Saturday, June 2, 2012

Charlene Reviews: Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

ISBN #: 978-1477444894
Page Count: 220
Copyright: May 11, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost - one they may not be prepared to pay.

When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can't, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.

A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he's always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he's studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael - or the world will be destroyed forever.

Charlene's Review:

Joss, 17 years old, and fresh from juvenile detention, hates his life. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, his younger brother committed suicide, and his mother blames him. After hitting his head in a bike accident, Joss suddenly hears music that changes his life. It takes away the pain and depression that have plagued him, and makes him want to be a better person. Coinciding with his accident, Joss is learning about mythology in school, and the fall of man. He also meets a woman that promises him the soothing freedom he has found can last. As things unfold, Joss realizes that they have found the way back to the Garden of Eden. The only thing standing in the way of human happiness is Samael, who Joss and his friends must confront if they want to continue feeling bliss.

Crashing Eden is marketed as a YA fantasy novel. I, personally, found it intoxicating. Who has never wished for an escape from the pain and suffering on earth? Mr. Sussman delights his reader with vivid imagery, realistic human interaction, and a sense of hope. There are some very profound topics covered, and I must say, a certain level of controversy. Using mythology as a base, Mr. Sussman gives us an angry god who needs intervention from his own creation. A little unnerving to someone who has strong religious convictions, but seeing it as fiction, I was able to put it aside and enjoy the story. There's plenty of action as apocalyptic plagues and signs fall on the world as more and more people succumb to the "primordial vibrations."

Crashing Eden is written with much intelligence and sprinkled with great humor. It is ultimately a feel good story of the possibility of a nearly perfect existence in a badly scarred world. Beautiful, lyrical, and endearing, it will stay with you long after you're finished reading.

*A physical copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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