Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden
First edition hardcover
|Series||Save the Pearls|
|Genre||Fiction, Dystopian, Science fiction, Young Adult, Romance|
|Publisher||Sand Dollar Press Inc|
|January 10, 2012|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & e-book)|
|Pages||320 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0983650322 (first edition, hardback)|
|Followed by||Adapting Eden|
Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden is a 2012 young adult novel by American author Victoria Foyt and the first book in the Save the Pearls series. The book is set in a post apocalyptic dystopian society and follows the titular character of Eden as she attempts to move outside of her set station in life and find a way to survive outside the norms set by society.
Book two of the series, Adapting Eden, was released in the spring of 2013.
The book follows Eden, a young white female who has been raised in an apocalyptic environment. A solar burst has decimated nearly all life on earth, forcing everyone to live underground to avoid "the Heat", the world's name for skin cancer. The underground society relies on a racial system where the darker your skin naturally is, the more likely your rate of survival is. Each race is given a name for their station, with whites being named Pearls and blacks being named Coals. Eden spends most of her days in a research assistant position which she achieved due to her father's importance to a secret assignment, and most of her nights hoping that her boyfriend Jamal will one day choose her as his mate. She is often at odds with Bramford, a rich Coal who has hired her father, and occasionally resents the fact that she must wear dark make-up over her body to hide her skin color.
When the scientific experiment run by her father and Bramford is attacked by a political group which believe Pearls to be inferior, Eden barely manages to escape with her father and Bramford. Once outside, Eden discovers that the experiment's purpose was to infuse humanity with the DNA of several animals to ensure a higher rate of survival, and that Bramford was the test subject. Bramford brings Eden and her father to a village hidden in a rainforest which had managed to survive the solar blast, and where he and Eden's father plan to progress further with the experiment. As time passes Eden, slowly falls in love with Bramford and discovers his previous relationship with a Pearl and that he had an albino son with her, something which is seen as unbearable in that society. The preparations for the next experiment are eventually finished, only for the village to come under attack by the same political group. The group is defeated and Eden makes the choice to undergo the infusion of animal DNA with Bramford's son.
Revealing Eden received a large amount of criticism over the book's depiction of black people. In the book racial groups receive titles according to their ethnicity, with black characters receiving the name "Coal", which some readers viewed as a racial slur. Foyt also received criticism for the promotional videos used in the book's marketing campaign, which depicted the main character of Eden in cosmetic makeup used by Caucasians in the series to protect themselves from "The Heat". Some viewers felt that the makeup resembled blackface.
Foyt responded to the criticism by stating that she had not intended the book's contents or advertising to be racist, and that her intention was to write a novel addressing the issue of global warming.
Weird Tales Magazine
The book received further criticism upon an announcement by editor Marvin Kaye that Weird Tales would publish an excerpt from the novel's first chapter. The magazine cancelled plans to publish the excerpt shortly after several readers and authors threatened to boycott Weird Tales. John Harlacher removed a post by Kaye that defended the book and posted a message apologizing to readers, a move that was criticized by ThinkProgress's Alyssa Rosenberg.
- Eric Hoffer Award for Young Adult Category (2012, Adapting Eden)
- Los Angeles Book Festival runner-up (2012, