cover image Eden


Tim Lebbon. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-78909-293-6

Lebbon (The Silence) pits human ambition against a conscious and remorseless environment in this atmospheric eco-horror adventure set in the near future. Desperate to avert a climate disaster, the world’s governments declared 13 “Virgin Zones” closed to human access, hoping they would revert to their pristine condition. Instead the flora and fauna have evolved in terrifying ways. Despite the armed patrols protecting the Virgin Zones’ borders, teams of adventurers enter the Zones illegally to race across their reaches for sport and glory. Dylan and his daughter, Jenn, are part of an elite team planning to cross Eden, the oldest of the Zones, when Jenn learns that her estranged mother, Kat, has entered Eden ahead of them. Desperate to locate Kat, Dylan’s team plunges into Eden. Once inside, they realize the Zone hides a valuable resource, but the land will protect itself from their intrusion at all costs. Lebbon excels at building a world that is both wondrous and deeply unsettling, but shallow characterization—especially of the women, whose worlds seem to revolve around the men—prevents the human characters from being as effective as the ever-shifting landscape. Lebbon stumbles a bit in the execution of this powerful premise. (Apr.)