The End Begins. In this longest book of the PROJECT EDEN series so far, Brett Battles does a superb job of taking us from the shocking ending of EDEN RISING, bringing the key players back together briefly as they figure out the enigmatic message that ended that book, and setting up a truly global endgame. Fraught with taut sequences that fill the reader with dread about the possible survival of characters you’ve been following for several books now, this book is arguably the single best book in the series of leaving the reader desperate to dive into the next book. Fortunately for those of us late arrivers to this series, the next and final book in this saga has already been published. But I had to write this review before I can allow myself to go to the next book, so goodb
Solid Succession, Surprising Ending. This book superbly continues the tale of PROJECT EDEN, the Sage Flu, and the Resistance. Battles does a superb job of illustrating just how shocking such a world would be to any survivors, and even manages to introduce some things most would likely not consider. And that ending… with very nearly the very last words of the book, the storyline is irrevocably changed. Superb.
As The World Burns. Here, Battles adjusts the style of the tale slightly again. We still get a sense of a global Apocalypse through the reports from India, a new island in Costa Rica not in the prior books, California, Wisconsin, and Colorado, but here the countdown – fairly ineffective in PALE HORSE – really drives the point home. Meanwhile, instead of the shotgun “let’s go to all kinds of places” approach that seemed to drive PALE HORSE, we get just a few threads to follow here. Most of the tale winds up focusing on efforts to locate Brandon Ash, and the other two dominant threads are the Costa Rican island and the Ridgecrest survivors in California. All told, the story is yet again done superbly, and yet again I’m glad I waited to read them so that I can read all of them at once without having to wait for the next one to be written.
Baited Breath. This book picks up immediately where EXIT 9 left off and covers just the next two days – the first two days of the Apocalypse. Another global tale, yet Battles also manages to weave in three distinct families – the Ashes, obviously, but also one in India and one that we met during SICK – to make this tale both global and personal. The countdown isn’t as effective in this book as it was in EXIT 9, but the overall tale is arguably a bit stronger even without it, due to giving an even wider global scale while also making it, as noted, so intensely personal. The very last paragraph, well… Excellent book, and looking forward to diving straight into ASHES.
Personal Goes Global. With SICK (Project Eden #1), Battles set up the coming global conflict but used one man’s struggle to save his family as the primary story, with just the barest hints that it could become much bigger. With this book, we spend much more time at the Global scale, with the clock ticking down to the moment the human population is ordered nearly extinct. Particularly in the later chapters, short chapters and an ever decreasing clock ramp up the adrenaline. Very effective book, and you’ll be glad you hadn’t read it yet by the end – with the series completed now, we can go straight into PALE HORSE (Project Eden #3) – something those early readers couldn’t doo, and which would have been frustrating, given the ending.
Sick In The Best Ways. This is one wild ride, that starts with a man’s daughter screaming only for him to realize moments later that his wife is dead. Soon, he and his kids are kidnapped and separated. It turns out, they unknowingly have something that is extremely valuable to some very… sick… people. This introduction to the PROJECT EDEN series is more TAKEN than Apocalypse, but the tease of a coming Apocalypse is very real and very visceral. By the end, you’re glad the entire series is already written, because you’ll immediately want to jump into Book 2.