The third, and feels like the final, book in Beckett’s Eden series. Daughter of Eden takes place so far into Eden’s future that the earlier characters have firmly passed into mythology. He also still has something to say about human nature,and our need to believe in something. Through the characters he introduces he frames religious wars as the ridiculous ideas that they are,
But no one else looked at it that way. How can you ask if the story is true or not, if you’re in the story yourself?
I find it interesting that for the last two books he has focussed on female characters, with the surrounding male characters being two-dimensional at best. The women avoid the nurturing trap as well, and instead are powerful characters who have ambitions and leadership skills, despite the way that the society created on Eden has limited them. And the importance of the relationships between those women is central to this world.
I liked how the story was brought full circle without taking the easy escape. Of course Earth would eventually return, but how that was resolved was imaginative.
Mother of Eden follows on from Dark Eden, but the characters in the former have now passed into mythology. Instead we are facing another round of social change and world development as different communities via for resources, space and ownership of their creator history.
Its set with a young woman who has barely been exposed to this wider world moving out to become part of a less innocent community, and the change this triggers across all of humanity.
Without revealing what happens, it is a story of politics, intrigue, dreams and sexism. It explores what we know against what we think we know, and how myths can be started and spread. Plus there is suspense and a battle between different factions.
Well worth reading if you enjoy far-future science fiction.
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!