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Atom and Eve by Jeff Yager
Review by Mel Jacob
Hannacroix Creek Books Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781938998348
Date: 15 May 2013 List Price $16.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Publisher's Book Page / Show Official Info /

Atom and Eve is centered on the stereotypical differences between contemporary men and women. The novel begins with a virulent flu attacking Americans and killing them. A researcher working on a treatment to prolong life stumbles on a way to cure the plague, but it has unexpected consequences.

The writing leaves a lot to be desired. As a YA novel, the violence, sex, and language may offend some readers, but others may regard it as realistic or even not extreme enough. The story is told through the lives of several characters including a woman candidate for President, the medical researcher, a super smart but nerdy teenage boy, and a female ex-gang member. Unfortunately, the characters never really come to life. Emotion is lacking and stereotypes rule. Yager may be trying for satire since he lampoons politics and relations between the sexes.

Most of the male characters are either macho yahoos or the househusband type. The women are strong or grow stronger as the novel progresses. While Mandy, the researcher, has a pivotal role, her motivations are not entirely clear. Ambitious and frustrated by a male-dominated society, she is a rebel determined to follow her own path regardless of the costs to her or to others.

Kendra, the presidential candidate, has ambition, but finds the opposition from men daunting. Over the course of her campaign, she persists and grows, helped in a large part by the changes Mandy’s flu drug causes.

Rick, the nerdy teen, remains something of an enigma. His presence in the wrong place makes him a victim. Lucky for him, Isabella, the ex-gang member, saves him. The two then develop a friendship.

The two main villains are Dickinson, the epitome of a bad cop, and Christy, the leader of a female gang that takes what it wants and only keeps token men to service their sexual needs. Both represent extremes.

Yager has the potential to become a good writer. He has ideas and interesting opinions, but needs to focus more on fully developing his characters and his writing style.

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