Book Review: The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan


Eden Paradox 1

Synopsis: A murder… a new planet mankind desperately needs… a thousand-year old conspiracy… What really awaits us on Eden?

 In a world beset by political turmoil, environmental collapse, and a predatory new religion, a recently discovered planet, Eden, is our last hope. But two missions have failed to return. Blake Alexander and his crew lead the final attempt to bring back good news.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Micah Sanderson evades assassins, and tries to work out who he can trust as he struggles in a race against time to unravel the Eden Paradox.


Author: Barry Kirwan

Title: The Eden Paradox (Book 1)

Publisher: Summertime Publications

Date: 2011

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When given the chance to be part of The Eden Paradox blog tour, I leapt at the opportunity. I already knew I loved Kirwan’s writing and was excited to see how he handled science-fiction. I guess, theoretically, that could mean I got my hopes up too high. Thankfully, however, the book was just as good as I hoped.

It had everything: dying planets, new planets as potential salvation, good aliens, bad aliens, aliens secretly controlling sect groups, humans nuking said aliens after being lured to their home planet… Not a book you can sum up concisely! Action-packed and full of suspense, I was unable to put it down.

There are various main characters. Micah: an analyst who ends up over his head. Kat: a communications expert who can commune via unconventional methods as well as through technology. Blake: the captain of the supposedly doomed expedition to Eden. Vince: high up in an organisation that seems to know everything. Gabriel: an assassin with an ulterior motive. Jennifer: an `assistant` with more answers and knowledge that she knows what to do with.

It was starting to affect morale, his own, at any rate: superstition and ill omens made lousy companions on long, confined trips. Seafarers had known it for millennia. Space was like the sea, just infinitely less forgiving.

They are an eclectic group but the reader gets to know each in their own way. I liked and could empathise with all of the characters: a tricky feat given the combination of characterisations. Micah was definitely the favourite though: he knows he is out of his depth, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to save humanity. A classic hero, through and through.

Set in both the future and on alien planets means the reader is thrust into a world that is operating on very different rules compared to now. It meant that it took some reading before I could start to get to grips with what was going on. The numerous characters and narration view points on top of the whole alien-invasion-thing meant I couldn’t initially connect the characters and their situations with each other; I couldn’t relate to the world being built.

But once I got to grips with that world, I couldn’t put the book down. The tension is high and the pacing fast. Despite being a relatively long book, you aren’t given the chance to catch your breath as plans are revealed, deceptions uncovered and the fate of humanity quite literally resting in the hands of a few who dare to believe that it is worth saving.

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It’s only been in the last year or so that I have properly started reading science-fiction. The Eden Paradox is proof that I made the right choice entering this genre. There is a lot to get to grips with: aliens, space, a futuristic Earth etc. But if you can get your head around it all, you are left with an intense and incredibly gripping tale.

Put it this way: I read this book for a blog tour. I am now planning on reading the rest of the series because it caught my attention so well.

If you’re a science-fiction fan, then this book is a definite must read!

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Author PhotoBarry (J F) Kirwan is a split personality. He writes science fiction under the name Barry Kirwan, and thrillers under his pen name J F Kirwan. In his day job, he travels worldwide, working on aviation safety. He lives in Paris, where he first joined a fiction class – and became hooked! This led to an acclaimed four-book series called the Eden Paradox.

But when a back injury stopped him scuba diving for two years, he wrote a thriller about a young Russian woman, Nadia, where a lot of the action occurred in dangerously deep waters.Two of these thrillers are now out and he’s working on the third, as well as a new science fiction novel called ‘When the children come.’



Twitter: @Eden_paradox


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19 thoughts on “Book Review: The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan

  1. This book sounds like completely out of the genre I usually read but you seemed to have liked it so much, I can only add it to my reading list! xx corinne

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is quite full on sci-fi, so might take some getting into if you don’t normally read that sort of genre (I do, and got confused in places!). That being said, I honestly finished it and wanted the rest of the series, so that’s definitely a plus! Thank you!


  2. As a newbie to the science fiction genre, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start reading, but this book sounds like a winner! I do enjoy a fast paced read, nothing puts me to sleep quicker than a plot that unfolds too slowly, so this seems ideally suited to me! Jennifer sounds like a fantastic character too, great to have a smart woman in there!

    Abbey x

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were times at the start when I got a little lost because you are literally hit with everything at once, but I soon got swept up in it. Jennifer is awesome – completely overlooked then really stepped up. I hope you enjoy it if you do read.


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