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  • Eden
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Eden
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
In all honesty, I wasn't sure I would like Eden. I glimpsed a few reviews before sitting down with the book to get a better feel for it, because I didn't really get a lot from the product description. Upon scanning a few Amazon reviews I quickly realized this was going to be a highly religious / religion based book and I just wasn't sure I was up for the read.

I must say though, from the moment I picked Eden up and was immersed in Alexandra Contreras's world I was enthralled and there was no going back. The book begins firmly in the midst of an apocalypse and follows Alexandra and others through their journey to Eden. Both heaven and hell have fallen to Earth making the journey there difficult.

The characters, the survivors, are astounding in their detail. They are so amazing, in fact, that you forget they are fictional. The characters, their interactions, discoveries, love, and endurance keep you in this book as much as the constant adventure of surviving an apocalypse. Be prepared to sit and read and read and read until you finish this book, because it literally demands your attention.

Eden is absolutely a fantasy novel, and while it is wrapped around and soaked in religion/ religious stories it was never preachy. Everything had its place within the story. This is a book that will make you think, question, and wonder. Those are the stories that stick with you over time, when other works of fiction are long forgotten. Eden will stay with me, just as The Celestine Prophecies did after reading it many years ago. Any work of fiction that can make you want to research more, know more, and believe more all while entertaining you deserves a place on your book shelf - be it the furniture variety or an electronic one.

One last note: I will definitely be reading / reviewing Matthew C. Plourde's other book, The Antaran Legacy: Book 1 very soon! His writing style and ability to create phenomenal characters have me certain that I will love whatever he comes up with next!
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 16, 2011
And I don't say that lightly. I mean, I actually rejoined church after years of being away while reading this book, it had that big an effect on me. So yes, the religious overtone was big, but it is an enjoyable read nontheless. I fell in love through the sample, and this is a book me and my 12 year old son had chosen to read, one I was reading to him each night, and we both were hooked by the end of the sample we had to by it. For $5 it was more than worth it.

Alexandra embarks on a journey to see her mother and meets a mysterious stranger, Koneh, who comes to save her life more than once. Koneh is scarred and rough looking and sounding, and he isn't exactly nice, but in this new world, he's about the only person left to trust and she doesn't have much choice. He proves to her he's there to keep her alive and that seems enough, since everything else wants to kill her so far. Every THING? Thats right, I forgot to mention, theres possessed hounds and horned things and flying demons and fallen angels around every corner, making for one very scary new world for poor Alexandra. She doesn't want to be alone, and Koneh's all there is to trust, until they find the old priest, Father Callahan. He's much more likeable and easy to trust, and he quickly joins their journey to Eden.

Eden, the place where Adam and Eve were first cast out of for sin, has been reopened due to earthquakes and Heaven falling to Earth you see, causing all Hell to break loose, literally. So Alexandra's little makeshift group starts a very curious way across broken terrain to venture there, with many curious companion's and plot twists along the way. I don't want to give much more away to the reader, so I won't. I'll leave it at that and just say, this is a MUST read.

There has never been another author like Plourde, his descriptions and subject matter don't hold back, and he takes you all the way. I had fear he would take us there and stop, leaving us to wonder, but he didn't, he finished, a fully, wholesome, satuated ending. I wasn't left in hunger or with questions. Just with interest for more of his work. An amazing writer! Highly recommended to all! But I do suggest one thing, read to yourself so you don't have to wait on your partner to keep pace! I did NOT want to put this down at ALL!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2010
Matthew C. Plourde is a very talented writer who knows how to tell a story. He knows how to pace a story. Really knows how to keep you turning the pages. As unbelievable as this tale of "Eden" might be, you will want to believe it. You'll want the best for the characters. You will want to reach the end, but you won't want the book to end.

Mr. Plourde has a wonderful future writing books that people will love to read. And they will want more. I want more.

