that I want to smack up-side the head, and yet I find him likeable.

I am going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room. There are a lot of parallels between the Lost television series and Eden. A lot. Regardless, Holley appears much more willing to resolve his mysterious subplots than J.J. Abrams. I am not going to tell you HOW, because that would ruin it for you! Not all of the subplots get resolved; it IS a series, after all.

While Eden does resolve some of its mysteries, there was one very large flaw. I felt that the book ended mid-climax. If you can remember back to junior high when we learned the arc of the plot-line, there are two more phases after the climax, so, yeah, I had major issues with this. The author introduced a new major plot twist and action sequence and then ended in the middle of it. This makes me crazy!

***SPOILER ALERT – TURN BACK NOW TO AVOID SPOILER***

I love zombies. I even think that Holley created some really creepy cool zombies. However, this development was pretty abrupt and not consistent with the feel of the rest of the book. I think this plot twist would have been better served with some foreshadowing. It also might have helped to end after an introduction to the zombies, rather than trying in the midst of a zombie encounter.

***END SPOILERS***

Considering that this is an independently published first effort, I think Holley created an entertaining story packed with adventure. If Eden were produced by a big publishing house, I would probably be less forgiving. Despite some issues, I plan to give book two a shot.

Footnote: I also want to give kudos on the cover art for this book. Indie books often suffer from a lack of budget and creativity in this area, but I think Holley’s background in art served him well. Sometimes less is more. The volcanic island image is relevant to the story without trying too hard.

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