Cover image for Edenborn
Sagan, Nick.
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Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putman's Sons, [2004]

Physical Description:
311 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Edenbornbegins with a stark landscape-a microbial apocalypse called Black Ep has wiped humanity from the globe-yet all is not lost. Six individuals have survived the epidemic and are now committed to the task of rebuilding a peaceful civilization. But not everyone shares the same vision, and soon two very different societies begin to form. As we follow a child from each "family," someone-or something-begins to threaten their innocence. And as the mystery mounts, a mutated strain of Black Ep makes a deadly return. Now the architects who gave breath to this new world must scramble to protect their children from a two-front assault. It's a race against extinction, and Nick Sagan keeps us riveted to the page.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the gripping sequel to Idlewild BKL Je 1 & 15 03, the Black Ep plague has wiped out humankind, with the exception of 10 genetically engineered posthumans reared in an Immersive Virtual Reality with computer programs seeing to their every need. Edenborn opens 37 years after the catastrophe. Six of the original 10 are still alive, but only four remain committed to repopulating the Earth. Vashti and Champagne are in Germany with their nine offspring posthumans, biochemically and genetically optimized to defeat Black Ep. Isaac and his five creations, humans who ward off the plague they carry with constant medication, live in Egypt. Pandora, aided by the computer program Malachi, maintains the IVR and plays intermediary between the German and Egyptian camps. The story's heart lies in the complexity of the characters' psyches, motivations, and relationships, which propel the action and augment the overriding sense of desperation. It's complicated, but enthusiasts for Idlewild will be intrigued and look forward to another book, for where the overall plot is heading is anybody's guess. --Sally Estes Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sagan revisits the future world of his well-received debut, 2003's Idlewild. The narrator of that story, Halloween, is now a minor character; there's a new generation trying to survive after the "Microbial Apocalypse," when the Black Ep virus wiped out all but a handful of humans. Sagan focuses primarily on the younger set, upon whose shoulders the hope of a future rests, telling the story through numerous first-person narrators. An early chapter from the POV of Malachi, the "right-hand machine" of Halloween's contemporary Pandora, succinctly explains the setup and lists the players (readers may find themselves frequently returning to it). What's left of the population is divided into two rival colonies. In the north live a group of young "posthumans," biochemically engineered girls who are immune to Black Ep, and their guardians. The liveliest and fiercest of these adolescents is 15-year-old Penny. In the south, there's a religious colony of people drugged to the gills against the virus, one of whom is the philosophical naif Haji, whose poetic narration makes a nice counterpoint to that of the increasingly angry Penny. Penny, Haji and Pandora provide distinct voices, but other narrators muddy the waters. A killing and the threat of a new plague bubble under the plot's surface but never take center-stage urgency. Sagan's sharp observations and rich imagination entertain, though, and lay a strong groundwork for volume three. Agent, Richard Pine. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The Black Ep microbe has wiped out humanity, and the few survivors are starting to differ over how civilization should be rebuilt. And then the Black Ep returns. From the author of last year's successful debut, Idlewild, and son of famed astronomer Carl Sagan. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.