Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Paradise Earth (Box Set)
AUTHOR: Samantha Winston
PUBLISHER: Changeling Press
LENGTH: 129 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017
Planet Earth is failing. Global warfare and asteroid bombardment have left the planet devastated… perhaps beyond repair. Now a small group of terra-formers have just seven years to rebuild Earth’s ecosystems. Failure means exclusion from the Federation; without the Federation’s assistance Earth is condemned to death.
Adam, an Earth biologist, and Evan, a scientist from the Mars Colony, find it impossible to resist the passion that draws them together despite prejudices and mutual mistrust. When a new asteroid strike leaves them stranded – with Earth’s hope for the future resting on their shoulders –- they find themselves fighting for their lives and the life of an entire planet.
A science fiction thriller and a tender love story, Paradise Earth is an epic story of apocalypse and rebirth.
Publisher’s Note: Paradise Earth (Box Set)contains the previously published novellas Adam and Evan, Revelations, and Apocalypse.
Alright, so…I’m usually fairly selective about the books I choose to read and review and one of the things I love to read is post apocalyptic stories. Needless to say that when I read the blurb for this story, I was totally ready and willing to be all over it and was looking forward to getting started. Unfortunately, the reality of the story situation was…lets just say it was a bit disappointing. I’m going to give everyone a heads up now that there will be some spoilers in this review so if you’re interested in this and don’t want to ruin anything, it might be prudent to turn back now.
Okay, so the beginning of the book showed a lot of promise; I was happy with the set up and was looking forward to sinking myself into a good old sci-fi/apocalypse. The two main characters, Adam and Evan, were introduced quickly and appeared to both be suffering from some misconceptions about the other. The air was quickly cleared however, and then…it was straight to sex. I’m used to quick pairings but even for me this didn’t seem to fit; I eventually got over it amidst the puzzle that Evan presented and the work that was progressing on making Earth safe for re-colonization. By the end of the story, however, my enthusiasm for what I’d been expecting to read was quickly being dampened by what I’d actually gotten. Spoiler #1: while I’m not going to go into too many details, there is what you could reasonably consider bestiality taking place at the end of the first story. It wasn’t too terribly graphic but you obviously know what’s going on so that could easily squick some people.
The second story in the book sent me straight from, ‘cool, interesting premise and beginning’ to ‘seriously, wth is this’ in record time. Ignoring that Evan is an alien, this had now just turned into a mythological type fantasy story with way more religious connotations than I wanted to read about. Remember that bestiality from the previous story? Well lets just say that Adam and Evan take their jobs of repopulating the Earth really seriously. Add in a brewing ‘war’, creatures that are never adequately described so that you at least know what you should be envisioning and a bunch of lady bits I wish had never made an appearance and I wasn’t thrilled with this at all. Then there were the bouts of inopportune sex that just randomly cropped up when the minds of the mc’s should have been on any and everything except getting off. I maybe could’ve forgiven the sex if it had been more varied but, alas, it was pretty one dimensional and I was quickly bored with it.
The final story introduced more human hybrids though these ones, besides being bloodthirsty, were surprisingly prudish. Like, I’ve totally been bred to kill anything that moves but I’m paralyzed by embarrassment if I lose my clothes or are confronted by someone else going au natural. Yeah, I didn’t quite get that either. Adam and Evan were still kicking around trying to win the war so that their children can live in peace and you get your first real glimpse of a tie in from the beginning of the book when you find out the Federation, after eight or nine years, is coming to check in with how things are coming along with Earth. At this point I wasn’t thrilled with the story but I was liking it a bit more than the last one…at least until (spoiler alert!) the author kills one of the main characters off right before the end. I’m fairly certain I about lost my s***. After everything else I’d read in this book, Adam and Evan don’t even get their happy ending with all their plans to go live out their lives on their island when everything was finished. There was kind of a pseudo ‘happy ending’ in that their ‘children’ were allowed to live but I mean, come ON!
I just…I was looking forward to this book but the blurb only really covered the first story and what came after wasn’t, in my opinion, really worth the read. I liked some of the ideas presented here but the execution just didn’t work for me and at times the writing didn’t even flow right which threw me off some. If you’re looking for a trip out of science fiction into the straight up bizarre, this might be something to check out but I honestly can’t recommend it.