This review is part of my Two Weeks of Thanks to book publisher Merit Press. They have generously and continuously provided me with books to review over the past two years.
It’s a story that has has been heard before…Jonestown, Waco, Warren Jeff’s compound in Texas. Religious “sanctuaries” that are nothing more than places to brainwash your loving flock, taking advantage of people’s beliefs in horrible, and sometimes final, ways. Though she doesn’t know it yet, this is the place where Mia lives.
Mia, her mother and her little brother, Max, have lived in Edenton for six years. Located in the middle of the South American jungle, their leader, Reverend Elias Eden founded a place where the outside world can’t penetrate. All inhabitants serve God in the way that the Reverend preaches about. They all have their jobs, they will be told who to marry and they are to follow all of the rules set out by the Reverend. And once you reach the age of sixteen, you will be called to the Prayer Circle. Though no one is allowed to reveal what happens there, it is certainly an honor and shows your importance to the group and God.
Living at the compound was not Mia’s choice; and as she gets older, she is suffocated by the lifestyle there. She wants to leave more than anything, but her mother refuses to speak with her about it. There’s no one she can talk to about her feelings until a new arrival comes unwillingly in their midst. Gabriel.
Bound together by their desire to leave, Mia and Gabriel uncover a horrible secret that the Reverend is keeping. And to keep everyone under control, he is releasing more and more punishments. Can they survive and save their family and friends?
Whadja Think?: This was a suspenseful, scary tale of obedience and trust and how people who don’t question the rules of one all-powerful individual are made to do frightening things.
To Read or Not To Read: Yes, for sure. The story will have you on the edge of your seat.
Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader was published August 18, 2013 by Merit Press. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to Merit Press and the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Thriller Romance
Ages: 13 and up
You Might Want to Know: Violence, mature themes