Emotions are dangerous; restraint of feeling is necessary for a peaceful society.
~ Book of Eridu
Nuclear fallout and and biological warfare have driven the few remaining people underground to try to keep the human race alive in a new society they call Eridu.
Several generations later, Eve is entering her final cycle before the harvest, which will determine whether she is assigned to an adult role in Eridu, or ‘culled’ to spend eternity in the Grid. Success relies on her ability to suppress her emotions. But staying calm and content has been a whole lot harder since her brother was culled.
Eridu is a world born from fear. The founders took everything that could possibly lead to extremism and banned it. Love, hate, vanity. But unlike many post-apocalyptic worlds, Eridu seems to have been established with the best of intentions rather than a desire for power and control. It’s intended to be a utopia, rather than a dystopia.
If you’d been forced to watch humanity destroy itself and the world, wouldn’t you want to try everything you could to stop it from happening again?
I loved the parallels with modern society. Isn’t this what we say to people all the time? Calm down, stay calm, take a deep breath, take a chill pill, are you off your meds, is it that time of the month? Stop it, you’re getting hysterical.
Showing too much emotion is already considered taboo in our society. Andrews has dialled this up to the extreme in Eve of Eridu.
This sickness was most likely the most dangerous of all in the old world. It was called love.
~ Book of Eridu
Patriotism, greed, vanity, fear, extremism of any kind, these are the emotions we blame when countries are driven to war. But in Eridu, love is considered the most dangerous emotion of all. It’s the original bond from which all other negative emotions stem.
And yet, Eridu is a sort of utopia. Kindness, after all, is an action. We show kindness, we don’t feel kindness.
Of course, in order to feel nothing but contentment, the environment has to be modified. Citizens are surrounded by calming colours and guaranteed the basic necessities of life – food, water, shelter, oxygen. In Eridu even the fear of death is removed. There is no death. A person’s consciousness is uploaded to the Grid where relatives and friends can speak to them through an interface.
And yet, in this utopian world, Eve becomes less satisfied and more emotionally unstable as her harvest time approaches. Will she make the cut? Or will she be culled, like her brother before her?
This is a really interesting YA read. It would be fine for readers at the early end of YA as well – there’s no graphic violence or adult content, apart from a brief kiss and discussion of death.
Alanah Andrews is a Melbourne author. Eve of Eridu is the first book in the Eridu Series. Book 2 – The Harvest is coming later in 2019.
Grab a copy from your favourite bookstore or online at:
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