ARC Review: THE DOORS OF EDEN, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I was given an eARC through NetGalley by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3 stars
Series: Standalone

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE DOORS OF EDEN; title in white on a blue sky with a moon rising and framed by two massive rock edifices

Lee’s best friend went missing on Bodmin Moor, four years ago. She and Mal were chasing rumours of monsters when they found something all too real. Now Mal is back, but where has she been, and who is she working for?

When government physicist Kay Amal Khan is attacked, the security services investigate. This leads MI5’s Julian Sabreur deep into terrifying new territory, where he clashes with mysterious agents of an unknown power ­who may or may not be human. And Julian’s only clue is some grainy footage ­– showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.

Khan’s extradimensional research was purely theoretical, until she found cracks between our world and countless others. Parallel Earths where monsters live. These cracks are getting wider every day, so who knows what might creep through? Or what will happen when those walls finally come crashing down… 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

THE DOORS OF EDEN is one of those books that I think I’d enjoy more if I was used to the genre and style. It’s about evolution and parallel universes and the end of time, and feels like a very intelligent book that knows it (while skirting the obnoxiously clever territory) – but it’s just a bit too hard to follow once it dives into the cleverer parts of the story. Most of these issues only come up in the final third.

For the first two thirds of the book, it’s a vast thriller-cum-sci-fi full of parallel worlds and shady organisations trying to either exploit or protect the parallel worlds. This is interspersed with a history of the parallel worlds, and how minute changes led to the evolution of strange and wondrous creations. It’s really engaging watching the mystery play out, and all the characters caught up in the web of parallel worlds.

It doesn’t really say there are parallel worlds for ages, trusting the reader to put it together or remember the blurb, which was nice. The characters were just too shell-shocked, or dancing around the edge of things to say it at first, so the absence of anything helps build up their shock without losing the audience.

Then we hit the final third, when the world starts dying (or rather, people come to the understanding that it is), and I started to get lost. There’s a section full of multiple timelines which was so confusing, as scenes played out several times, and it took a while to get the explanation of what was happening. From there, I wasn’t sure how they actually succeed.

Reading this, though, has made me want to read the CHILDREN OF TIME duology. I read the first one a while back, and loved it – it also deals with evolution, but not parallel worlds.


Read my reviews of other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky:

The Final Architects:

Dogs of War:

Children of Time:

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