Escape From Eden
By: Elisa Nader
Publisher: Merit Press
Published: Aug. 18, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.
But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?
This was one of those books that you’re either going to really enjoy or your going to hate. One being your take on religion and how devoted you are. Some people may be offended by this book. I however, am going to hell, so I found the book to be entertaining.
Mia lives in Edenton. A place that’s barricaded off from the world and it’s technologies. Everyone blindly follows their beloved Reverend. This man can do no wrong, even when he outwardly poisons his own “flock”. I mean, God hates greedy people apparently and you greedy lil’ bastards must pay for your sins via death. *nods head* Sure. I mean the Reverend was only carrying out the Lord’s command. *shrugs shoulders* Are you believing the B.S that I’m giving you? No? Yeah, well it didn’t fly with Mia either. Unfortunately, everyone else was nodding along in understanding as their flock members were dying a horrible death. Thus, the reason why Mia wants to escape. The Reverend is a demented masochist and his flock is a bunch of blind sheep being lead to their own slaughter while singing the praises of their saviors, the Reverend and the Lord up above.
The people staying there weren’t necessarily stupid but they were brainwashed into believing there was nothing else for them and that this was their only salvation. *rolls eyes* Although it was comforting to know that not everyone was as brainwashed as they appeared. Mia and Gabriel being among them. Although Mia had her moments that if I were Gabriel I would have just left her behind because she could see what was going on, knew it was wrong but would still have her doubts.
My one complaint was Gabriel. Why does he have to be your typical bad boy? Why not a geeky guy with glasses who’s parents just decided to up and join the cult… er I mean Edenton? He was your generic hot/cold bad boy giving out mixed signals left and right.
I liked that the author took a risk with her debut novel. Not only is it a crazy subject but there are various layers of taboo mixed in with a few dashes of suspense that I was captivated from the get go.
“You know, Gabriel,” Juanita said, “the word bridge isn’t used in the Bible.”
“It’s not?” Gabriel asked and I couldn’t help feeling he was humoring us. “And why is that?”
Juanita’s face fell as she remembered one of the Reverend’s sermons.
“Because,” I said, reciting what I could recall, “God’s people must pass through the dangerous currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them.”
“Suffering and death for God’s people, huh?” Gabriel peered down into the ditch. “I guess if I was going to fly my atheist flag, now would be the time.”
Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.