Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation. Her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rain forest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.
How to describe this read? With a post-apocalyptic world as the backdrop for this new series, readers are introduced to a world not so far off of what ours used to be with a slight twist here and there. The people of this world are judged and ranked based on their skin tone, among other traits. But Eden hopes for a better life for herself, her father and her fellow "pearls" that she thinks will be accomplished if only she can find a mate. But her ideas of what kind of mate would be the most ideal are as racist and biased as her current counterparts. Only time and a series of Herculean obstacles will show her the error of her ways.
What started out as a simple enough scenario and plot surprised me with its twists and unexpected surprises. Mistakes are made by both Eden as well as others around her, and what better way for Eden to learn than from her mistakes, right? Foyt created a series that may not be like most others out on the shelves today, but I'll admit that while that is true, it's also one of the reasons why this book appealed to me and had me sticking with it right up to the very end. I'll admit that at times it was slightly difficult to relate to Eden or the other main characters, but when it came down to it, I'm not sure anyone can really relate to what these people are going through. Many have described this story as a modern day beauty and the beast retelling, but I think it's more than that.
Far from a plain old retelling, this story takes ideas from others and makes them unique and new all over again. Bramford, Eden, the FFP, the coals and the pearls. They all have something to learn, and we as readers have the chance to experience it all right along with them. Take a chance on this series opener and you may be surprised to discover a new world that will take you on a wonderful journey and have you wondering long after the final page has been turned what will come next for Foyt's characters.
Details for Foyt's second installment in the Save the Pearls series have not been released yet. While we wait for more of that information, be sure to check out the Save the Pearls site and all the fun information that can be found.