TITLE: The Promise Of Eden
AUTHOR: Eric Durchholz / http://concrete7.com
PUBLISHER: Lulu / Concrete7
POINTS OF SALE: http://www.lulu.com/content/106147 : http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967029708/202-4147726-0356606
In the aftermath of a showdown between ghosts and gods, sixteen-year-old Gregory Coleman explains to his lawyer that things aren't as they seem. A conspiracy is afoot and it has to do with... well... lots of things, actually, but mainly ghosts. In particular, a ghost called Anna, who enlists Gregory to help her find heaven.
Eric Durchholtz's The Promise of Eden finds space for everything and I'm really not exaggerating. There are large slices of homoerotica, forbidden love and family issues on offer, not to mention the hidden agendas and growing pains thrown in. What could be more exciting than washing it all down with an almighty splash of the paranormal and a lick of science fiction?
Unfortunately, lack of suspense leaves the fantastical plot to flounder by itself for over 400 pages, and it's a bit of a stretch. This is partly due to Durchholtz's style, which is straightforward and easy to read but somewhat lacking in energy. The storyline is practically begging for shock value—it's so absurd that the twists ought to be damn well unpickable—but the reader is let down at every turn by the narrator's habit of anticipating the tale before he tells it. Information leaps out of nowhere and is validated as an afterthought, while intriguing ideas about god and religion are completely overshadowed by the straight-outta-left-field introduction of ghost-on-human sex.
To Durchholtz's credit (and the reader's relief) no loose ends are left flapping in the wind, although one could be forgiven for wondering if the story needed quite so many threads. Points are won for sheer originality but lost again in the search for suspense—and perhaps a better proofreader.
For fantasy fans looking for something... different.
AVERAGE RATING: 7/10
Reviewer: Stephanie C.