Author: Shaun Penney
Publication Date: February 13, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Kindle 559 KB | Paperback 399 pages
Buy this book on Amazon: Kindle Edition | Paperback
Author's Website: http://bladeofthesashurai.wordpress.com/
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A frenetic, pulse-pounding adventure, Shaun Penney's atmospheric debut novel delivers a spellbinding mythology along with first-rate thrills and almost unbearable tension. In the future, a devastating war has left the world toxic and unlivable. Mankind survives isolated within four domed cities. In every dome survival has come with a price: the rate of female births seems to be in steady decline and the ultimate survival of our species is at serious risk.
A frantic race to understand and fix the problem has led a hardened military leader named General Kuromori to transport the few hundred women left living in the dome to a hidden medical dome for study and research. Carol Jenn is the last woman to be sent to the medical dome. But Carol does not have full knowledge of the situation. When she meets Vanguard, one of Kuromori's soldiers who has been banished for murdering a woman named Eve, the walls surrounding Carol's perceptions begin to crumble around her. Joining Jessie, her only true ally, in an uneasy alliance with Vanguard, she uncovers a conspiracy involving Kuromori, his workforce, and even the women inside the dome. But when Carol and Jessie try to escape the dome, they discover the dark secrets behind The Death of Eve.
An extraordinary vision of a post-apocalyptic future that is rich in detail and rippling with intrigue, The Death of Eve is a fascinating exploration of the nature of man.
This is one of those books that I really wanted to love the whole time I was reading it, but there what something that just wasn't clicking for me.
The dystopian world that is created in this story isn't completely unique to this story, but I think it was a good one. There is some sort of war that causes an apocalyptic situation. The majority of the population believes the atmosphere to be unlivable so they are living in large domes. During the war they performed genetic enhancements on the soldiers that, while beneficial at the time, ended up screwing up their genes and making it so that with each generation there were fewer and fewer female births. Now there are only several hundred women living in the domes and most of them are in a medical research dome where they are doing tests on them to try to remedy the problem. Realistically, they should be testing on the males since they determine the sex of children!
Where the story lost me was partly in the details and partly in the characters. The whole time I was reading I kept feeling like something was missing. I never really connected fully with any of the characters. A lot of the characters are truly despicable. I did like Carol and Vanguard well enough, but I don't know that I cared enough about them to continue with the series even though I have the second book.
There is a lot of action, no doubt, but there is also a lot of confusion during the fight scenes. At least for me there was. I liked the sword fighting, but I think that there needed to be a more clear explanation about how exactly the swords worked. For some reason that really confused me!
Here is the deal, I feel like the book could have used a really thorough edit. There were spots that were rough that could have used some smoothing. Some things could have been reworded, possibly, so that things would have been easier to understand. Also, if I had felt a little more connected to the characters it would have made a big difference. I think that it had the potential to be a really great story, but these things made it not as good for me.
If you like Science-Fiction / Dystopian books then this may be something you will like despite my hang-ups about it. I know that it's gotten some really good reviews and won some awards, it just wasn't my style. I should also point out that there are a couple of scenes of brutality and some relatively sensual scenes between two women so if that is something that bothers you then you may want to steer clear.