Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls 1) by Victoria Foyt
Published by Sand Dollar Press
0.5 out of 5 stars (the 0.5 being for a promising, yet undelivered storyline)
Released Jan 10, 2012
Format: EGally (to be available on ebook and paperback here)
After I requested Revealing Eden, I added it on Goodreads and noticed the low ranking it’d been given. I avoided the reviews until I’d finished it though, I don’t like to be swayed in one direction or another, and I’m glad I did.
Firstly let me say: I quite liked the premise of the book. There I said it. *****Sits back and waits for GR backlash**
In summary, Eden is a pearl (white skinned) in a world where her race have been all but wiped out in a radiation event of some sort, now living underground, pearls are the ethnic minority, with ‘coals’ (blacks) as the leading powers. Pearls have little or no powers, and if they are not mated by 18 they are thrown out to die (nice…) they are forced to cover their offensive white skin up with ‘midnight luster’ and Eden hates herself for the colour of her skin. All Eden wants is to be matched with a coal to produce non-pearl children (the science behind a mixed race baby seems to have given Foyt a miss somewhere along the line, one black parent does not guarantee a black baby)……..
Eden gets caught up in a rebellion and is forced to flea with her father (a scientist) and his experiment (a coal) Bramford. Bramford has been injected with a load of animal DNA to make him blacker (yes, blacker), stronger and a dominant figure (the idea being to make a more sun-radiation-resistant race). Will Eden discover there is more the life than skin colour? probably not, because she’s shallow, selfish and annoying as hell (more on that later)
The reviews on GR are some of the harshest I’ve seen, and anyone that disagrees is labelled a racist. I thought GR was a place where all opinions mattered? Having since read the reviews, I can say that the majority of them are sensationalist for little reason, people read the word racism and run with it, one particular review raises some excellent points then undoes them completely by ending with a paragraph of ‘black slang’ reenforcing all the stereotypes that she’d argued against in the previous sentences. These reviews force readers to be bias before even reading the book, not giving it a fair go, because if you DO then your racist. At least in the GR world.
Like I said I liked the premise, its pretty promising and could make for a fascinating read. BUT any decent story is lost in the atrocious writing style of Foyt. Some of us have great stories in our heads, but cannot transcribe them, Foyt is one of us. In trying to highlight racism and the issues that ethnic minorities face she has in fact offended every single person out there, even those ‘pearls’ among us!
Foyt seems to have failed to realize that being ‘black’ doesn’t mean you have a set skin colour, just as being white doesn’t mean your blonde and blue eyed, quite how she couldn’t work this one out, I don’t know. There are numerous comparisons to Marjorie Blackmans’ works, and rightfully so – Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses does it right, Eden does not.
The issue of race is thrust upon the reader in Eden, and it is shoved down our throats at every possible moment, what person (black,white, brown, purple or green) constantly thinks about their skin colour (Eden wades through a bog in the amazon and thinks about her white legs being a beacon to predators – REALLY!?!). I am in no doubt that the colour of our skin is thought about occasionally, maybe more if you are judged because of it, but every second of every day? Nope. I also doubt that those eaten by gators, snakes or crocs though just before they died ‘oh shit. its my skin thats done me in’. I don’t thin Foyt intentionally went for the level of offensiveness that she achieved, I think ignorance on the subject is to blame, quite ironic really as its the main theme of the book. There is also the question of whether ‘races’ as such would still exist in the distant future, many scientists today have predicted that given the growing rate of interracial relationships and offspring, the human race is likely to become more and more similar as generations progress, resulting in (to quote one article) us all looking ‘Brazilian’, which screws up the whole book really.
Enough about race, onto the other issues in the book (of which there are many).
Science – firstly I’m an animal scientist, so I may be wrong, BUT – I cannot figure out the logic behind the darker your skin the more likely you are to survive radiation poisoning, if the world was that bad, all races would be affected surely? Equally, spouting latin names for animals every five minutes does not make the work more credible, a massive radiation event has occurred, yet none of the animals have evolved to adapt to this? They are either extinct or exactly the same as before?
Then there’s Eden, a character that if written well could of saved the novel, but she was, like the rest of the book, poorly written. She goes from little brat, to sexually obsessed, to twit and back again. There is nothing likable about her (and I’ve had to laugh out loud at some of her atrocious lines). Her obsession with Rebecca was probably the most annoying issue with her, for some reason she only tries to see into the hut when Bramford ‘the beast’ is around, inevitably ending up pinned to the ground by him, and going on to once again obsess about him.
The need to refer to Bramford as ‘the beast’ constantly makes him sound like an xmen reject, and does nothing to make her attraction towards him believable. Eden’s father is a complete nothing of a character and his presence is nothing more than page filler.
So, overall I feel that I’ve wasted some of my life on this book, the story is there for a decent, talent writer to build a wonderful world around, in a diplomatic, original way. That writer is not Foyt sadly, she lacks the ability to relate to the reader, to create a new world in the pages of her books, and her ignorance surrounding the subject she’s writing about has done nothing but infuriate readers.
One for the ‘do not read’ pile I’m afraid.
ARC/EGalley kindly provided by NetGally in exchange for an honest review