I'm a goodreads refugee. I read horror, classics, literary, science fiction, YA, weird, regency romances, historical fiction, history, science, fantasy and random bits and pieces of every genre, it seems like. I don't do as much reading and reviewing as I used to, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.
This book starts out with this society that's mostly underground because of the stifling heat of the Earth, which isn't really a new concept in science fiction, what's particularly unique to this novel is that instead of adjusting technologically, a caste system evolves which puts the darkest skin color, Coals, and the top, and the lightest at the bottoms, Pearls and then Cottons (albinos). Then it gets a little odd, for whatever reason the main character's father decides it'd be a cool idea to make a human/panther/hawk/anaconda hybrid. So not long after this is the first thing I find a fault with, the fact that Eden attempts to disobey her deathbed promise to her mother to save her dog, Bramford stops her, and her dog dies. Okay, but... she only mentions this dog that she was going to die for and give up her mother's deathbed promise in passing, with no emotion. There were no tears. I mean yeah, she was a bit busy, but she could have spared a few tears/rage against Bramford for stopping her from saving the dog she dearly loves. It would have been a moment for me to connect to Eden, having two dogs of my own. But, no, she just sort of forgets about it except in passing.
Next, the bestial part. I was expecting a "Sci-fi Beauty and the Beast" which I thought would be neat and very different, I was looking forward to it, however, this isn't the case. In Beauty and the Beast we love it because although Beast is ugly, love overcomes that. This is not how it goes in Revealing Eden. Instead, Eden Newman just happens to be into panther/human hybrids and thinks they're pretty sexy. And says this, many times over. Good for her, and him I guess, but it doesn't help with the "I don't identify with the main character" syndrome I have going on at this point, which only intensifies as the novel goes on. Not to mention Eden is reminiscent of those girls in high school that care WAY too much about getting a boyfriend, which makes sense in her society sure, since she has to mate by 18 otherwise she's cast off without her happy drugs, but... I think her thoughts and desires could have been better written to not grate on my nerves so much. Seriously that is about all Eden thinks about. Does she have any actual personality traits? Who knows. I mean, that is what it comes down to, the writing just isn't everything it could be.
Then there was the romance, which was off-putting because Eden spends the majority of the novel going: "Wow, he sure is sexy" "GOD YOU'RE SUCH A JERK" "but man are you sexy" "you don't understand me!!!!!" which turns me off because she really, really just needs to make up her mind.
So yeah, the idea of the book was a lot more interesting than the book itself, the writing was definitely lacking and I thought the novel would have done better if it had been kept inside the society in the beginning and worked a little more with the Pearl/Coal aspect, instead we get some sort of survival jungle novel that could have very well happened without the dystopia part--which was the part that interested me to begin with. I will say I do like the idea of Eden's journey of revealing herself, becoming what she refers to as "Real Eden" that she hadn't been allowed to do previously.
I'm not touching the racism issue, others have covered it better and I am no expert in the subject. But I hated this book anyway.