First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin. I saw this over at Kristin Kraves Books.
First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther.
Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
I am excited to be talking about my time so far with Birds Of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead this week. I was initially cautious about another Adam and Eve retelling but I am glad to say I am having the best time with this novel. Thanks for coming by to see my thoughts and please feel free to share any impressions you have on what you’re reading right now.
Many millennia after the fall of Eden, Adam, the first man in creation, still walks the Earth – exhausted by the endless death and destruction, he is a shadow of his former hope and glory. And he is not the only one. The Garden was deconstructed, its pieces scattered across the world and its inhabitants condemned to live out immortal lives, hiding in plain sight from generations of mankind.
But now pieces of the Garden are turning up on the Earth. After centuries of loneliness, Adam, haunted by the golden time at the beginning of Creation, is determined to save the pieces of his long lost home. With the help of Eden’s undying exiles, he must stop Eden becoming the plaything of mankind.
Adam journeys across America and the British Isles with Magpie, Owl, and other animals, gathering the scattered pieces of Paradise. As the country floods once more, Adam must risk it all to rescue his friends and his home – because rebuilding the Garden might be the key to rebuilding his life.
My Thoughts So Far
I am always a bit wary of fiction based on bible stories because I am not a religious person. That said, it would be nearly impossible not to have some knowledge of the story of Adam and Eve though, the legendary first man and women. I was hesitant but I read the blurb and the review quotes and between an intriguing plot idea and references to John Wick, I thought I would give it a go.
I am incredibly glad I did. I am roughly 100 pages in and it is fantastic. I was glad to see Oliver K. Langmead focus more on the mythology of the story than its biblical message, taking the time to grow natural essence of the narrative into something gripping and fascinating. Birds Of Paradise is set in the modern day and follows Adam on journey that is beginning to break through the cracks of his ancient memory. After committing a murder, Adam is broken out of jail by Rook and Owl. Now on the lam, Adam is sent to Scotland to follow up on some leads about Magpie who’s missing and presumed to be unstable. Magpie’s erratic behaviour has Rook worried and he needs an explanation. There are other people looking for Magpie, people who are investing large amounts of money into creating the most perfect garden on earth, a garden that contains a piece of Eden itself.
First off, I think this version of Adam is brilliant. His fixation on nature above all else is inspiring. In general Adam is distant, distracted and experiences life with an almost fugue like indifference. But when it comes to nature, plant and animal alike, he is invested and it makes for really interesting breaks in the story. I also love the idea that the first animals are immortals that walk the earth alongside Adam and Eve. Oliver K. Langmead has really gone the extra mile with fleshing out this idea. Owl and Butterfly are my favourite so far, one so vicious and wise, the other so glorious and artistic.
As far as action/thrills so far, there’s been a pretty intense (and dark) jailbreak but Adam is mostly walking the earth, trying to reconcile his mind with his memory. Looking for Magpie and seeing his friends along the way. It has all the potential of turning darker at any moment (I am anticipating a heist of some sort) and I can’t wait to see what OKL has planned for these characters. The weight of Adam’s history, between the world and between Eve, is present and being explored really well. I am yet to meet Eve but I hope to do so soon. I am completely immersed in this story so far and I’ve only scratched the surface. Let’s hope I have an insanely positive review to write by the end!
Thanks for checking out my latest first impressions post! I appreciate you all for taking the time to see what I’ve been up to in my little corner of the book blog community. At this time I can happily recommend Birds Of Paradise, I am just powering through it with ease. I think it’s the blazing connection with nature that is compelling me the most right now. It’s a perspective that can be muddied these days, always looking at screens and such. Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the post.