EDEN by Dean Crawford

EDEN cover image

EDEN cover image

What the blurb says: “If the world feel apart overnight, what would you do to protect your family? When a horrific natural disaster causes the collapse of civilisation and strands Cody Ryan deep inside the Arctic Circle, he is forced to embark upon an impossible journey. Thousands of miles from home in a brutal new world where only the strongest will survive, Cody and his companions must conquer seemingly insurmountable odds in  a search for their loved ones, the limits of their own humanity and the rumoured last refuge of mankind … Eden.”

Be warned. This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted.

Cody Ryan, a family man with a dark secret, takes a last minute job to fill in for an injured team member on a scheduled research expedition to the Arctic Circle. What he doesn’t know is that the team have been put together not only for the advertised research into the Arctic environment, but also to ensure a clash of personalities for a secondary covert research mission investigating the effect of isolated environments on teams as preparation for future landings on Mars.

In the first part of the book the team struggle to acclimatise in the remote and unforgiving Arctic conditions. When the team leader suspects that the secret Cody is trying to keep hidden involves a murder, tension comes to a head between the two.  This, combined with the team fracturing into two groups and the rising distrust, and dislike, amongst team members adds to the conflict.

But when all personnel on the Army base nearby evacuate their posts without warning, the story takes an even more dramatic turn. Following a solar storm, the team are left with no means of communication, dwindling supplies and injured team members. With little choice they decide to battle the elements to get out of the Arctic and reunite with their families. It’s only when they make contact with a ship that they realise the full impact of the situation, and at this point the story turns into a true post-apocalyptic thriller.

As the story takes on a global scale, each of the characters is forced to consider just how far they are willing to abandon their values, and their humanity, in order to get home. With echos of the social disintegration issues explored in The Road, LOST and The Walking Dead, the answer certainly isn’t always pleasant, but it does make for some gripping reading.

Personally, and as someone who hasn’t read a great deal of post-apocalyptic thrillers, I found it a little difficult to suspend disbelief at times (I won’t say why, no spoilers here!) but I still wanted to keep reading. The epic nature of the story reminded me of films like The Day After Tomorrow and the fabulous techno-thrillers of the late Michael Crichton.

A vivid, thought provoking and page-turner of a read.

Recommended.

[with thanks to Dean Crawford for my Kindle copy of EDEN]

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