“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power. Power over life. Power to give and to withhold.”
“A masterpiece” The Guardian
Shortlisted for BSFA Best Novel 2015
Generations after the breakup of the human family of Eden. the Johnfolk emphasise knowledge and innovation, the Davidfolk tradition and cohesion. But both have built hierarchical societies sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favoured children of a long-dead woman from Earth that all Eden knows as Gela, the mother of them all.
When Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no idea that she will be a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s ring on her own finger.
And she has no idea either of the enemies she will make, no inkling that a time will come when she, like John Redlantern, will choose to kill.
French and Polish editions forthcoming.
UK paperback out on April 7th, 2016
Review on Fantasyliterature.com.
186 thoughts on “Mother of Eden”
Over a year of waiting for Mother of Eden, and done with it in under a week! LOL!
I must say, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting… But I think now that it follows Dark Eden nicely. My only quibble is with that final chapter. I quite sincerely want to punch Lucy and/or Chief Dixon in the face. Part of me would really enjoy Earth people showing up soon after the events of the novel, led by a woman, to put those two in their place!
Well, I thought it would be a bit different to end with them, Siara, but I wasn’t asking the reader to agree with their point of view!
Chris! I finished Mother of Eden tonight and I loved it! I am completely obsessed with this world you have created. I am a librarian and recommended Dark Eden to one of our SF-loving patrons who charged up to the desk today to tell me how much he loved it. He read it in just a few days and is already halfway through Mother of Eden–he wanted to know when the third one comes out! I was so excited when I saw that you are working on yet another book in this series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next…I’m hoping Earth finally makes an appearance, but I’m sure I will be happy with whatever happens. Thanks for writing these wonderful books!
It’s really kind of you to give me this lovely feedback, Kimberly. As I’ve said before, writing is rather a solitary business, and it is tremendously encouraging to receive these sort of messages from the outside world. Yes, I’m working on a 3rd Eden novel. I don’t know when it will be out yet, but I’m guessing probably next year.
Oh, I’m not saying it was in any way wrong to end with them! They just happen to be despicable people, and it chafes to have them not get their comeuppance. *Fingers crossed for next book* 🙂
Chris – I just finished Dark Eden, and loved it! I don’t think another book has moved me to post a comment on the Author’s website. You really weaved a great tale and painted a wonderful picture in my mind of what this world looked and felt like. Now I am getting ready to dig into Mother of Eden. It would not be surprising to see this series produce a lot of quality fan fiction like the Hugh Howey’s Silo series did.
Outstanding – Thank you for investing years of your life to give me a month of very enjoyable reading!
Very kind of you to give me this feedback, Paul. It’s what keeps me going!
Chris: Me again. I’m back at your website after having finished Dark Eden earlier this year and now being 1/4 of the way through Mother Of Eden. Again, I’m so eagerly drinking in the world and ideas of Eden that news of a third novel in the works has filled me with great excitement. Are there any novels you’ve read that inspired The Dark Eden series? I’m trying to find something similar to line up for reading once I’m finished Mother of Eden and missing its fascinating premise and enlightening reflections on humanity. I am recommending the world of Eden to any of my friends who I think will appreciate it. I’m also curious about Starlight’s comments that all the inhabitants of Eden share the same “pale brown” skin. I’m no geneticist but wouldn’t some if the recessive genes of both Angela and Tommy have resulted in some of Eden’s population having varied degrees or pale or dark skin tones? If Snowleopard can have bright blue eyes, wouldn’t other variables exist among Edenites? I find these questions and ideas so fascinating!
PS: Apologies for the typos. I’m writing this on my iPhone and I have fat thumbs 🙂
I’m really pleased you are enjoying the book, Michael. Some novels that I see as having had an influence on my Eden books include William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (civilization gradually unravelling among a bunch of young boys marooned on an island), Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia Trilogy (wonderful intricate world-building involving a planet with two suns) and Russell Hoban’s Riddeley Walker (post-apocalyptic novel, where people have reverted to the iron age, and the dialect of South East England is well on the way to evolving into an entirely new language). As to the skin colour, well I’m no geneticist either, but I have a feeling you may be right that there would be more variation than I suggested there, or at any rate the occasional instance of very light or very dark skin, as there are the occasional instances of blue eyes.
