Escape to Eden by Rachel McClellan Sweetwater Books an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.
43 Reviews with 4.8 out of 5.0 stars Feb 9, 2016 Available in ebook and paperback
About my ratings. I'm not a professional editor, publisher, or journalist. I am only giving my opinion on whether or not the first chapter of this book would compel me to read further. As on Amazon, five stars does not mean it is perfect, only that I really liked it. It's all about personal preference.
The Cover: The cover shows a portion of a woman's face. Psychologically this tells us that there is more to the woman, a much bigger picture than fits on the single page. The woman has a pensive look. On her left cheek is the blurb, "They'd kill for my genes". I give it a five because it's mysterious and makes me want to find out more about the character.
Writing: If you know me, you know that 1st person present is my least favorite point of view, but for this story, as you've seen, it's pretty much required. We're unfolding the story of a girl who has lost her memory and finds herself in curious surroundings. If could lose a lot of its intensity if told in in third person or in the past tense. I thought the writing was great. No typos and it flowed nicely as I read it.
Plausibility:This was the only aspect that I would give a four. There were two circumstances that challenged my suspension of disbelief. Turning on the television she happens to catch a discussion of oDNA. As central to this society as it may be, I think it is still very convenient that her first glimps is pertinent to the plot. I know. This is a story and we need the plot to advance, but this is how my mind works. Secondly, the two words written on her fingers. We know she is an anomaly. She was found in the forest, and from her bruising we can assume they have been experimenting or testing on her. They believe she is unintelligent, but I find it difficult to believe no one would have noticed those words written on her fingers and put two and two together. I'm hoping the author will explain in the next few chapters why these things happened when and how they did.
Description: I give her description a five as well. We know where the protagonist is, we have an idea of what she looks like, we can picture her room and the few people we've met. All with an efficiency of description.
Setting: The setting is intriguing. We know she's in North America as Boston is mentioned. We know she was found in a forest and that now she's in a hospital which has two way screens to other rooms.
Characters: Clearly our protagonist is smarter than her captors believe she is. These advanced humans come in interesting shapes and variation, while our unknown girl sounds like a normal human. As I finished this first chapter I had to stop myself from reading further.
Based on my embryonic rating scale, this book gets 29 out of 30 points giving it 4.82 stars. Definitely worth reading further.