Dirty Eden by J.A. Redmerski
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.
Well the books is very interesting to say the least. It was dark, twisted, unique and surprising, you never really knew what was going to happen. However, my main complaint is that I was a bit confused at times, even at the end when the author tells us what happened, I wasn’t sure how we got there. Though after looking at some other reviews on Goodreads, that may have just been me, but who knows?
Norman must go on this epic journey and complete a task given to him by the Devil himself. Norman actually has no idea what the journey entails or even what the purpose of it is and I think that is where I had issues. I understand why Redmerski wrote it in this manner, but I think knowing the purpose for why Norman had to take this journey would have been better to the reader. Not knowing gave me nothing to look forward to or to try to understand the reasoning behind everything. Was he trying to save mankind? Is he trying to help the Devil influence more people? Why? Even at the conclusion of the book when they explain everything out, I was left with a little bit of a ‘huh?’ feeling.
On to the good. I think the world building and detail was amazing. The interwoven mythologies and the dark Alice in Wonderland type world were fascinating and Norman’s self deprecating nature is oddly endearing. I just wish the story moved a little faster at the beginning and more why’s were answered when it came to a conclusion. I think the book left off in a way where a sequel or spinoff book could be in the written that I would be interested in reading.
If you are looking for something like nothing you have ever read before and enjoy the horror theme, I think this is a good book for you. It is well crafted and well written, and Redmerski really shows her imagination everywhere. Just don’t expect action on every page, and if you are like me, you may still have some questions once finished, but I seem to be in the minority there.
The book is available on kindle unlimited and in print. If you have read it before, let me know what you think of it!