Eve is the first book in a dystopian trilogy. Eve’s mother died in 2015 when she was five. That was twelve years ago. Now she looks forward to finishing School and moving on to learn her trade and contribute to New American society. Except that isn’t what happens when School ends. Everything Eve thought she knew is actually a lie and she has no choice but to escape.
While the premise sounds compelling, I had several issues with the plot right from the beginning. Raised to be dependent on School for safety and to fear men and boys, Eve is such a passive character that it never felt true or right that she would so readily doubt School or its truths after years of indoctrination. She also felt more like a “gateway” character (used to introduce readers to the world of the story) than a heroine. I couldn’t help but wonder what the story would have been like if it had followed Arden instead of Eve.
Other basic tenets of the story also bothered me. The plague ravaged society in 2015. Ninety-eight per cent of the population died. So who was running around protecting books like Winnie the Pooh and albums like Let It Be while the plague ran rampant? If there are no cities left standing, nothing of the old society, how do Eve and her classmates know about artists like Frank Lloyd Wright and Frida Kahlo? Ultimately it was this issue that never let me fully immerse myself into the plot. As necessarily fantastical as a post-apocalyptic novel is, that basic premise never rang true in the slightest for me.
Eve is an interesting addition to the growing world of dystopian fantasy novels but it never comes together quite as well as some of the other more well-known books in the genre. Eve seems very similar to Wither by Lauren DeStefano to name just one example but somehow lacks the immediacy or urgency of the latter’s plot.