Dark Eden is both the name of the book and the alien world where a small group of humans have been stranded for generations.
I wasn’t entirely convinced by the science of world, how biology works and how the world could not have cooled too quickly for life to evolve, but it is distinctly alien. I love the animals and fauna and how the humans interact with them.
Science fiction of course always reflects the world it was written in. Dark Eden is no exception as it tackles themes on conservatism, destruction of ecosystems, the strength of belief and a shared mythology, but also how it can be taken apart by a desire for change and determination. The capacity of the human nature for faith in the impossible and belief that the unthinkable can be undertaken gives an inspiring look at humanity.
In contrast there is an exploration of the darker side if human nature, as once-close family ties teach their limit. And a society which is having its understanding of the world tested. The naming of “Eden” suggests a new cradle of human civilisation, bit of course the inhabitants don’t have that sane mythology to draw on.
The finale sets up a sequel well, so all the elaborate world-building can be extended. I will certainly buy it when it comes out!