reviews

Eve of Man

Eve of Man – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

When I got the opportunity to read a copy of this, I jumped at the chance, I’d heard a lot on the twitter grape vine about this book and the concept intrigued me as did the authors, I’ve read Giovanna Fletcher’s first book and found it a bit…. Meh… I’ve not read any of Tom Fletcher’s books, though my niece assures me that The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet is a masterpiece, but I’ve always thought that the two of them would be well suited to writing YA, from what I’ve read of Giovanna’s writing, it gives me that impression and Tom, well, as his vlogs show, he’s pretty down with the kids. In case you were wondering, my initial thoughts were correct, these two are well suited to writing YA and this is a pretty well done, if not exactly original, fun filled read.

AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED.
THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS.
THEY CALLED HER EVE . . .

All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.
But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate.
Until she meets Bram.
Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.
But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

So for anyone wondering, this is set in London, but not as we know it. Something has happened and all babies being born are male. Also all the people that were left on the planet sort of destroyed it. And there were some issues with global warming so most of it is now under water.
Naturally, considering that you have to have a womb in order to have children and people born with male genitalia generally find it difficult to conceive themselves, this is a bit concerning for those living in this world.  As time goes on, it becomes increasingly more clear that something is seriously wrong and no one can figure out what it is… that is until Corinne and Ernie, after several miscarriages, all boys, discover that they are pregnant with a girl. The first one for fifty years. Bit of a big deal, right? Yep. Especially because she is literally the only person on the planet who could be capable of giving birth, the only other women left on the planet are nearing an age where conceiving is difficult and even if they could, there are no guarantees that there would be anything other than boys.

The baby girl is named Eve, because of course she is. She is taken into the care of the EPO, who keep her locked in a tower for her own safety surrounding her with carers and security guards. They also give Eve a friend, a hologram of sorts called Holly, who is controlled by several pilots, including Bram, a young boy from the same generation as her and the son of one of the high ups at EPO. Bram’s job as Holly is to be a friend to Eve so the EPO can gently steer her towards their ideas for her future, namely that they want her to repopulate the planet. And so there you have the concept of Eve of Man and you can probably see why I was so interested by the idea.

Now, I hope I’m not the only person who is a bit concerned that the world wants a 16 year old girl to repopulate the earth and well… I’m not entirely sure that one girl would be able to, think of all the incest, if she even had kids, they would have to mate with each other eventually as there wouldn’t be many people left who weren’t related to her… This was my main hurdle with this book, but I would recommend not being put off, the more you read, the more you realise that this whole thing is much more complex than just 16 year old being impregnated against her will to repopulate the planet, so even if you are a bit icked out by the idea, keep with it because this is actually a fairly decent read.

Those vaguely disturbing sentiments aside, this is a new take on the Children of Men style dystopian stories we’ve seen before. There isn’t anything ground breaking here, but the concept is intriguing enough for this to be a successful series. The ending really had me desperate for more and the way in which the story unfolded was riveting. The whole Bram/Eve thing I wasn’t much of a fan of, but them each realising different halves of the same plot was so well done and the way the whole thing came together was so much darker than I thought it would be. I guess I assumed because the Tom and Gi I see on camera and on Twitter are so light-hearted, I didn’t quite expect something so intense!

Being a feminist™, I tend to find the idea of baby making being a woman’s sole purpose a little tedious and being Woke™ I was a bit worried about the enforcing of gender roles in this book. Bram is playing at being a girl, he is Holly to Eve until Eve meets the actual Bram, but he is portrayed as being straight. Eve may have a connection with Holly, but only the one piloted by Bram, who she knows is male. Not only is she presented as being straight, but also the people looking after her decide to pair her up with several men, which also kinda made me a bit uncomfortable. But in the don’t stop reading the uncomfortableness passes as you realise what is going on kind of way. I guess what I am badly trying to say is that there is a lot of heteronormaty in this book, but I guess a story about repopulating the earth would be difficult to put together without the whole man and woman coming together thing…

Anyway, this is a fast paced, fun filled story, which although not the most original idea, is very good at giving you just enough to whet your appetite and then completely flooring you with revelations. I think this is going to be a strong series and I’m already excited about how the story will continue with book two!

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