Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review: Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1)

Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, #1)About the Book:
Title: Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Pub. Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?


When I saw Joelle Charbonneau was writing a new series/duology, I immediately added it to my TBR pile. I was a big fan of her previous series, The Testing, and I liked her writing style so this was an automatic must-read for me. Fortunately, I enjoyed it just as much! While very different from Ms. Charbonneau's previous trilogy, Dividing Eden will hook you just the same. I honestly never wanted to put this book down because I was that intrigued! While it was a bit predictable, it definitely didn't disappoint.

This story follows Carys and Andreus, a brother and sister team who will go to great lengths for each other and know each other better than they know themselves. I loved the dynamic they had in the beginning of the story. However, 2 unfortunate deaths begin to drive a wedge between them that slowly grows wider and wider as the story progresses. As Andreus spirals further and further into madness, Carys is left wondering what has become of her brother and is desperate to find a way to bring him back to her. While the plot of the story is relatively simple, there are many layers to this story that have yet to be discovered. This was a great introduction to the world while still keeping an excellent pace. There was never a time when the story felt bogged down by too much detail. Ms. Charbonneau begins to hint at a magical element that will be incorporated into the story, which I'm greatly looking forward to! This aspect will just add yet another awesome layer to this duology. 

I truly loved Carys as one of our lead characters. Told in alternating POVs between Carys and Andreus, I feel like Carys is the automatic standout. She is willing to do anything to ensure her brother's safety. She has no desire to sit on the throne (even though she has just as much of a right as Andreus does), but she wants to be by his side while Andreus is there. When the competition starts, I loved that she came up with a plan to guarantee each siblings' safety...but alas, plans don't always work out. I was rooting for Carys the entire novel, and it broke my heart to see her affected as much as she was as she watched Andreus become a person she never thought possible. Andreus' POV was very interesting as well, but for a different reason. While I didn't particularly like his character (which you really aren't supposed to haha), I found his perspective fascinating. I feel like there is more going on with him and maybe he even has some magical powers himself that are being manifested as his mysterious "illness." Imogen, a seer for the kingdom (who may or may not be a fraud), got under his skin and personally I was hoping something would happen to her character because I hated her. 

One of the things that did make me lower my rating was that I wish the magical element would have been incorporated a little more in this novel. It's hinted at several times throughout, but nothing is fully confirmed (with the exception of 1 scene). I know that this will obviously play a larger role in the next novel, but I wish it was a bit more fleshed out now. Additionally, unless I am right and there is something more going on with Andreus, his "madness" seemed to be a bit too sudden. It honestly was like one scene he was okay and then the next he was cruel and merciless. I hope this will be explained more in the next book as well, but for now it seemed too drastic of a change in a short period of time. 

I would highly recommend this book if you are a fan of the fantasy genre or Joelle Charbonneau. I thought her writing improved from her previous series, and she has crafted an excellent new world. I never wanted leave. She has set up the next book (or perhaps even the rest of a series) perfectly, and there is plenty of room for world-building and characterization in the upcoming novel/s. I am very intrigued as to where Carys and Andreus' story will go!

Happy reading :)


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