K.R.S. McEntire’s debut indie novel, “Saving Eden,” was a quick read, but an interesting one nonetheless, which hit shelves this January. Like many dystopian titles, McEntire’s book introduces the readers to a futuristic Earth plagued by the vestiges of past biological warfare: barren soil, crumbling cities and a vastly diminished population. Her characters struggle facing wasting resources and authoritarian tyrants as they come to terms with the reality of their uncertain future lying ahead of them. Although the story’s ending wraps up pressing questions satisfyingly, the main character’s tale is yet unfinished, and I for one would invite a sequel or two with open arms. I cannot say “Saving Eden” was without flaw; however, nothing is and I thought it made a solid first authorial splash.
The plot follows a 16-year-old girl, Angela, who laments her solitary lifestyle with only her father, Nathan, to keep her company amid humanity’s decline. Despite Nathan having told her that there are no people surviving beyond the confines of their land who are not mutated or dead from the bio disease which decimated the Earth, Angela holds onto the wish that they are not alone in the world and dreams of one day gaining a community. When she comes across Jesse, a teenage boy from a city far outside her humble home, everything she has ever known about the dying Earth and even her purpose in it is thrown into question. As she journeys into this new environment, she must decide what is important to her and how she will protect those she loves while keeping hope alive.
As far as faults go, they were not overwhelming, but still noticeable. I thought one of the strongest revisions for future works McEntire could make would be extending the length of her stories. As I said, it was an extremely short read. Enough to grab your attention, but not enough in my opinion to truly delve into the expansive world and characters. I felt like I was being introduced and then immediately taken out of different plot points at times. Particularly I found myself desiring that I had more time to spend getting to know the characters. It is mainly a character driven tale, so many of the side characters should be just as fleshed out or close to as fleshed out as the central figure, Angela. I also noticed some mechanical errors here and there that were a little distracting which could be easily fixed in the editing process for future reference.
That said, regardless of whatever minor issues I had while reading, I kept coming back and rapidly consumed “Saving Eden” in one sitting. It was ultimately a fascinating tale with a ton of heart and mystery sprinkled in throughout. I especially enjoyed the casual diversity as representation in any form is always exciting to come across when it happens. I enjoyed rooting for Angela through her pain and her victories moreover I’m always a sucker for a hopeful ending in apocalyptic fiction which is usually bleaker to say the least. Overall, if you are a lover of indie authors, dystopian worlds, or if you’re simply seeking an engaging novel you may not have heard of, “Saving Eden” and K.R.S. McEntire are both worthy to check out.
Edited by Adam White,