Book Review: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

Dark EdenTitle: Dark Eden
Author: Chris Beckett
Series: Dark Eden
Published: 2012
Publisher: Corvus
Pages: 441
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

Imagine a world with no sun. The air is chilled, everything is dark. But, thanks to the darkness, creatures and plants have developed amazing ways to light the way. Then, imagine living on that planet. Your family consists of two adults and children. Yet, your family grows.

This is the world of Eden, built and woven into a story that lights up like the fauna and flora by British novelist Chris Beckett.

Beckett isn’t new to writing, nor is he new to the idea of fiction, but this is something completely new to us.

Dark Eden, the first novel of Beckett’s Dark Eden series, focuses around John Redlantern, a teenage boy on Eden who does what he is told. But, soon, he starts thinking for himself and his actions change the way he and his Family live forever.

To get this out of the way, the part I did not like about Beckett’s novel was the beginning. I thought it threw the reader into this world straight away, with little to no explanation. I understand why he did it, but when words are used and they have different meanings to the characters, I was so confused for the first chapter.

Also, the first chapter felt like a sprint compared to the rest of the novel. It ran through a couple scenes so fast, with very little background, I was glad for when it was over and the rest of the novel began.

But, those two little things had nothing on the positives of this book. I loved it. First, it was so unique. Obviously, there are many novels written based on an alien planet, but this one took a different point of view, and even the world-building was beautiful and shimmering.

Beckett’s novel, called Dark Eden because the planet Eden has no sun, is also symbolic of the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, but from a much darker standpoint. I can appreciate the creativity and plot comparison, since it does not follow the biblical story too close.

I also loved the thoughtfulness of the characters. From the get-go, Beckett delivers a people who have lost the ability to think and choose for themselves, yet, each character’s voice within the novel displays their ability to discover and realize, to understand and choose. Even some of the characters, such as Tina Spiketree and Jeff Redlantern bring up interesting observations during their narratives, which I love and would never have guessed people on Eden would ever think of.

Overall, I absolutely loved Beckett’s novel, and cannot wait for the next in the series, titled Mother of Eden. I am excited to explore more of the dark planet Eden, and learn more about the history of this science fiction world.

Beckett’s novels and other books and short stories can be found online and in stores at Barnes and Noble or

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