I read authors who write in such a way that keeps me interested, amuses me, and makes me consider what's being said between the lines. If this is a genre you enjoy, you need to read this book. Even if this is not your cup of tea, you need to hear what this author has to say. I highly recommend adding "Eden", and this author to your book shelf.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
I have had this book on my Wish List for awhile because I was unsure about whether I wanted to read it or not after my sister recommended it. But I am SOOOOOO happy that I decided to purchase this finally. I have to say that this was one of the most captivating books I have read in a long time. I actually finished this book in less than 24 hours because I could not put it down....it was just that good.

It is a very quick read with not a lot of wasted fillers such as long, over drawn descriptions of places, things, history, etc. Those darn fillers are usually where I skim read, but this book did not have any!!

The author came up with the most interesting views/ideas about heaven and hell, angels and demons, God and Cain, the bible, religion, etc. Anyone who is a religious fanatic must read this book remembering that it is purely fiction. But the authors ideas are amazing and captivating. I loved the characters, especially Erzulie! And the author finished the book the way it should be. I was not asking for more when it ended, but was highly satisfied.

It is a perfect length for a book of this nature. I highly recommend this book to everyone regardless of what kinds of books they read. A must read for sure.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2011
My husband gave me this to read and while it usually takes me a while to get through a book (especially if its a slow start to establish the plot), I was instantly hooked and enthralled with Eden after the first few pages. In fact, it took me 2-3 days to go from cover-to-cover, and I was constantly looking forward to picking it up again while doing other things!

Eden is a beautiful tale all about the poignant, personal yet sweeping choices and consequences that spring from survival after the world as its known practically ceases its existence - especially while also discovering in the process that everything you were absolutely sure you knew, and were relying on to get you through, is not what it really was after all. Yes, this story also definitely touches upon a few religious aspects, but Mr. Plourde was able to write with a provocative yet balanced perspective, without sounding outrageous nor overzealous. Each of the characters are unique and richly developed in his/her own right, which only enhances the already amazing breadth and depth of this book.

If you want a fast-paced, thoughtful, and stimulating novel to relish in, get Eden!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
Matthew Plourde's Eden is an amazing tale of good vs. evil, believing in yourself and love conquering all. Mr. Plourde wastes no time getting the reader involved and interested in this epic apocalyptic adventure! This story is filled with Angels, Demons and prophecies, bringing with them extreme danger and unbreakable bonds. The action starts no later than the first page and continues on to the very last, making it near impossible to put this book down!

At the very beginning we meet Alexandra Contreras. A straight arrow, successful thirty year old lawyer who now calls Texas her home. It had been years since her last trip to Mexico and would've been many more if it weren't for her mother passing away. It had already been a year, but Alexandra's grief and guilt still weighed heavily on her heart. She was on her way to collect her inheritance, her childhood home, when an earthquake struck, overturning her bus and life as she knew it within minutes. Once freeing herself from the wreckage she discovers a world set on fire! Buildings have crumbled, roads have been ripped away and it seems very few people have survived. There is no one to turn to, no safe place to go. That is, until she meets the mysterious scarred man who will stop at nothing to keep her out of danger, putting his life on the line time after time in order to preserve hers. It was as if fate itself stepped in and brought Koneh to Alexandra, or more so, she to him. Koneh had waited a lifetime to find her, to protect her and bring her home. Home to Eden, where the Savior belonged.

Though it didn't happen exactly as it was written in Revelations, Heaven and Hell had fallen and the world was indeed ending. Their journey ahead will be filled with pain and suffering and most certainly death, but Alexandra knows that she must go on. As much as she tries to deny who she truly is, she knows deep within her soul that Koneh is right, she is The One, the child of God. As they forge on they are joined by Erzulie, a fallen Angel who was cast out of heaven for putting a humans life above God's law. Father Callahan, a Catholic priest who quickly becomes Alexandra's voice of reason and shoulder to lean on during these horrendous last days. Marco, a man Alexandra feels sympathy for but is unable to fully trust. Along with many more important and easy to feel for characters. They are up against pure evil and are willing to fight for what's right, for what needs to be done. Their faith and above all, their love, keep them strong and help push them onward to their final destination. Eden.

