Review: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Can you believe it’s the last week of November? Where has the reading time gone?

As 2017 is coming to a close, I am finding myself gravitating to shorter books on my shelf in order to meet my Goodreads goal.

When scouring my shelves, I became intrigued by Dividing Eden, one because of its gorgeous cover, and two, because it has a relatively short page count for a first book in a fantasy series.

Did Dividing Eden’s 336 page count help or hinder its introductory nature? keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

32051723Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, #1) by Joelle Charbonneau 

Publisher: HarperTeen (June 6, 2017)

Print Length: 336 pages

Audiobook Length: 9 hrs 48 mins

Narrator: Lauren Fortgang

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?

The Review

Charbonneau had all of the ingredients to make a unique YA fantasy, and yet it just fell flat in the execution.

Before I get into what I disliked about the novel, I want to start with the positives.

First, I rather enjoyed Charbonneau’s choice to use both science and magic in her plot. Eden is kept a glow due to the use of windmills, and to introduce one of our royals, Andreus, as a sort of keeper while also saying that he was magically cursed made for a great clash of ideas. I also rather enjoyed, how, when the magical sibling twist came about, it was so subtle that it will make for a giant bombshell in the sequel.

Second, I loved the character of Carys. She kept her unique character traits even while dealing with betrayal, romance, and magic. She was strong minded and was able to make decisions without the help of any of the males in her life, she was an awesome female to read about and I hope she only gets better in the sequel.

With that said, I’m sure I am not alone in saying that out of all the characters in Dividing Eden, Lady Imogen was the worst. I understand Charbonneau wrote her in a way that you couldn’t help but loath her, but to have her be revealed as Andreus’ secret lover and then have her turn Andreus against Carys in a handful of days made me hate her due to not understanding her purpose and not because she was meant to be a villain.

As soon as I found out that the twins plans were to throw the Trial of Succession to Andreus, due to wanting to keep up his reputation, I knew that part of the plot was going to surround Carys changing her mind. It’s not a new concept, helped by Lady Imogen as mentioned above, and yet even though I knew this ‘twist’ was inevitable, I cannot wait to see what Carys does in the sequel to one up her brother.

All in all, Charbonneau wrote a good fantasy beginning with Dividing Eden and I have already preordered the conclusion Eden Conquered, set for release on June 12th, 2018.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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