Title: Eve of Man
Author: Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (Debut YA novel alert!! Debut as a writing duo alert!!)
Pages: 404 (Format: Hardback)
⭐️ 4.5 / 5
Against all odds, she survived. The first girl born in fifty years. They called her Eve.
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 control over her life. She wants freedom. But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?
Described by Giovanna and Tom as an unconventional love story set in a dystopian future – do you embrace your fate – or do you run from it?
Eve of Man is the debut young adult novel for power couple Giovanna and Tom Fletcher, and their first novel as a writing duo marking the beginning of a new trilogy of YA books. Before reading this I was sceptical, as I’m not the biggest fan of dual narrators and I wasn’t sure how the writing would flow and blend owing to the differing writing backgrounds of the authors. Giovanna has predominantly written women’s fiction up until this point whereas Tom has found his feet in children’s picture books, middle grade novels and short stories. These styles are worlds away from YA, and in the case of this novel it wasn’t as simple as one author making the transition into a different genre, but two. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found and I’d definitely place this book high on my list of favourite reads this year.
The story follows two narrative paths; Eve, the first girl born in fifty years, the saviour of humanity and Bram, the boy she slowly falls for through some of the most unconventional circumstances imaginable. Their relationship is very cleverly crafted and I loved it. Both characters are layered and complex and it’s very interesting to be inside their heads as they both come to realise some truths about the world they are living in. As the novel progresses the voices of the characters become stronger and more defined as Giovanna settles into Eve and Tom settles into Bram, which in turn makes the novel stronger as it goes on. For me, parts at the beginning felt somewhat forced which disrupted the initial pace. For example, at one point Bram says the words ‘what now?’ and I think most of us can agree that is an annoyingly false question for any character to ask. The earlier chapters also had the feel of a ‘means to an end.’ It almost felt like the words were wasted and it was just a necessary route to the true beginning of the story. This is why I couldn’t give this book the full five stars because it was fairly slow to start with. However once the narrative has been stepped up a gear and the main story arc begins to unravel, this book became unputdownable (I’ve decided this is a word).
The thing I loved most about Eve of Man was the world building and the political and social relevance of the themes. The story is set in a dystopian future which has come to be that way because of how humans have treated the planet. The Fletchers have touched on the far predictions of climate change and the advance of science which raises some thought-provoking questions about how we are living today. There is also a lot of description and explanation of the workings of the world including the infrastructure capabilities and the adaptations that have had to be made as a result of the global situation. It is the kind of world building that is often forgotten of glossed over but the Fletchers have managed it excellently and written a very strong novel as a result.
I really enjoyed reading this and cannot wait for the rest of the trilogy.
Let me know below if you have read Eve of Man yet and what you thought! If you have read and enjoyed it, let me know some recommendations for books I may enjoy as well.