Author: Adam Starks
Self Published in December 2021
Review by Miriam Atkinson
The second novella in Adam Starks’ Eden series, In The Light of Eden continues protagonist Ty’s journey through the strange land he finds himself in – is it Eden or is he somewhere else?
The novella is divided into four chapters with each one detailing a different part of Ty’s journey. Each chapter is distinctive from each other making it easy for the reader to plot how far Ty has come on his journey. The earlier chapters especially are highly descriptive which help to conjure up a lot of imagery of the events occurring in the story.
What originally drew me to the first novella (In The Dark of Eden) before I had even begun reading was the promise of a story with supernatural and historical elements. Dark of Eden lent more in the direction of the supernatural with spiritual implications. Light of Eden heavily focuses on spiritualism and religion. Despite the Eden-themed title of the series, I was surprised by this sudden shift in focus. It put the series into a genre that I don’t typically delve into and unfortunately away from the type of stories I usually enjoy.
As I have read both novellas, a concern that I have carried over to Light of Eden is a lack of context to parts of the story. While I know what is happening I didn’t always understand why. To be fair the final chapter does provide the reader and Ty with an explanation for what is happening to him (i.e. context) and while I understand Starks wanting to keep this reveal until the end I personally believe that if this explanation was given earlier in either the novella or the series then I would have had fewer questions while I was reading.
On a positive note, I am pleased that Starks revisited the diner scene from Dark of Eden. I was previously confused about whether this particular scene, which was featured twice word-for-word in the first novella, was accidental or intentional. By having Ty relive this moment again in Light of Eden but this time question what was happening was a great connecting moment between reader and protagonist who are together querying and trying to solve exactly what this endless scene means.
Honestly this has been a difficult book for me to review because I know people enjoy and will enjoy this book for the imagery and mystery elements it creates. However my own personal tastes and the moments of confusion I had whilst reading mean that this is not a story I liked as much as I wish I could have. Perhaps with the information revealed in the final chapter, I would find the upcoming third novella easier to follow and enjoy.
In the Light of Eden was published on Reedsy Discovery in December 2021. This review is also available on Discovery’s website.
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