- The mystery at the heart of the story is interesting, though it takes some time before the story really picks up
- There’s a sense of mystery from the events that led to the war that devastated Earth, and there’s a sense of mystery surrounding the protagonist’s father
- Very exciting second half of story through to conclusion
- Plays on conspiracy theories regarding secret societies like the Illuminati
- US readers may find some British styles of speech or mannerisms that seem a bit out of place
- Pacing for first half of story can feel slow
I’ve read several science fiction books by British writers, as this site may reveal, and each time I read one, I’m able to identify it as British instead of American simply through the dialogue—British dialogue is far more polite than American dialogue, which tends to be blunt.
Readers who aren’t accustomed to this type of dialogue may find the conversations perhaps too artificial. I enjoyed the mystery behind The Eden Paradox, but the story seems more of a mystery thriller at times than a science fiction book, at least until the second half of the book.
Since this is just the first book of the series, I look forward to more information about Eden. I feel like the foundation for the series is set through this book, and the following ones only have more room to grow.
Planet Earth is dying because of the last war, and humanity is desperate to save itself by colonizing a new, habitable planet called Eden. But the first two missions to Eden failed, and those behind the behind are intent on ensuring that no Eden missions succeed.
Micah Sanderson is a telemetry analyst for the Ulysses Eden mission. Rudi is Micah’s coworker.
Gabriel is an assassin. Representing other factions or groups are Vince, Louise, and Jennifer.
Blake is the commander and astronaut on the Ulysses, and the communications expert is Kat. Two other astronauts make up the crew.
The story takes place fifty years into the future on Earth and onboard the Ulysses on its way to the planet Eden.
The Eden Paradox Review
The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan is a more of a suspense and drama set in an almost dystopian future where one faction of humanity, because of some secret motive, is set on preventing the colonization of another planet
There are science fiction elements in this story: virtual worlds that are accessed by electrodes attached to a person’s head, FTL travel, and other technology used by spies and enforcement officers. I found some of the technologies, like drones that identify targets based on pheromones and the virtual worlds interesting, though they’re more dressing for the story than anything else.
Of particular interest is the genetically engineered soldier, or ghost, that is used in the story. Sadly, this story universe is heavy on offensive technology, and save for the FTL ship, there’s not much in terms of positive technology. I suppose the nanotechnology vest is good, though it was born of war.
Kirwan’s too brief mentions of the war that caused havoc on the environment left me with more interest than the religious groups or assassins. For instance, Micah often brings up his father in the story, but little is known about the war, his father, or how humanity doomed itself. Throughout the story, readers get tidbits about the father, and we slowly form a picture of a man who in the public eye was a war hero, but quite the opposite in the private domain.
I wasn’t particularly interested in the first half of the book—Kirwan takes his time to build up the story, and the first half just moved too slow for me. But I found the second half of the book to be much more engaging and interesting. Indeed, I was left wanting more information about the ships, the Q’Roth, and other context about the galaxy.
The Eden Paradox has some interesting mysteries, especially when it comes to the discovery and information regarding the vessels and the Q’Roth. At its heart is a story that imagines a creative motive for secretive societies like the Illuminati, and readers will enjoy the story once they get further in.