I love Prism Book Tours so much. Ever single tour that I've had the pleasure of embarking upon with Laura, the owner, has been so much fun, so of course I jumped at the chance to join this one. An awesome tour theme, plus three even more awesome books? What more could I ask for?
So what is this awesome theme, you ask? Why, only one of my favorite things in the world: FOOD! It plays such a huge role in this trilogy for very interesting reasons, but luckily I plan on talking about it in a much lighter tone. Basically, the plan for these next three days is for me to share one of my favorite recipes (or some other fun food related thing) each time the tour stops here along with my review for one of the books in the trilogy. Today we've got the first one up, so without further ado, here is the very beginning of the Eden's Root Trilogy!
Eden's Root by Rachel E. Fisher
The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.
I am a huge fan of chocolate. It's actually pretty bad. Cacao is like nature's perfect gift to the world, and I truly feel like it should be treated as such. So, to honor this incredible creation, I spent my summer a few years ago trying to perfect a chocolate lava cake recipe. I ended up eating something like two of those a week. Not that I'm complaining. It turns out that the real trick is to refrigerate the batter for a few hours before you cook it, so that you can ensure that the inside is still filled with it's chocolatey goodness. Of course, this isn't a perfect recipe, but it's a lot less labor intensive than some can be, and it's actually not ridiculous unhealthy. I wouldn't exactly say that it's a good idea for you to eat them every day, but sometimes the soul needs to be fed too.
3/4 cup ounces all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (2.6 ounce) bar dark (71% cocoa) chocolate
powdered sugar (optional)
vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Leave the butter out to soften while preparing the other ingredients.
- Chop up the dark chocolate bar.
- Mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat the butter in a large bowl for 1 minute, and then thoroughly blend in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg substitute, and vanilla.
- Fold in the dry mixture and half of the chopped up chocolate.
- Divide the batter evenly into oven-proof small dishes (I use glass ramekins), and place the remainder of the chocolate on top of each of the dishes of batter.
- Cover each of the dishes with foil and refrigerate for anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days.
- Remove the dishes from the refrigerator, letting them stay at room temperature for around 10 minutes, and preheat oven to 350°.
- Uncover the dishes and place them on a cookie sheet to bake for 21 minutes or until the cakes are slightly crusty on the top.
- (optional, but it really shouldn't be) Sprinkle the cakes with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream.
Now that you've all decided to make some chocolate lava cakes, here's my review for Eden's Root!
I felt very similarly with Eden's Root, though I don't know if I can accurately compare myself to Fi. For someone as young as she is, she turns out to be a lot tougher than I would have ever been able to be. She leads people five times her age with courage and strength, and takes all of the realities of her new world in stride. Sometimes it was really hard for me to believe that she was only thirteen-years-old when she started training because she always acts so mature throughout the journey.
Though the majority of this book is told in third person limited, leaning towards her perspective, there are two other people that also get to share some of their thoughts: Sean and Asher. Fi doesn't really meet Asher until a little after halfway through the novel, but there are one or two instances before that point when we read things from his perspective. Honestly, I do wish that there were a few more of those passages before they meet up because the jump from the pre-Famine Asher in the beginning to the version of him that Fi meets is very large. He explains some of that story to Fi, but I still feel like my idea of him would have been strengthened if I got to see the progression from his point of view as it happened.
Sean is the one I'm still trying to figure out. I really liked him in the beginning of the novel because of how much he cared for Fi and the rest of his family, but I started getting a little peeved with him later on. I really was rooting for him for most of the novel and mentally begging Fi to just give in and give the poor guy a chance, but once Asher was introduced into the picture, I started to have doubts. Now, that's not my excuse for saying that the best friend should never win because I completely disagree there. I love to root for the best friend, and they are almost always my original preference. The only problem is that whenever a love triangle is introduced, the best friend kind of starts being a bit of a jerk. I don't really understand why, but that seems to be the natural progression in most books like this. The new guys comes in, the best friend starts acting all bratty and snooty, and suddenly instead of me wanting them to get the chance I thought they deserved, I really just want them to shut up.
That being said, Sean did manage to redeem himself as time went on. I'm very proud of how maturely he was eventually able to handle everything, even if he did have to endure a few rough patches in order to get there. The progression of the relationship between Fi and Asher couldn't have been easy for him to watch, and I certainly know that it wasn't easy for me to read. Now, I know that I don't live in the type of world present in Eden's Root, and that people act differently when they are put to the test, but I still feel like they got way too chummy very quickly. If you look at their first meeting to where they were less than a day or two later, you can see that it's a little suspicious. The big surprise at the very end was a little too soon for me, but like I said, it's not like I completely disagree with all of the reasoning behind it. My reaction was more like "eh, I'm not so sure about that" than "HAVE YOU TWO BOTH LOST YOUR MINDS?!."
So aside from Sean's new attitude (which really didn't even last that long anyway), and the much too rapid development of all of the relationships, I really don't have all that much to complain about in this book. I loved the scientific explanations behind the Famine that Fi's father gave her, as well as all of the other glimpses into how the Sickness changed her family. I also really enjoyed how Rachel Fisher looked at the way people can change when they really aren't given another choice if they want to survive, no matter who they started out as.
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