Review: Dirty Eden – J.A. Redmerski

review_dirtyeden

Blurb:
The Devil’s Advocate meets Alice in Wonderland
Wicked. Dark. Humorous. Twisted.

While on his way to the office one morning, Norman Reeves’ daily commute derails when a run-in with a stranger makes him question not only the whereabouts of his wallet, but also his sanity. In hopes of retrieving his property–and to satisfy his curiosity–Norman agrees to meet a hooker in an alley for the promise of making some extra cash if he simply talks to her. But when he arrives in the alley, he is surprised to see the hooker accompanied by a sharp-tongued boy, and a set of conjoined twins who only speak in riddles. Further complicating the bewildering encounter, the stranger tells Norman he must choose from these bizarre people, to take one of them with him on a journey–and he cannot refuse.

The stranger? None other than the Devil. The journey? Find the center of Eden and reverse the Fall of Man.

Thrust into a place called Creation, Norman’s task is plagued by unimaginable people and events. He must unravel impossible clues to free the Three Trees, and keep himself out of Hell at the same time. On this surreal and fantastical journey, Norman discovers many things better left unknown: the shocking secret lives of people close to him, and the terrible reason why he was chosen for this mission.

If Norman succeeds, his rewards will be unimaginable.

But should Norman fail, like all visitors to Creation, he will forget everyone and everything he has ever known, becoming part of the nightmarish madness that was once the paradise of Eden.

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While on his way to the office one morning, Norman Reeves’ daily commute derails when a run-in with a stranger makes him question not only the whereabouts of his wallet, but also his sanity. In hopes of retrieving his property–and to satisfy his curiosity–Norman agrees to meet a hooker in an alley for the promise of making some extra cash if he simply talks to her. But when he arrives in the alley, he is surprised to see the hooker accompanied by a sharp-tongued boy, and a set of conjoined twins who only speak in riddles. Further complicating the bewildering encounter, the stranger tells Norman he must choose from these bizarre people, to take one of them with him on a journey–and he cannot refuse.
The stranger? None other than the Devil. The journey? Find the center of Eden and reverse the Fall of Man.
Thrust into a place called Creation, Norman’s task is plagued by unimaginable people and events. He must unravel impossible clues to free the Three Trees, and keep himself out of Hell at the same time. On this surreal and fantastical journey, Norman discovers many things better left unknown: the shocking secret lives of people close to him, and the terrible reason why he was chosen for this mission.
If Norman succeeds, his rewards will be unimaginable.
But should Norman fail, like all visitors to Creation, he will forget everyone and everything he has ever known, becoming part of the nightmarish madness that was once the paradise of Eden.
***
I thought I had seen, or read, J. A. Redmerski in her best performance…
I thought I had seen J. A. Redmerski’s creativity in action…
I was COMPLETELY wrong!
When I finished this book I didn’t have, and probably still don’t have, words able to describe how wonderfully creative and exquisite this work is. This book was on my TBR list since the day I was presented to this author’s writing. Author who earned my respect, my admiration and my trust these past years. Unfortunately, I will always regret not having read this book before.
Many times the author herself said that of all the books she has written, this undoubtedly is her favorite, and I can honestly say I see why.
As the blurb describes, the book revolves around a mission given to Norman Reeves, an ordinary divorced man, who like many others is frustrated with the direction his life took, dissatisfied with his boring work, but who wakes up every day and follows the same routine ever. ‘Till one day, when in an unconventional meeting, Norman receives a mission, given by the Devil himself, to reverse the fall of man, the original sin.
The magnificent plot itself guarantees all the honorable mentions this author deserves. Not many authors are capable of, paraphrasing a Goodreads and Amazon’s reviewer (Skorpius), picking up one of the biggest stories out there (The Garden of Eden) and reinvent it in a way that s/he ends up creating a completely new, unusual and original story, making it as her/his own. J. A. Redmerski didn’t just rearrange a plot that already existed, or made a new reading of it. She created a completely new story, bringing new meaning to the several elements that we thought we knew and adding new ones that blew our minds.
Added to the phenomenal creativity she brought, we are given with a clean and extremely detailed narrative. I’ve said it once, and I reaffirm it today: J. A. Redmerski is not just a writer, or a mare author, she is an amazing storyteller. Since page one, the reader has his/her attention and curiosity captured. Each event, revelation, development, new character, surprise leaves us wondering what is yet to come. And the amount of details in the way she narrates every single scene, how she describes the scenarios, how she develops the characters, fascinate us.
Like all her books, Dirty Eden is full of twists that catch us off guard. Even its ending. The last sentence makes us wish a sequel could exist. It’s not that there is an open ending. The author wraps every detail of this story beautifully. However, we finish this book so delighted with what we’ve read and the high level of, once again, creativity in which it has been told, that we desperately wish to know how the rest of the story would be told.
Today I reaffirm that J. A. Redmerski is an author who has all the qualities an author must have, except, and unfortunately, the recognition she deserves. Her career doesn’t sum up to Andrew and Camryn, and her creativity is not limited to Victor his organization. There are sides of this author that still are little-known and deserve to be much more widespread.
Sigh…
I honestly feel I’m unable to write something that will do justice to this book, its greatness and perfection. As much as I can reaffirm my admiration for this author, for the level of creativity in this book, for the unexpected surprises in it, for the endless detailing in this narrative and how everything was created and developed with frightening precision and incredibly consistency, yet I fail to describe what she was able to do in this book.
So maybe the only thing that remains to be said is that, as much as I have an endless list of books I love, as much as I LOVE ‘The Edge of Never’, as much as I ADORE ‘In The Company Of Killers’, as much as I have been delighted with all of my readings by J. A. Redmerski and so many other authors I admire, and as much as I wish I could see all of those books in the big screen or a tv show, if I was given the choice to choose only ONE book of all books I have ever read, by this author or any other author, I would not think for a single moment before pointing Dirty Eden as my answer. Such is my desire to see every page, every word, every detail, character and scene of this book gaining life. A desire that reaches the level of need. While reading it, I felt every sentence of it gaining life in my imagination, but I desperately wish I can have the opportunity to see it one day portrayed on the big screen.
Last but not least, as the author herself alerted, this book is completely different from her other works, which proves once again her endless quality of being a highly diversified author, able to write one of the most beautiful and exciting love stories and one of the most creative fantasies I’ve ever seen, whether in books, films, series or theater.
Dirty Eden is a new breath that deserves its due recognition! And I can already and honestly say for sure that Dirty Eden is my favorite book of 2015!
***
>> In this book there is NO romance! (Out of curiosity, I woke up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare. Yep! I’m NOT kidding!) This book is suitable for people who like fantasy, or have an eclectic literary taste, and definitely a more mature audience. I’d compare it to a mixture of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Advocate, Constantine, Neverending Story, Lord of the Rings and books like that.
>> As a Christian, I don’t agree when it says this book is a blasphemy, because it is not a statement of faith. It IS one of the most magnificent works of FICTION I have ever had the pleasure to read. And I didn’t feel at any time any intention to disrespect anyone’s faith. Plus, I’m capable to distinguish reality from fiction.
>> Besides TEoN (which is my favorite book for personal reasons and reasons I don’t even understand), I got to the point of no longer being able to point out which book written by J. A. Redmerski is my favorite. Each one of her works is unique and stands out one of her endless qualities as an author.
Dirty Eden is definitely a book I recommend and is one of my all-time-favorites.
Fernanda Aragão.

my rating 5 stars

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