Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eve and Adam, Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant

Title: Eve and Adam
Author: Katherine Applegate (website) & Michael Grant (website)
Release Date: Oct. 1st 2012 by Hardie Grant Egmont
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating:1 star2 star3 starhalf star

With the likes of Cinder, Unravelling, Obsidian—not to mention dystopian as a genre—it seems sci-fi’s been making a comeback of late. But while hi-tech, high-stakes and twisty plots are to sci-fi what teen angst and pointy teeth are to paranormal, sometimes, it’s just fun—and the Grant/Applegate dream-team deliver ‘fun’ in Eve and Adam by the bucket-load.

From Goodreads:
In the beginning, there was an apple.

And then there was a car crash, a horrible, debilitating injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker's could regain consciousness, there was strange boy checking her out of the hospital and rushing her to Spiker Biopharmaceuticals, her mother’s research facility. Once there, Eve has to heal, and cope with an eerie isolation only interrupted by her overbearing mother, a strange group of doctors, and the mysterious boy who brought her there.

Just when Eve thinks she will die–not from her injuries, but boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, that is designed to teach human genetics, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up: eyes, hair, muscles, even a brain, and potential personality traits. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

The Story:

Evening Spiker expects to wake up dead after she mangles an arm, loses a leg and a whole lot of blood in a brutal car accident. Turns out hospital’s the next best thing. But she’s not there for long. No sooner is she waking up from surgery than her control freak, biopharmaceutical billionaire mother is whisking her away to her state-of-the-art research facility. Well, having her hot, blond, teenage errand boy, Solo, do the whisking for her.

Five-star luxury recovery wards are nice and all, but Eve is going out of her mind from boredom. To keep her busy, mummy-dearest gives her a task: design the perfect boy. Using state-of-the-art software designed to teach genetics, Eve’s the Beta tester for an interface that makes The Sims look like Kindergarten cut-and-paste.

But things don’t seem quite normal at Spiker Biopharm. Eve’s healing quickly—too quickly—Mummy’s keeping secrets, and errand boy Solo may not be quite what he seems.

The 101:

Three letters, vastly underrated, sum up Eve and Adam in a nutshell: F-U-N. Husband and wife writing team, Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate set out to entertain and do just that.

Eve and Adam starts out at rocketing pace, with main character, Evening, losing a leg and having it sewn back on in a space during which you could your breath, and continues until the final page. Fast, funny, and irreverent, this a light read filled with exciting plot twists, nicely bridging the space between middle grade and young adult fiction. Grant and Applegate manage a masterful balance between pace, plot, entertaining characters and light romance, hitting all the right marks, while never getting weighed down in genre or category tropes.

Told through the split point of view of Evening Spiker and Solo Plissken, each character has a distinct, but equally exciteable and delightfully humorous, voice, and one gets the feeling that, between these two, there’s nothing they couldn’t accomplish—corporate espionage is merely their first stop. But Eve and Adam is very much a plot-driven tale, rather than a character driven-one. It’s a story about protoscience, gene ethics and high-stakes corporate conspiracies far more than a story about Eve, Solo, or indeed, its titular Adam.

There’s a space for Deep Thoughts and a time for existential angst. Grant and Applegate don’t maintain pretentions about either. Eve and Adam aims for fun and delivers.

The Verdict:

A fast-paced, plot-driven, sci-fi thriller, Eve and Adam is quick, electrifying and enormously fun fiction from a much loved authorly dream team. Readers looking for end of the world high stakes and ‘I can’t live without you’ romance may be disappointed, but those who are looking for fast, exciting entertainment will be thrilled. Pitch-perfect MG/YA cross over, Grant and Applegate deliver in this inventive, entertaining sci-fi romp.

Want it? Get it:

Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Borders/Bookworld | Dymocks | QBD
An enormous thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont  for providing a review copy of Eve and Adam!

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