Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review: Eden by Janelle Stalder

by Janelle Stalder

Goodreads Description:
Stuck in the cruel world of hormones and high school bullies, Aiden is convinced life has something more to offer. A stranger soon brings him to a world that co-exists alongside our own called Eden. Here he will learn to trust himself and those around him, as all of Eden finds itself on the brink of war. With the handsome rider Wolf, his sidekick Logan, and the beautiful archer Elisa at his side, Aiden will battle to save Eden and learn just what he is capable of.

Being the only girl in the King’s Army, and the Captain’s daughter, Elisa constantly feels the need to prove herself. It doesn’t help that she is betrothed to Wolf, who challenges her at every turn, and who she refuses to marry. With the new stranger, Aiden, now involved, Elisa finds her life even more confusing than ever.

Rose is a prisoner of the war, taken by the army from the North. Her captor, the exiled Prince Callum, intrigues her and terrifies her all at the same time. Now she must choose to either betray her heart, or the memory of her family.

Eden is packed full of romance, adventure, humour, and action.

Genre:  Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie Author
Rating:  *  *  *  *
My Review:
What an exhilarating and engrossing story!!!  A mix of Narnia and Game of Thrones, This is a smart, absorbing book you really must read.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  I expected to like it, but I loved it!!!

I'll admit through the first few chapters I wasn't sure how much I'd like this book.  Yes, the prologue was intriguing and immediately introduced the conflict in Eden and the first chapter introduces a very likable Aiden and his frustrating reality.  But I was concerned with the palpable risk of hokeyness when a plot involves a reality-based protagonist entering into a fantasy-based environment.  Also, the author's way of describing things was somewhat off for me, especially in the first portion of the book.  She's very straightforward in her descriptions and sometimes it feels forced.  Despite my reservations starting out, the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G story more than makes up for the minor description flaws and, as it turns out, the hokey factor was very minimal.  

I loved the characters.  Not one of them was flat.  No one was a simple filler character.  I savored the array of relationships from Turk & the High King to Wolf & Elisa to Rose & Callum.  Protagonists were not simple bad guys.  I enjoyed reading of Callum, Brutus the Red and their motivations.  The story of Rose & Callum was my favorite.  With all the various stories, this is hardly just "young adult," but an "everybody" fantasy novel.

The ending did feel a little rushed, but I still liked it.  I appreciated the twist that while not everything was wrapped up, we are given enough information to see where things are leading for each of the characters.  I however will miss these characters and would love to have spent more time with them.  Perhaps the author will write short stories telling more of what happens to the people of Eden and of Aiden after he returns to his regular life.  Please, please, please --with sugar on top of it-- Janelle, please write more for me!

So, overall, a story I'm so glad I didn't miss out on.  A very satisfying read!!!  I still want more!

Cover Art:
I'm torn on this cover.  On one hand, it's a well done cover with stone-like texture and perfect typeface.  The simple bow graphic reflects the importance bows and arrows play in this story.  The drawback is that it's not a cover that compels me to buy the book.  

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting, I like the idea that it's a mix between THE GAME OF THRONES (which I'm reading now and loving) and NARNIA (which I love as well). Definitely think I'm going to need to look into this one, thanks for putting it on my radar!