I absolutely loved this book! The story does focus on biblical theories and beliefs, but in no way preaches to the reader. Whether you're Christian or not, you will enjoy this book and walk away with a feeling of love and hope! I had the most difficult time putting this book down because every page brought something new to the story! Mr. Plourde does not tell you this story, he shows you the story. Creating an attachment between you and the characters allowing you to be right there with them, in every moment. Eden is now on my list of favorites and I highly recommend reading this to everyone looking for an inspiring and adventuresome read!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
I was quite excited to read this book, the blurb sounded very interesting to me. I wasn't disappointed. It touched base on a lot of religious views that had me thinking, and I'm active in my church.
When Alexandra (a self-reliant lawyer living in the States) goes home to a small town in Mexico to take care of her mother's estate, nothing goes as she expected. Awakening after what appeared to be a bus crash, she's saved from the crash and from an attack by a strange, scarred man named Koneh and has to come to terms with the fact that she now exists in a post apocalyptic world. Alexandra is determined to make it on her own, but soon realizes that even though she doesn't trust her new acquaintance, she needs him.
They embark on an action-packed adventure that takes them, eventually, to the ends of the earth. She knows that Koneh is hiding things from her, and wonders if he isn't a bit mad. Throughout their journey, they meet with many people (and "things" Alexandra never truly believed existed), many they help out, many who are out to get them, and some that betray their trust. When she learns of her true heritage, she denies it, even to herself. Can Alexandra really be who they say she is? If so, can she handle the tremendous stress and responsibility of it? Along the way, she begins to see past Koneh's scars and secrecy and develops feelings for him - only to have him push her away at every turn. Can she ever be happy again? Only if she figures out what her true fate is, which decisions are the correct ones, and what is the dark secret Koneh's been trying so hard to keep?...
I gave this book 4.5 stars and hope to be reading more of this story in the future!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
Great read. A friend recommended this book and got it for me, as I generally don't care for the post-apocalyptic genre.
However, I wound up powering through this book in two nights it was so good. When I learned it was the author's first book, I felt compelled to post a review. I'm hoping the author does more in this world he's created. If so, I'll be eagerly awaiting the next.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
Two surprises. First, the book was an easy and enthralling read with a very interesting take on Christian theological views with regard to end times. I found the book's characters, propositions, and conclusion refreshing and challenging. Second, though, I then visited Mr. Plourde's website and discovered that EDEN was Mr. Plourde's first published book, the book was self-published (!), that Mr. Plourde has his own story of surviving cancer, that he and his wife spent time in Vietnam waiting to adopt a son, and several other tidbits that made me think that EDEN was not only a good tale but also Mr. Plourde's personal perspective on faith, redemption, trust, and courage. It all fits. I enjoyed the book (and look forward to the two follow-up books in the EDEN saga) but I also like the personal insight that Mr. Plourde unquestioningly included in his EDEN story. Well done.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
Every few years I will read a truly exceptional book - one that I read every spare minute I have, one that occupies my thoughts when I can't spend my time reading, one that I will sacrifice sleep for just so I can keep reading, one that makes me feel like the characters are new friends. Eden is one of these books!

Fantasy is a genre I rarely read, but I think just about anyone would enjoy this book. The author is a master of suspense and foreshadowing - I was kept guessing what was going to happen next, but always surprised by what actually happened! Before I got this book, I hesitated because I was concerned it might be some sort of excuse for the author to push his religious beliefs on the readers and preach to them, but those concerns were unfounded. Although religion is a theme, it is part of the story, not a platform for the author. In fact, I doubt any reader would find that this book matches his/her religious beliefs, but that's ok because you never feel like this is a work of propaganda attempting to convert you. Rather, it is just a story, masterfully told, thoroughly entertaining, and broadly appealing. You won't regret reading this book. Even though I have loads of books I have downloaded for free waiting for me to read, I have chosen to purchase the sequel, Babylon, and am happily absorbed in that book as of last night! Eden is the type of book I want to tell EVERYONE about, because it is that good!
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