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I received a free copy of Eden at the Edge of Midnight from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Rounded up from 2.5 stars.
The original Garden of Eden, the Vara, was sealed from the rest of the world and populated with the best of the best. Unfortunately, 150 years ago it became ravaged by smog that blocks the sun. Now it's stuck in a permanent state of darkness and the people need a champion to save the realm from the deadly smog. But they end up with Sammy instead. She's decidedly not champion material. She was only supposed to help the actual chosen one open the gateway into the Vara, but she not only took their place, she’s also locked them out in the process. Being an unimportant teen back home is starting to look better and better.
My two favorite aspects of Eden at the Edge of Midnight are, by far, Louis and the world building. Louis, the dino-chicken with ears that can sign all while he carries the portable Golden Egg house on his back, is an awesome animal sidekick and is actually my favorite character out of the entire cast. In regards to the world-building, I liked the setting and description of the Vara. The descriptions of how it was versus how it is now after the event 150 years before are quite detailed and it's pretty easy to picture Louis running around there.
Overall, the main reason I rated this 2.5 out of 5 stars is that I had a difficult time connecting to the story and characters. Like I mentioned above, there are aspects I enjoyed, but Sammy just about did me in. She's alright to start off with but she develops into a real pain. Which reminds me, her relationship with Melrak is odd to say the least. I don't really know what to make of it since he seems to be nice enough, but even though his wife has disappeared he is still married. I guess I just think he should be working harder to find his wife. Mostly, though, it's Sammy herself I take issue with in the story. Otherwise, the story line isn't that bad, it just never hooked me and reeled me in. I actually caught myself skimming several times in the story, especially the closer I got to the ending, which happened very abruptly.
If I do read future installments of The Vara Volumes, I would to see more of Louis and the the rich setting descriptions. The other characters, primarily Sammy, would need to be more fleshed out (and grown up) for me to be interested in continuing the series.
I read this ebook from January 1 - 8, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.