An Apocalypse Falls From The Sky

By Victoria Foyt

When a meteor exploded over Western Siberia in February 2013, like a shot across our bow, didn’t you wonder how on earth you would ever survive an apocalypse? I did. And as I began to contemplate the recent astronomical event and the certain disaster that a collision would have brought, my spirits sank.

The truth is, we are woefully unprepared as individuals and as a society to survive whole scale destruction. I am but a frail woman, unable to live off the land, let along survive for very long without my two favorite modern conveniences, my microwave and iPhone.

The word “apocalypse” has become so familiar, even cozy, in the last several years through the success of young adult books such as the Hunger Games series and my Save The Pearls trilogy, which occurs in a post-apocalyptic world, where humans’ ability to survive the intense solar radiation determines their worth. In Part One, Revealing Eden, the protagonist Eden Newman faces death unless she can overcome the stigma of her pale skin and find a mate.

Needless to say, I have spent a fair amount of time “living” in a burned out Earth while writing the Save the Pearls series. And yet, the sudden and unexpected Chelyabinsk meteor reminded me how life can change in a blink. Have you ever started the day with a perfectly good feeling, only to have a car accident later or a sudden illness or break a bone? Yeah, that kind of rapid change, but magnified to the power of Google.

This meteor was reported to be as strong as 20 Hiroshima bombs. And despite hundreds of injuries and millions of dollars of property loss, Earth survived largely unscathed, due to one very lucky fact: this was a chondritic meteor. If that term has not survived your high school vocabulary list, it’s the kind of meteor that breaks into pieces upon heating up when entering Earth’s atmosphere.

If it had been an iron or metallic meteor, it would not have exploded; it would have hit the Earth’s surface, perhaps killing thousands of people and creating havoc for the rest of the world. In that case, February 15, 2013 would have been one major BLINK.

The director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, Neil deGrasse Tyson, says another meteor is coming in 12 years: Apophis, named for the Egyptian god of death and destruction. It will fly uncomfortably close to Earth in 2029, again in 2036 and yet again in 2068.

When I read this news, I immediately calculated what age I will be when Apophis next looms in our astral neighborhood: old enough to hopefully have accomplished many of my dreams, but young enough to have many good years ahead. And what of my children’s future and my unborn grandchildren? It’s too sad to contemplate.

I like to imagine that I could learn to forage for tubers or wield my bow and arrow like Katniss in The Hunger Games. Or like Eden Newman, I wonder what I would do if I had the chance to physically adapt with animal traits in order to survive. Of course, my musings take place in the comfort of my home, not in a toxic land.

But then, perhaps by reading such apocalyptic novels we are mentally preparing ourselves for what lies ahead. Because really, how long can Earth’s luck hold out? After all, look what happened to the dinosaurs.

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5 Star Review from San Francisco Book Review

Adapting Eden, Save The Pearls Part Two
By Victoria Foyt
Sand Dollar Press, $18.99, 300 pages, Format: Hard

Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Download the San Francisco Book Review PDF with 8 amazing reviews.

When levels of radiation become too deadly on Earth, human beings were forced to burrow beneath the surface to survive, but not before millions of people died due to The Heat. Now anyone with white skin, including Eden Newman, lives in fear of coming into contact with the killer sun. Pearls, the racist term for Caucasians, are treated like garbage. As violence escalates within the underground cities, Eden, her father, and her true love Bramford are forced to flee into the jungles of the Amazon to survive. If Eden can undergo the same scientific procedure that transformed Bramford into a strong half human/half animal hybrid with resistance to the sun, not like Bramford has, together they can create a new species of human fit enough to survive life on a damaged Earth. But multiple threats force Eden, Bramford, and their new tribe to abandon the safety of their camp. When an ancient Aztec tribe offers them sanctuary, things quickly begin to seem too good to be true. Eden finds herself at the center of a spiritual battle between love and war. Her choices will determine the fate of the world.

It is a rare treat to discover a writer with a unique plot and characters. Victoria Foyt, author of Revealing Eden, part one in the Save the Pearls trilogy for young adults, has mastered the fantasy/adventure/romance genre. Now Foyt returns to thrill and delight readers with Adapting Eden, part two in the trilogy. Reading the first book will immensely increase the reader’s enjoyment of this second installment. Young adults are interested in reading about how other kids deal with the same issues that they are currently facing. It doesn’t matter if the book takes place in space or in a jungle or in the current time period – they want to see how characters react to change. Readers will thoroughly enjoy watching Eden grow as a character, seeing her evolve from a meek girl into a strong, young woman. From her mother Eden learned to appreciate the poetry of Emily Dickinson. When something new, stressful or exciting happens to Eden, she’ll think of a relevant Dickinson poem. Foyt then effortlessly slides in a stanza upon which Eden (and thus, the reader) can reflect. It is an ingenious way for Foyt to include a different perspective on how Eden interprets the world around her.

Foyt exposes young adults to classic poetry in the context of a modern story. Eden also has extensive scientific knowledge due to growing up with a scientist for a father. As she notices animals for the first time in the jungle, she knows their scientific names. Foyt works this into the story, and this is just another genius example of the way Foyt uses her characters to expose readers to new information.

Although written with the young adult audience in mind, readers of any age interested in a fast-paced futuristic story filled with action, romance, intrigue, danger, science, and incredible writing will love this series. At its core, Foyt’s book asks readers to question what it means to be human. In what is essentially a love story, it is amazing how many issues Foyt challenges her characters to deal with: class, race and gender inequality, environmental disaster, radicalism, and terrorism, sacrifice, feelings of physical inadequacy, love (romantic and familial), religion, faith, and fate. Along with hardship comes the chance for hope and redemption.

Because it is the second book in a trilogy, readers can expect that Adapting Eden is a cliffhanger, but in an effective way. Watch for the upcoming publication of the final book in the Save the Pearls trilogy, Freeing Eden.

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