Review: “Children of Eden” by Joey Graceffa

m4pGc5TRR6Orc18o4Y3O_children-of-eden-book-coverAuthor: Joey Graceffa
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication: Atria/Keywords Press
Release Date: October 4th 2016
Pages: 278
Rating: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

When I first saw the cover of this novel I knew I had to buy and read it. I love this cover so much! I’m not sure why though, because I usually hate it when there are people on the cover, but for some reason I fell in love with this one. The story also really appealed to me, because it’s dystopian science fiction and that’s my favorite genre. And I really liked reading the novel, though there were a few things that bothered me about it and that is why I gave it 3.5 stars instead of more.


“What would you do to survive if your very existence were illegal?
Rowan is a second child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government.
Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron Al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world.
As an illegal second child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family’s compound for sixteen years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run.”

My first impression was really good, because you get thrown into the story right away. The novel is about Rowan, who as a second child, should not be alive. Mankind has destroyed the world and now lives in a kind of bubble where everything has to be balanced, or humans will go extinct. This Eden is controlled by a computer called the EcoPanopticon, which monitors pretty much everything and as an illegal child Rowan needs to hide from it and from everyone else.


I liked the main character Rowan a lot, because she is shy yet strong. Her personality really  fits with the story and with how you would expect someone to be who was kept in the same house for over sixteen years. The other characters were also quite good, but because you see them through Rowan’s eyes they are also a bit weird and I don’t get some of the things they do, but maybe that’s because Rowan also doesn’t really understand other people very well?

The plot of the story is suspenseful, but also kind of bland. Don’t get me wrong, it was an entertaining and fun read, but it wasn’t very original and it read a bit as a standard dystopian novel. There were also some major plot holes in it, that didn’t bother me while I read it, but that are really bothering me now that I’ve finished the novel. So the plot wasn’t that great, but it was still a good read.


I’m also not really excited about the writing style of the novel. It was fine, but it wasn’t great. It’s a debut novel and I could really see that in the way it was written. It wasn’t badly written at all, but it also wasn’t something that stood out as a great piece of writing.

In the end this novel was good, but not great. It was exciting and there was a lot of suspense, but it didn’t go to that next level that would have made it into something great, though there really was potential. I would still recommend this novel for anyone new in the dystopian genre and for anyone who just wants a good, enjoyable read that is both entertaining and gives food for thought.

Ellen Jansen

Ellen is our newest blogger, writing book reviews and occasionally other stuff. She finished her bachelor of Literary Studies in Utrecht and in september she is going to do a masters in Amsterdam. Ellen is also a compulsive book buyer and buys far more books than she can read.

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