Saturday, October 25, 2014

Eden M51 by G. R. Paskoff


This review was written by: B
Received: GoodReads Giveaway
Publication Date of Book: April 2012
Pages: 438
Stars: (4.5/5)

"Nothing is without limits, and all things require effort, Nathaniel Oliver, even those which seem effortless."

Humanity is on the brink of destruction.  Natural resources are depleted, oceans are almost void of all sea life, and the capacity for housing on Earth's surface is practically nonexistent.  For this reason, people have now inhabited the moon and even live underwater. However, these places are obviously not ideal for normal people to live comfortably in.  For this reason, a search for a planet with the same qualities as Earth has begun.  Of course, this is not an easy task, and there have been false alarms, but when one finally has been found, promising data creates a stir around the world.  Every country wants to be one of the first to reach the planet and explore it, striking a stronghold for their nation to be front and center for colonization.  However, it was mutually decided that every country would work together to assemble a research team to collect further data to ensure this promised land is really worth moving to.  The scientists and flight crew members range from Americans all the way to the Chinese, but things will definitely not go as planned despite the purposeful action of assembling mixed individuals on the mission for the chance of equality when it comes to saving the whole world.

Nathaniel Hawke has been placed as the pilot during this mission, given the very important task of getting everyone to the planet's coordinates and back to Earth safely.  The M51 mission will be tougher than anticipated, though.  Despite all of the preparations and careful planning, dangerous things have been going on aboard the space craft.  A traitor is in their midst and a murderer lurks in the shadows.  How can humanity's salvation take place if no one is willing to cooperate?  No one knows who to trust.  Hawke is trying to keep things under control but when lives are on the line, dread and anticipation both take over all at once.  With Eden so close that the crew can almost touch it, people's dreams seem to becoming true, but will it all come crashing down around them?  Will the planet be all that they hoped for?  What will they find there?  Can everyone's salvation be acquired by the M51 mission, and what happens when a life form  similar to us is found on Eden?  Read Eden M51 to find out!

"You're chasing shadows, if you ask me." -Hawke
"A big part of my job is to chase shadows, you know.  Chase them long enough and you might just catch something of substance." -Bishop

Warning: Slight spoilers may be brought forth when I express my thoughts on the book.

Recently, I feel as though I'm finding really great books, and I've honestly been really surprised by a lot of what I'm reading.  Sometimes you found gems when you're not even looking.  Recently I've read 97 by V. L. Holt and just started reading The Silent Deal by Levi Stack, two extraordinary novels, and Eden M51 is yet another amazing story to rival today's modern literature.  It was equally part suspenseful, part mysterious, and part thought provoking.  Everything anyone could love about science fiction was put into this story, and one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much was because of the strong characters.  They showed the reader all of the aspects of what it means to be human.  The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, it was all there.  It perfectly portrayed that in the end, while we may be flawed, some of us will fight for what's right and not back down.  Out of all of the characters, Hawke was obviously my favorite.  His troubled past yet strong perseverance at the end showed just how much his character must have grown through his life.  Plus, his character developments and story were definitely well done.  Then on the other hand, we have Max Snelling.  This character was an antagonist who you just had to despise.  I always say that when an author makes you feel something besides indifference or total annoyance towards their story and especially their characters, then they did a job well done.  As a reader, I want to feel something towards a character because of how they are written or for what they stand for, and Paskoff did a wonderful job with this, especially with Hawke and Snelling. All of his characters were expertly portrayed through their thorough emotions, actions, and thoughts.

Eden M51 may be considered a larger book, but it never drags along at an agonizing pace.  It basically encompasses a broad range of time that include the period before Hawke goes into space with his crew, the time he is in space, the landing on the planet, and their stay, followed by the inevitable repercussions of human beings and their visit.  If I had to choose a favorite part, I would hands down say the moments when they were in space heading towards the promised planet.  The reasoning behind this decision is because of the frequent action and deception that takes place during this time.  Once they reach the planet, these aspects in the story slow down a tad bit.  However, the details and beautiful descriptions of the planet that is so similar to Earth is breathtaking and easily replaces what is left out.

The aspect of God, or in this case the people on this planet call him Ah'n-Ben, was a profound part of Paskoff's writing. He put a twist on the common religious views of God, making him a creator that left Earth long ago.  I was definitely intrigued when Hawke got to have his conversations with him because they spread over quite a large range of topics.  I definitely found it sad to hear how the Creator left our home planet in this book to create a better one and an even better one after that until he decided he liked this one, but it was such an enriching element to the story.

The only thing that was a little hard to follow in this book was this time period's lingo.  However, there was a glossary in the back for all of the abbreviations if you wanted to go back and find out what they meant again.  Also, there was this one scene in the book that I won't go into very much detail out of fear of giving too much away, but I just want to point out that it was written so expertly.  Just when you thought the newly found planet was perfect, you're proven dead wrong.  I was stopped dead in my tracks when reading about the individuals who deviated from society's norms.  The impact of those scenes pertaining to this moment were just shocking and ultimately hard hitting when it came to the story line.  My heart couldn't take the injustice that I felt.  It just took my breath away.  Hats off to G. R. Paskoff!

Overall, I was deeply impressed with Eden M51 and loved it more than I thought I ever would.  The ending left things wide open for further developments.  After finishing the book, I went onto G. R. Paskoff's website ( and was absolutely excited to find out that there's going to be a sequel!  Now I am eagerly awaiting a synopsis on it.  Also I totally believe that Morgan Freeman would be an excellent actor choice if this book was ever made into a movie.  :)  You'll just have to read the book to find out what I mean!

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