In true Young Adult novel fashion, Eden’s parents left this world years before our story takes place. Their sudden, and quite gruesome death (sorry, not sorry), serves as a motivation for Eden. But their fate also affects another person.
You see, in Eden’s mind, she didn’t just need a best friend/sidekick. Eden also needed a partner-in-crime. That’s where Cyrus comes in.
Older than Eden by a few years, Cyrus was his parent’s golden child. Quite simply put, he wasn’t Eden. First borns are always better, aren’t they? (Amy says as a first born child and definitely not biased at all.) Calm and level-headed, he liked to be in charge and organize things. He gladly took his father’s place on the council of elders upon his death.
Yet, what Eden loved most about her big brother Cyrus wasn’t his bossy personality. It was his sense of humor. Cyrus was a beacon of light in their eternally dark life. From ice skating and snowball fights to picture books and late-night storytelling, Cyrus was sure to make sure his little sister was happy. Truly happy.
To quote Eden:
“I look back up at my brother, taking in the mud of his eyes. I see years of digging through dry dirt and repotting pathetic vegetables. I see the precise slices of his blade through tomatoes and his dirty fingernails as he turns the page of his Holland book. His laughter as he slides across the frozen river, his smile when I return safely from another mission, and his comforting embrace when I begin to panic in the overwhelming small of the Underground flit through my mind like a flip book of images.
If anyone deserves to live, it’s him. Not me.”
Within the walls of the Anthropological Park, a human-zoo for the machines, Eden meets someone new. A boy born behind the glass of the exhibits with soft hands and a gentle heart. Her angelic exhibit mate, Knox, has never known freedom, never known another human, never felt emotional pain and loss. But when he sings, Eden’s pain melts away and she forgets her demons for a moment to become lost in his world.
Without Knox, Eden has no hope of escaping the Anthros. He knows the machines and the hallways. If only he wanted to help her….
Eden clings to Knox when she needs him the most. But remember what I said about her ability to love blindly? It’s not always a strength.
Random, but true: You gotta watch out for those boys with “K” names.
They’re the worst.