Eve of Man, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (2018)
Themes // Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages // 400
Eve of Man is the first work between the author collaboration of Giovanna and Tom Fletcher; it’s premise is very simple, in 50 years there have been no girls born, until Eve. This book is all about Eve and her fight for a life and the fight for humanity, it has a dual narration to it, the other side being Bram a boy who wants to help Eve to live.
Firstly the concept of no girls being born in 50 years just gets more and more desolate the more you think about it, the lack of hope a world like this must feel is so clearly reflected in this book. For the first half we are mainly in an isolated world that has been created to protect Eve, so we don’t really understand the full effects of the world that has seemingly been abandoned by humanity. But in the second half of this book we catch glimpses of what has become of London and the people within the city. It’s interesting that although there are still young people, and there are older women, the world has just gone into mass panic and ruin. It’s a scary thought that if there was no hope for humanity we would stop caring about the lives we were living and the world we were living them in. I would have liked to see more of London though and to know the state of other countries too.
Something that was never played on too much in this book for me was the isolated and loneliness that was to come for the younger characters. Both our narrators are teenagers, they are almost guaranteed to be the last of a huge generation before at least a 16 year gap, but this is never really expanded on. The people around these children will slowly die, the doctors will have to hand over their training, the scientists their studies etc. To me that creates an overwhelming sense of sadness and pressure that the youngest generation in this world will be alone, whether or not they manage to recreate, it will just be them and their children in a very empty world.
It was refreshing to see a different take on the dystopian genre, less Hunger Games and more real life. I’d like to think this would never happen and could never happen, but this book touches on the realistic approach to a future with no more females. There’s a good mix of hated and loved characters, Eve has ‘mothers’ that look after her, women who have dedicated their lives to bringing her up. I think the idea of this is particularly touching, she could have been raised by men or by technology, but there was clearly still a need for her to have these women around her. This can also be seen in her best friend Holly, an AI hologram that is there for her to feel like a normal person, someone to talk to.
This book offers up many questions, about quality of life, consent, love. I think it tries to tackle a lot and it does this well, especially through two different narratives. I think this is the first dual author book I’ve read, so it’s interesting to see how two different writing styles fit together. But I think Giovanna and Tom managed this well in each writing the chapters for their respective characters, Eve and Bram. This must have been a really interesting writing process to figure out how the plot would progress and where the story would go. The main reason I have given this a four star was not because I felt like the story was outstanding, but because it entertained me. It was tense when it needed to be, funny when required and emotional, it offered me a lot of reasons to keep reading.