I don’t know how anyone writes on those things at all!
I just finished Dark Eden and liked it so much that I looked for a possible sequel straight away. Quite happiely, I found, it’s already published. However, I would like to read it on my kindle, like the first book, but I can’t find it. Do you have any information, if and when Mother of Eden is going to ve available as kindle ebook?
Hello. Mother of Eden has temporarily been withdrawn from kindle because readers were experiencing problems with it (bits of missing text and stuff like that). The publishers are currently working with Amazon to resolve this, and it will be available again as soon as that’s sorted. I’m so pleased you enjoyed DE so much.
Thank you for the very quick answer. Thats good news, I surly can wait a few days.
Do you have any idea when the French version of Mother of Eden will be released?
Really enjoyed Dark Eden, although I would have loved it to be much longer and to continue when it ended 🙂
Hello Romain. So glad you enjoyed Dark Eden. I’m afraid I don’t know yet when the French version of MoE will be out. I’d guess next year.
The first book was astoundingly good. Just got the second and I’m afraid to start it. I have too much work to do and I know I won’t be able to put it down once I start.
Great story Chris! I’ll share with my kids when they’re just a bit older.
What about movie deals? The visuals of this dark world, if done right, could make for some impressive cinematography and CG.
Thanks very much James. Kind of you to get in touch. Yes, I’d love to see a movie of DE!
Hi Chris, I just read Dark Eden and Mother of Eden and thought the invention and thought that went into the societies you created were incredible. The genetic consequences of an entire civilisation emerging from a single couple are still there after 300/400 years. I’m looking forward to third book – I’m interested in whether Eden might “fight back” against the infiltrators and of course whether there’s a big starship sitting above the planet somewhere !
Well, a draft is with publishers now, Jeremy, so it’s on its way. Thanks for your kind comments about the first two books!
Chris – love your Eden books and excited to hear a 3rd is on the way! I would love for you to delve more deeply into the ecology of Eden. The details you drop here and there about the “plant” and “animal” life is fascinating. I would love to know more about where Eden is: far out in a solar system or spinning adrift in space. Also love the trees and the slinkers (and the leopards and spearfish…) and would love more detail about this ecosystem you’ve created.
Hello Erik, I had a lot of fun describing the life of Eden, I must say. As to where Eden is: it’s a rogue planet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_planet), adrift in space on its own. In fact it is even outside the main disc of the Milky Way, slowly orbitting the galaxy (to which it would appear to me to be tidally locked, since the galaxy remains in a fixed position in the sky: though not being an astronomer I don’t know if this is the actual exlanation!) Many thanks for your kind feedback.
Just finished Mother of Eden, superb stuff. Can’t wait for the third, will we learn more of Starlight or will we jump a few more generations?
No, Daughter of Eden only jumps forward a decade or so. Starlight will appear in it, but is not the main character. Her friend Angie is the narrator and main protagonist of the whole book.
Glad you enjoyed MoE, Kris.
Wow, I thought the first book was a masterpiece, but this one was AMAZING. I love that it focuses so much on the human condition, and perfectly shows humanity as just what it is, in all its beauty and ugliness. I never would’ve guessed when I first started reading Dark Eden how suited it would be to my taste (Humans and Humanity fascinate me more than anything). The main characters were also more enjoyable than those in the first book. I can’t wait for the third book to come out, and-hopefully-movies??? 😀
Thanks so much Bela. I try to show humanity as it is, and, like you, that’s what interests me most, humanity and its relationship with the world it finds itself inhabiting.
