Eden - Janelle Stalder (Book provided by the author through Read It & Reap 144 in the Shut Up & Read group, in exchange for an honest review.)

Overall an entertaining book, with a world that seems interesting, and characters who have potential. However, there were several things I couldn't really come to terms with.

Among its strong points lies the fact that most of the characters aren't all black or white. The "bad ones" are able to show proper behaviour, and because they want to seize a kingdom doesn't make them complete louts, in spite of their reputation. The "good ones" aren't all perfect either—some are womanizers, can't express their feelings, or are too proud to lay down their arms (manner of speaking). It paves the way for interesting relationships. The author took into account the training part of her hero, who doesn't happen to already know everything there is to know as soon as he appears in Eden. As for the world itself, it seems to have potential too.

On the other hand, I regularly felt that this very potential wasn't realised—which is too bad. For instance, a lot of time was devoted to training, but it would've been more believable if it had spanned over a few months, instead of a few days only. Some things were also cut short, or not explained enough. Rose seemed to be here mainly to highlight Callum, more than to create tension regarding her fate and that of her brother's. I didn't really understand the logics behind a couple of plot points: why didn't the arrow turn the tide of the battle the other way, and how come things ended up so fast for the "good guys"? Why was sending Aiden back the only way to save him? (Diana said in the beginning that he couldn't die while in Eden, which implied he could die in his own world... so what did she do that made it so that he would die in Eden, but not back home?)

Part of me liked the book, and kept on reading to know what would happen. Yet another part always wondered why some things weren't explained, or seemed to be interrupted. Perhaps the next book will bring answers, but in the meantime, it's quite frustrating; I could've done with a few pointers as to what might happen, so that I may form my own hypotheses in the meantime.

Consider this a 2.5 stars. This book isn't bad, far from it, and will please some readers. I just think it left too many things unanswered, and moved too fast (in terms of time frame, not of chapter length) for some elements to be fully believable.