After Eden by Helen Douglas is a (currently) stand-alone story combining time travel with light YA romance. I was excited while reading the first half, and then mellowed to only intrigued during the second half. After Eden has an intriguing premise with a fair amount of sci-fi potential, but it ended up emphasizing the romance elements instead of really digging in to the sci-fi possibilities. It’s a light and quick read (took me about 3 hours), so if you are in the mood for something easy and fun, you might give it a try ;).
Note: I received an eARC of After Eden through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Some things might be different in the final version.
After Eden by Helen Douglas
Published by Bloomsbury on Nov. 7th, 2013
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden.
- Time travel! I’m a fan of time travel books that have a fairly logical reason why the time travel is happening (not that I have anything against the Doctor traveling around for kicks, hehe), so I was happy to see that the travelers in After Eden had a very good reason for coming back.
- The romance is pretty darn adorable. It’s fairly obvious from the beginning, but I’m always happy when I like both characters and they behave cutely instead of dramatically.
- The writing in After Eden is fluid and easy. I found myself at 50% in the first evening without any effort.
- Ryan’s big secret has some really interesting sci-fi elements to it. I won’t spoil it, but I did enjoy having that extra dimension.
- Whenever teenage characters decide they are deeply in love within a short time of knowing each other, I roll my eyes. Just… gah.
- After Eden was fairly jumpy at times. All of a sudden one scene would be over and another begun without much of a transition and I had to orient myself to figure out what was going on again.
- The plot and ending were predictable and fairly cheesy. I’ll give you three guesses how things end….
- When characters are running for their life or trying to save the future, I should probably be riveted, but I just wasn’t while reading After Eden. This was partly due to it being clear that things would work out, and partly just from the writing style.
After Eden was cute and enjoyable, but not much more. I certainly didn’t have any negative reactions to it, but I wish that the sci-fi storyline and time travel had been more emphasized. This is definitely “light sci-fi” since the same plot almost could have been told without any time travel being involved: boy meets girl and the rest is history.