I am Polish and I love sci-fi since I am 10 maybe? (which was good 35 years ago). I have to say that The Dark Eden was one of the best and most innovative book I have ever read. This was absolutely fresh view for whole sic-fi world, and in general fantastic book about us, humans. I could write a lot of flattering things more, but I won’t. I have to say that Polish translation was particularry good and allow us, readers catch all the nuances of this very specific language used in the book, I believe it was very faithful.
Could you say, more specifically when can we expect second part in Poland ? is there already fixed release date ?
Hello Roman, Thanks so much for your kind words about Dark Eden and its Polish translation. I have no information about the Polish release of Mother of Eden, I’m afraid. The best thing would probably be to contact the Polish publisher.
Thank you. I am literally 59 pages from the end of Dark Eden.
The urge to “skip to the end” is nigh on overwhelming – however I continue to resist.
I’m an avid, eclectic (and fast) reader of anything and everything. I’m ‘Print-Slut’ and proud of it.
Dark Eden ticked every single box one could wish of any great book:
Suspense; intrigue; genuine identification with the characters; a wonderful, scary, truly plausible New World.
Each main character has their characteristics so fleshed out one would imagine on meeting the group – each would be instantly identifiable.
With all respect intended, in some ways this book reminded me of Jean M. Auel’s fabulous series of books.
I will, of course be reading “Daughter of Eden” forthwith. And have sung your praises over social media and to real life folks!
Great book. I wonder, do you most identify with John Redlantern? You seem to deeply understand this complex young man.
Long may your fabulous imagination continue.
I, for one, am now a devoted lifelong fan.
Once again, thank you for taking me somewhere new.
With fond regards,
Well, that’s lovely to hear. Thanksyou so much for your kind words, Lorna. Very much appreciated. And it helps me keep my nose on the grindstone.
Do I identify with John? Well, I try to identify with all my major characters, so that I can feel myself looking out from their eyes as they speak and tell their story, and I certainly tried to do that with John. But I am not all that like John as a person in most respects. In fact, when I first came up with the character, I was consciously trying to come up with someone who was different from me: someone much more decisive, much more disciplined, much more committed to acting upon the world, and much less worried about causing offence to other people. The character I would like to think is most like me is Jeff Redlantern, but the truth is I am neither as wise nor as nice as he is.
Incidentally, it’s great that you want to rush straight from Dark Eden to Daughter of Eden but, just so as to be sure you know, there is another book in between: Mother of Eden. Thanks again, Lorna.
Hi Chris. Have just finished the third book. Totally engrossed again. Angie is a fantastic narrator. I was also fascinated by the ecology of Eden. But what I really want to know…are there plans for further books! There is scope for much more…what happens to Trueheart, is the war resolved, does it change to patriarchal society…no pressure!
Hello Karin. I’m so glad you enjoyed Daughter of Eden. I think Dark Eden is probably the most complex of the three books from a technical point of view, but I have a soft spot for this third book, and for Angie, who feels more like myself and the people I know than did John or Starlight. (I was delighted recently to hear an extract from the new audio book from audible, in which Imogen Church does a lovely job of bringing Angie to life.)
No, no plans for another Eden novel, I’m afraid, though I can’t help being pleased that you would like one. Even if I wrote 12 novels, there’d always be the question at the end of what would happen next. And I’d like to try my hand at something different while Eden is still alive for me, rather than going on until I grow tired of it.
One project that I do have in mind for a future date is a collection of short stories set on Eden, which would depict episodes from before, in between and after the timeframes covered by the novels. But no immediate plans to write it.
I just finished the wonderful ‘Mother of Eden’ this morning and then came across this photo on the Natural History Museum website.
I won’t say it looks like Eden, but it really feels like Eden.
So pleased you liked Mother of Eden, Marty.
There is something Edenesque about that picture I agree!
Hello, Im from Russia and i was read first book. Was this book published in Russian? I really want to know the continuation, but my english is bad.
Hello Katty. I’m sorry to say that only the first book has so far been published in Russian. Obviously I would be very pleased if that were to change! I’m glad you enjoyed the first book anyway!