Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: Dividing Eden
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

A sweeping fantasy, by the bestselling author of The Testing, about two royal siblings forced to compete for the crown.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option: to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?
Review by Nara

Dividing Eden is about a set of royal siblings who are forced to go through a series of trials in order to decide who will ultimately take the throne. What sounded like a good premise was unfortunately not executed well, with the characters being unsympathetic and the plot being quite predictable.

I was not very impressed with Andreus. Bluntly put, he was an idiot. He was easily swayed and was arrogant and overall had a pretty unlikeable personality. I also greatly disliked the romance he had with Imogen. She was so bland as a character, and clearly didn't deserve his respect following what she did to him. Carys was actually an interesting character- it was interesting to see a protagonist with a drug addiction (although this didn't really seem to play out properly, it sort of got a bit forgotten).

I was quite surprised how easily the relationship between Carys and Andreus was broken down. It seemed like they were very close, and I thought that this would continue throughout and that they would work together to figure out a solution to who would take the throne. Instead, a small communication issue (which easily could have been dealt with if they were able to speak to each other) made them instantly suspicious of each other, and each began vying for the throne. From there the plot became pretty predictable, and even the "big twist" was not surprising at all.

All in all, theoretically a good premise was let down by poor character and plot development. I don't think I would recommend this novel to anyone who regularly reads high fantasy novels.

It was okay
Overall: 5/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 4/5