Tim Lebbon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Decades ago, in a desperate international effort to reverse some of the damage we had inflicted on our planet, thirteen Virgin Zones were purged of humanity and left alone for the natural world to reclaim. Of these, Eden is the oldest, and the most dangerous.

The Zones were fiercely protected by the Virgin Zone Protection Force, or Zeds. Despite this, a new form of extreme sports was born. Adventure racers, secret groups of people vying to be the first, the quickest to traverse the forbidden Zones. Many had tried to cross Eden, but no one had succeeded.

Dylan’s group plans to be the first. They infiltrate the reserve, but soon find that this is much more than a contest between man and nature. Some of the group have ulterior motives for the trip, and Eden herself is far from defenceless. What started as a race to be the first quickly descends into a race to get out of Eden alive.

My main problem was with the characters, who I found to be generally unlikeable. I’d have very little time in real life for people who believed that their thrill and sense of achievement is more important than the Virgin Zone rewilding projects. There was also a certain element of a number of them being ‘red shirts’ – the doomed characters in Star Trek who appeared in an episode solely to be killed.

I found Eden to be a decent eco-thriller/sci-fi, somewhat reminiscent of the late Michael Crichton. With Lebbon as the author, I was expecting much more in the way of horror, but it only shone through very sporadically, and on occasions it felt like the book was trying to be too many things at once.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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