Crashing Eden

Crashing Eden

Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy

Publication: May 1st 2012 by Solstice Publishing

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.

My Review:

For Michael Sussman’s debut into young adult, I’d call this a solid start. I felt that we had some really strong moments where his writing was taking off, with strong elements of fantasy, but then ultimately there were some big flops. Still his work was readable and enjoyable and I found it easy to read. One of the biggest problems was I felt like we had a few too many plot loops, like at one moment Joss was doing something and the next it was completely different. Also, I felt like the fantasy element as a more modern fantasy wasn’t as strong as it could be.

From the first moment I started reading, I knew that this book was going to be different because we followed a male protagonist, Joss. I feel like the young-adult genre is lacking in stories from a male perspective, so this was a nice addition! Joss was a little impulsive and seemed to change the foundations of his character quickly, which was annoying. He certainly had a wild history that made for an interesting reading and enabled you to really see a change in his character that was nice. I tend to find the male protagonist stories follow a disturbed youth who is falling of the rails and has issues. Joss is struggling with his younger brother’s suicide, his distant mother and general trouble to be good, so I enjoyed this aspect of his character. I found that he could make me chuckle.

And anyhow, who the hell was that dickwad Heckle to sentence me to a lifetime of misery? He could kiss my deluded ass.”

He would have been a stronger character if he’d become more structured in his change from the rebel to a new “person”, and he needed more to the dynamics of his relationships with some of the other characters like his friends, but other than that I found him entertaining and easy to connect with.

He has two “love interests” almost of the story, but one can’t be anything but a young boy’s crush. Shakti is the crush and to be truthful, she was a little boring and I didn’t think she had much substance to her character. She came along looking to be some mystical woman and then she seemed to defer lots to her boyfriend and whilst Joss professed her as beautiful, I didn’t really feel like there was a lot about her character.

Either way, I’d betrayed Alessa. But what was I supposed to do when I had such strong feelings for both girls?”

On the other hand, we had Alessa, Joss’s main love interest and she seems to flesh out as the story goes along. Although there were still a lot of unanswered questions in their relationship. At first she seems a little bitchy, but then she becomes a little more understanding and a relationship quickly forms with Joss. It would have been nice to watch a more steady development, but I guess it represents how young people jump into love.

One character I despised was Joss’s mother. She was an utter cow! She was horrible to him and literally hated him. The fact that she even told him she didn’t like him, didn’t sit well with me. No wonder the boy had problems when his mother behaved so despicably. Her enlightenment by the end of the novel wasn’t enough to redeem her and I felt like her actions couldn’t be excused throughout the novel.

Whilst I felt like the characters were a little lacking, Sussman seems to have really got a lot of research about heaven, hell and the cultural beliefs of different religions and I really found them interesting to read. I found at times all the talk of God and religion got a little too much for me, but that’s just my own opinion. Still, I felt like the novel was thoroughly researched and shows Sussman to have some real potential for more in future.

“I believe long ago, all humans could hear the sound. In mythological terms, that was the Golden Age. Paradise ended with the Fall, and that’s when adult humans lost touch with this cosmic vibrations.”

The plot was strong for the first part and then we reached about 40% and it tailed off until about 75% since in between Joss was handing out PVDs to hear the OM that is part of the connection to Eden and this is discussed within the first 40% which makes up for a strong set up to the story. During the middle of this novel, I truthfully got a little bored. However the last 25% I devoured eagerly. If the whole of this novel had been as exciting as the last 25% I would have easily given this story 4 stars.

Overall I felt like Sussman has made a strong entrance to the YA genre and that he’s showing a lot of potential for future novels! I wouldn’t dismiss this one as rubbish because it really has some great moments. Check it out if you have the time!

My Rating:

2.5 books

More stalking available here:

Thanks to Miss Gonzalez for inviting me to join Michael’s tour.

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11 Comments

Filed under 2.5 Books, 2012 Publication, E-book, Fantasy, Michael Sussman, Solstice Publishing, Young Adult

11 responses to “Crashing Eden

  1. Interesting, you don’t see a guy with two love interests often.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I love the cover! I know I am such a visual person..my first thought is pretty cover..lets see what this is about! Is it set in Chicago…because some of those building are familiar!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      I can tell with your love to draw things! It certainly does have a pretty cover, I wish the story was just as brilliant, but still.

      Umm…. no Cambridge in the US… I believe.

      • Ah okay that is why I recognize them..I lived in Cambridge for a bit! Too bad the story is less than stellar..the concept sounded promising!

        • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

          Ahh cool! It does and a little more tweaking in the middle and it would be perfect, I just felt we lacked the action in the central part!

  3. There is indeed a Cambridge in the US–home to Harvard University. So perhaps you are not the ultimate authority on everything, eh?

    • Sorry, that was a bit rude. I just wish that you would indicate that your review reflects your opinions, and that other readers (including your followers) may react differently. The novel has, in fact, received plenty of 4 and 5 star reviews.

      • What I mean to say is that there are no objectively “good” or “bad” books, unless you are using them as doorstops, in which case War and Peace is definitely good.

        Take the Twilight series, for instance. Many people adore those novels. Others despise them. So are they good books or bad books?

        Ultimately, it’s subjective. As a reviewer, all you can do is offer your own opinion. But please bear in mind that others may feel differently about the book.

        • Now I wish I’d never started this, and of course you are in another time zone, sound asleep. It’s my own fault for needing EVERYONE to like my book! Feel free to delete all these comments. 🙂

        • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

          It states cleary in my review policy that all reviews are MY honest opinion. Never did anywhere I say this book is terrible, do not read it. Throughout the review I consistently use “first” person to indicate that everything was off my opinion, so I’d prefer if you’d attack my review on informed opinion rather than distaste for not gaining a gushing five star review. Honestly, I read the book over two days and enjoyed reading, I do not call that a BAD book, but I just didn’t feel like it was as exciting as it could be. Like I said that was MY opinion and I’m equally sure people have felt to rate your book four and five stars, which I can perfectly understand! Plenty of popular books have set backs. J.K. Rowling got consistently rejected from dozens of publishers and several of my friends refuse to read my all time favourite book because they find it “boring” however I have never attacked them for their belief and they’ve never said my opinion is wrong. It’s perfectly capable for people to read a review and weight the positives and negatives to make up their own mind.
          Thanks for the chance to read and I wish you continued success with your novel!

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