Tricky one this one – it’s a half and half review. However, I’ve decided never to post a review of a book unless I found something great in it, so even though this review does find some downsides, there is some really fantastic, engaging writing in this book too. Read on….
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Cover Photography: Shutterstock
Did you know this books is by the same authors who wrote Animorphs? Nope, neither did I, but how cool is that?! I practically grew up with that series about five teens who could morph into animals to defeat the evil alien Yrrks taking over the minds of everyday people. So glad I took a peek at the acknowledgements section of Eve and Adam and found out about that – now I know of another older books I can review!
Anyway, back to Eve and Adam….. The story opens with Eve, your ordinary everyday teenage American girl, who unfortunately gets distracted by an apple while crossing a road and winds up in a very nasty road accident. Luckily for her and her newly-detached leg though, her mother Terra Spiker just happens to be the boss of a huge pharmaceutical company, so before Eve knows it she’s been whisked out of her hospital bed and taken by private ambulance to a fully-stocked hospital ward her mum just whipped up in her biochemical labs.
With Eve recovering suspiciously nicely, Terra hands her a project – design the perfect boy. Sounds ideal right? I mean, who hasn’t had an idle moment daydreaming over just the perfect shade of blue eyes? Only, the computer programme Terra gives her Eve isn’t exactly the Sims, oh no – this is hardcore software where Eve can play directly with the DNA that would make up this perfect boy. And all the while the rather hunky loner Solo hangs about as her gofer, Eve’s best friend Aislin is running around after her loser boyfriend with a penchant for cheating druglords, and what exactly are Tommy and his fellow Spiker scientists working on anyways?
I loved the set-up to this. Eve was a great heroine and I was intrigued by Solo (even if all I could think of was Harrison Ford). I mean, think of all the directions you could see a story going, when a girl is handed the digital tools to create her perfect human!
I loved the gradual unravelling of Solo’s past and what exactly was going on with Eve’s leg. I liked the powerplay between Solo, Tommy, Terra and everyone else working for Spiker BUT….. I did feel by the end of the book that the ending had been rushed. It ended far too quickly and far too neatly for me, with a bunch of questions rushed, unanswered or glossed over. The genetic engineering aspect and the software I could have seen exploding over several books, but it didn’t get the chance. I was expecting something a bit darker, given what I’d heard of Michael Grant’s Gone series and how the start of the book was written, so I was surprised when I got closer and closer to the end of the book and it didn’t feel like a cliffhanger was being built up to. Everything gets wrapped up in about 25 pages towards the end, when quite frankly I would have been happier to see it end on a cliffhanger and spread over into another book. I want more of the characters and would have liked to have hung around them a bit longer. After all the clever circling earlier on in the book, it felt like a bit of an anticlimax for me, is all.
I also wasn’t so convinced by the relationships in this book – sometimes they seemed a tad shallow. You know, characters had barely met and they were deeply attracted to each other. I get that this can happen, but it just…. they’d barely met and I could already tell where it was going. I didn’t know enough (still not sure I do!) about why the characters fell in love with each other, other than that they were athletic/had blue eyes/were strangely attractive to all.
Sounds like a bum review right? WRONG.
I would still read this book again, despite it’s ending – I did really enjoy it! It’s a good light read and I love Grant and Applegate’s to-the-point writing style. Eve was a great lead, a teenage girl that’s not too girly and OMG!, a girl that likes fashion and the finer points of genetic research! A girl who thinks DNA is cool and can happily explain it, all the while constructing a pair of swoon-worthy blue eyes from genetic scratch. Solo was cool too – just why did he hate Terra and why was he so intent on keeping a low profile? Usually I get annoyed when a character’s got a puzzle to them that’s being drawn out ever-so-slowly, but that didn’t happen here, it was just perfect. Aislin, Eve’s best friend, was interesting too, mainly because she’s a great study in love and attraction and how it can affect people. I agree with other reviews though that her subplot probably wasn’t necessary, and it did tail off by the end of the book without a real answer (what DID happen to Maddox?).
I’ve had a bit of a think too and it could well be a case of my expectations for this book were wrong to start with – I’ve heard all about the apocalyptic Gone series and thought this would be similarly gritty, so when it wasn’t I was naturally a bit disappointed. If I’d gone into it though knowing that it was a lighter read, I don’t think I would have been quite so harsh on it. I’m sad that there isn’t a series to be had from this plot, but I’m happy to have discovered a nice quick read to go back to when I need a change of pace. The characters lift this book back up for me when the plot left me wanting more and I’ll be glad to revisit them at a later date.
And for parents, there’s not too much to note – bit of swearing, bit of non-explicit discussion of how to design the perfect male ‘parts’ and that is pretty much it.
All in all, a bit of a disappointing ending and the issue of genetic engineering could have been explored deeper, but still a book I’d recommend for a light, engaging read. Plus, the moral implications give my brain a nudge and a think even if it wasn’t terribly deeply explored in the book 🙂 Got to love a book that makes you think.