“Eve of Man” by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

Book Review

Eve of Man by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher

Sunflower Rating:   

I want to start this by saying that if it were possible the pre-order the sequel I would. Scrap that, I’d order the rest of the trilogy. Please may I? Pretty please?

In case that didn’t quite set the scene, let me tell you that I LOVED THIS NOVEL. I finished reading it in one day because I just could not put it down. It has been a long time since I had that. Fortunately, I was on holiday in Bali so sleep was not needed! There are so many things that I would love to wax lyrical about but I do not want to ruin it for you. Purchase a copy or go to your local library and borrow one. Please. 

A dystopian love story which confronts the ‘eve’ of mankind’s annihilation due to the overpopulation of men and seemingly inexplainable decline in female births. To combat this, scientists now control fertility and conception, cryogenically freezing women to stop the aging process. 

There are so many things that I love, but I want to begin with the importance of the title. The clever play on words and nod to liturgical literature and time all at once. It is no coincidence that our protagonist is called Eve – Eve the first woman according to the bible, was made ‘of man’ from Adam’s rib. There is a beautiful irony that biblical Eve has been held responsible for mankind’s fall into imperfection, but the Eve in our novel is its saviour. Eve literally carries the birth of mankind in her hands on the eve of man’s extinction; she heralds the dawning of a new age; she is the beginning and the end. A lovely bit of cyclical writing there, hey? You could say it’s biblical in and of itself. 

Having a female protagonist within this genre is not unusual, but it is powerful contextually. In real time, we live in the time of the #MeToo campaign, where the debate about women’s rights rages on. There are daily protests about sexual misconduct and the need to end parasitic patriarchal attitudes forever; public anger about unethical political campaigns that affect generations. It is a politically uncertain time with women front and centre in the debate – finding their voices about matters that affect them and their bodies. Arguably, the Fletchers touch on this through the subtle discussion of Eve’s rights to her own body – or lack there of; Through the way women are identified in the novel by their ability to conceive and reproduce – that they would choose to be cryogenically frozen than have no prospects in this dark world. 

I am aware that I haven’t even touched on the possible romance; deprivation of human sensation; the landscape of the dark world Eve finds herself born into; the subterfuge of authority or the deeply chilling ethical questions this novel raises… and I am not going to.  I want you to read it. I need you to read it so that we can talk about it.

I do want to talk about the hope it inflates in your soul. I really got behind Eve and Bram and I cannot wait to see how they get on throughout the trilogy and I particularly like the point of view style of writing. In fact, I liked the Fletchers’ writing so much I downloaded other books they’ve written as soon as I finished reading this one.

I hope that this review hasn’t given any spoilers. Like I said, there is so much that I would love to rave about. I didn’t read this as a romance… I know, I know, it is one, but for me that is such a small facet of this novel. I hope you enjoy it and cannot wait to hear what you think of it.

All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.

But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate.

Until she meets Bram.

Eve wants to control her own life. She wants freedom.

But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

The inside flap, Eve of Man, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher, Penguin, May 2018