Book Review: Eden by Tim Lebbon

Eden by Tim Lebbon

Rating:  ★★★

Eden is a science fiction eco-thriller in which a group of extreme sports enthusiasts and supposed environmentalists race through one of the last places on Earth that has been reserved for nature. Eden is known as a Virgin Zone, a place where all the humans have been relocated, and whose borders are agressively protected by paramilitary groups (Zeds? Zions? I don’t really care).  These places have been given back to nature in an effort to preserve them from human pollution/poaching/ deforestation/etc..

I had been looking forward to this since I first heard about it.  It sounded like it might be one of those SciFi-Horror crossover books I’m so fond of (a la Crichton) and best of all it was set in a jungle- which is one of my favorite settings for a book (especially one that contains elements of horror).

Which is why I am so very displeased to tell you that this is probably one of the most mediocre, vanilla, unexciting books I have ever fucking read.

I didn’t even know it was possible to write a Science-Fiction-Eco-Thriller-Horror-Genre-Bender that was this fucking boring.

First of all- the character motivations don’t make any sense.  Supposedly all these characters care deeply for the environment.  They believe in the purpose of the Virgin Zones.  They think what humans have done to the planet is horrible.

So what the hell are they doing violating the laws of these zones? Contaminating these pure zones with their presence?  For bragging rights?  I don’t buy it.  And judging by the number of times the author made his characters repeat some justification of their actions, I don’t think he really bought it either.

But that’s not really my problem with this book.  I can get down with a good popcorn thriller where the idiot victim is running up the stairs instead of outside.  It’s basically my favorite kind of book (and movie for that matter).

What is not forgivable, is that the big bad guys are a lynx, a coyote, and a wolf.

First of all.  I thought Eden was supposed to be what was left of the Amazon Rainforest.  None of those animals are native to that area (I have yet to even mention the grizzly that shows up- I’m not spoiling this. I’m doing you a favor.).  I am willing to accept that perhaps I am mistaken about where Eden is set.  I still think that these are ridiculously boring choices for what is supposed to be a horror book.

It was borderline insulting. As if the author put no thought or effort into the book at all. Like these were the first animals he thought of so he went with it and never bothered to edit them into something more exciting (hell I would have accepted the bear- but it gets no action).

Jurassic World More Teeth

Why yes, Dr. Wu.  Yes I did.

What about a crocodile?  A huge nest of giant poisonous spiders?  An anaconda?  A leopard?!  A terrible alien predator thing with too many teeth?

Forgive my rambling.  The characters weren’t too terrible for what they are.  I can’t say I cared too much for any of them but it’s not the kind of book you read for it’s deep character building.

There wasn’t much suspense built in. The author reveals his hand too early, doesn’t take the time to build up the suspense properly.  There are subplots that don’t make much sense…. ugh.  The reason for the animal attacks is never given any explanation or thought (and frankly, that subplot was a lot scarier than what actually happened).

I know this is a very rant-tastic review so I’d like to close this by saying Eden isn’t really as bad as all that… but it’s also not worth reading. I’d check out Devolution by Max Brooks if you’re looking for something in this vein.  Or a re-read of Jurassic Park.  Or pretty much anything else. #SorryNotSorry

25 thoughts on “Book Review: Eden by Tim Lebbon

  1. I love this review! I enjoyed it more than you did, but I complained about other stuff. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me at the time how laughable the animals were. Or maybe I did but just brushed it off. Well, on to the next book??😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha- I know I made it sound a lot worse than it really was, it just felt like maybe it was written by an AI who had been fed every horror movie and book in existence and compiled this. I’m glad you enjoyed it though!


  2. I’m actually surprised you gave this book three stars for how boring it is. I will say, though, that I’m glad you read this book because in your review you quoted Scream (I SEE YOU *points at my eyes then points at your eyes*). LOL!

    I’m still on the wait list for Devolution, so in my eagerness to get it, I looked to see if Congo comes in audio format. I can’t find it! I’ll probably end up buying it on Google Books or something. Their ebooks are reasonably priced.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ye definitely did me a favor by writing this awesome review. I am trying desperately to weed the ports for plunder list. I kept this book on this list and even tracked down a copy at the library. I don’t have the time or energy for this book. I would just get pissed off if I read this. Too many irksome things. The animal issue would certainly be one of them. Thanks matey!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… I don’t know how it got through presumably a few editors that way and no one said anything. But I googled all of those animals and not one of them came back as native to the Amazon. And I am reasonably sure it was the Amazon they were exploring.

      Liked by 1 person

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