Pam Godwin landed herself on my list of authors to watch after reading her other novel, Beneath the Burn. I purchased Dead of Eve not knowing quite what I was going to get myself into, but knowing that an author like Pam would not disappoint. And I was absolutely blown away.
Dead of Eve is the first novel in a trilogy that follows the only female survivor of a virus wiped out most of the population, including her two children. She and her husband are holding up in their home that was thankfully retrofitted for apocalypse situations, due to his increasing paranoia. For the months following the death of her children due to the virus, Evie has barely been able to function. Her husband Joel is the only reason why she even makes an effort.
After the aphids – the mutated humans who contracted the virus and turn into human/insect hybrids – infiltrate their home, she snaps out of her depression and she and Joel decide they must leave. They battle their way through the remaining aphids in their neighborhood and set out for her fathers place which is situated in a remote part of the state. It is around this time that we learn that Evie is probably the only woman left, at least according to Joel and rumor. The virus attacked the women and children first and then was transmitted to men through bites. By the aphid’s suckers —just freaky and cool to note.
When they reach Evie’s father’s house they do not find him, instead they find one of the men that helped raise her, Eugene and his son Steve. They hold out in her father’s house with the two other men where Joel reintroduces Evie to defense tactics and the different uses of weapons. Basically she becomes a badass. During their defense of the home, we learn that Evie has other skills, she’s able move as quickly as the aphids and she can also see and sense/hear them.
She then loses her husband in one of the most brutal and completely messed up ways possible. Evie is on her own. There’s a point where she has to decide if she even wants to go on. She’s lost her entire family, faces certain death every day, and is completely alone in the world. To do so she must follow her husbands guidance.
Stay alive. Seek truth. Don’t look back.
During her travels she discovers a tribe of men in the Allegheny Mountains who offer her the first show of gentleness since the beginning of the virus. There she heals and begins her journey to discovering the source behind her strange abilities and her purpose. It is there that she also meets the first of three men that will serve to guard and protect her. A half-Lakota warrior named Jesse.
Her next move is to travel to England to find the source of rumors that there’s a group searching for a cure. She seduces her way onto a ship and after another brutal encounter with a man, stumbles upon the second of her three guardians, Roark, a Irish priest. She and Roark develop a close friendship that’s laced with a healthy dose of sexual tension.
She meets her third guardian, Michio a Japanese doctor and bioengineer, after she is kidnapped by the Drone, the man in her nightmares and the person responsible for the virus.
This book is most assuredly not for the faint of heart. It is a gritty depiction of the most putrid of human characteristics. I honestly loved all of the little thematic undertones. Woman as sin. Woman as less than human. The woman’s place in religion and life. Religious consequences. Faith. Some themes were subtle, some were overt.
The author didn’t hold back with regard to who started the virus and their motivation. I found this to be really intriguing. People start wars in the name of religion all the time. Religious history tells us of some of the most devastating and brutal are in the name of God, so why not this one? It was simply fascinating to read her interpretation and it was executed quite flawlessly.
Most of all, I enjoyed the heroine. She literally has everything torn from her, she’s suffering from an unimaginable pain, but she finds the strength to move on and do what has to be done. As the last woman on earth, she literally holds the fate of the world in her hands. I don’t think there could have been a better choice. She has her own faults, but she is strong, smart, and has an unbeatable will. Evie goes through absolute hell and finds the way to pick herself up every time.
She can’t do it alone, however. She has three men to guard her mind, body, and soul. Three men to love, each with a purpose. I really don’t think I could choose one. Their dynamic is completely unique. I also love how not too much emphasis is placed on any one of them. They each relate to her in a certain way and there’s so many ways this could go with the series. I can’t wait to find out what happens with all of them. Also, I didn’t find their relationships off-putting. It’s crafted in such a way that I understood the draw to each of them and under the circumstances the love square actually worked. I really hope she doesn’t actually have to end up choosing one, because I sure couldn’t!
“Oh my God. You’re the guardians.” I relied on Michio to care for my physical health and Yang. “Of course, a doctor guards my body.”
Annie called Roarke my heart fixer. He was my believer, my sense of direction and….
“The guardian of my soul.”
“The priest,” Jesse said.
I met his eyes. Jesse saw my ghosts which meant I wasn’t crazy. He would protect me from madness. “A Lakota guards my mind.”
As the first in the Trilogy of Eve, I found that I wasn’t left hanging. There are a lot of open ends as it is the first installment, but it felt resolved with more to come. There’s definitely a to-be-continued vibe, but it wasn’t a dead cliffhanger. The next in the series is due out in August 2014. (I know, I know. But it’s worth the wait!)
I can’t get over how much I loved this book. I was really expecting to kind of hate it because the things she goes through are absolutely tragic, but I didn’t. I fell head over heels in love with all the action, blood and gore. And the sex (of course). I was imagining this as a movie, that’s how great it was. I know when I can picture the book in my mind so vividly that I’m going to love it. Pam has an unequaled ability for description. Her word choices literally made me swoon. Is that weird? I’m such a bookworm. I was swooning over words. It was raw, real, passionate, violent. Literally like nothing I’ve ever read before. Even the science and religious aspects were fantastically depicted. There’s not one negative thing I have to say about this book. It was awesome.