Since the age of ten, Mia has rebelled against the iron fist of a fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join a fanatical family of followers. At \Edenton,\” a supposed Garden of Eden deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the reverend’s strict and arbitrary rules—even about whom they can marry. Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in and the curious out. When the rebellious Gabe, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees her chance to escape and to free her family. But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s facade are more shocking than anything they imagined. While Gabe has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friend and freedom fighters. But there’s no time to think about love as they race against time to stop the reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock—but not himself—from this corrupt world. Can two kids crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman whose only concern is his own secrets
ESCAPE FROM EDEN by Elisa Nader
Published by F+W/Adams Media
Debut Date: August 18, 2013
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Picture and Overview from B&N
Elisa Nader’s debut novel ESCAPE FROM EDEN left me wanting more. Mia and Gabriel were fascinating characters who were fierce and passionate. Their chemistry was pretty intense and left me on the edge of my seat the entire book waiting for one of them to make a move.
“There was only sensation. The softness of Gabriel’s lips pressed hotly on mine, the hard planes of his body pressed against my curves. I didn’t even want to wonder why he was kissing me, he just was. My stomach fluttered. It was as if my body began to blossom, awaken, after seasons of cold.”
The storyline was pretty solid. I have never read a book quite like ESCAPE FROM EDEN. It has everything a good book should have: drama, mystery, suspense, you name it, this book has it. It’s face-paced and leaves you with a feeling in the pit of your stomach wondering what’s going to happen next. Nader creates this world with real people who are relatable and you, the reader, feel for them. You see what this cult is doing to these innocent people but you also see how loyal they want to be to their pastor and leader, Elias. The Reverend, as everyone calls him, is a man caught up in wanting to lead. He stopped caring about sermons and faith a long time ago it seems like and has become more focused on getting these people to do whatever he says when he says it. Throughout the book, time and time again, we learn just how horrible this man actually is. He kills with no remorse and calls it God’s will, he lies to the people of Eden..over and over we see just how low this man has gone.
“The Reverend snatched the rest of Doc Gladstone’s dreadlocks with a swipe of his hand–the few that were left–and jerked Doc’s head up and back. Doc Gladstone winced, obvious pain wracking his body, but he kept his expression stony. “As we all must learn,” the Reverend said as he held the scalpel aloft. “Pride cometh before the fall.”
The characterization was very vivid. Each character had his or her own little back story and Nader does an excellent job in helping us relate to each individual. As the story progresses Mia and Gabriel learn things about Eden and how the pastor is really keeping everyone there. He’s not protecting Eden against outsiders, instead, he’s keeping the people of Eden from leaving. Also, there are things that the pastor is doing inside of prayer circle that shocked me tremendously! I never saw this twist coming but it was a good one and left me reeling. Edenton isn’t what everyone thinks; it’s not a safe haven and it’s up to Mia and Gabriel to try and tell everyone the truth.
The ending of ESCAPE FROM EDEN was sufficient, but it left me wanting more. I want to know what happens to Gabriel and Mia. I want to know if they stay together and how they manage to survive. There are so many questions, even after a week of ending the book, I still want answers to. I find myself thinking about these characters and wondering what’s happened to all of them. Edenton is/was their life so…what happens next? I honestly think Nader has left enough room to make sequel if she so desires and I pray that she does. The world of Edenton is a world that is vivid and plausible. I loved every minute of it!
**NOTE TO READERS** I acquired this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My review is based solely on my findings and opinions of this particular book. It has nothing to do with the author or whether I bought it or not. This is a 100% honest review. Thanks–J.Sanders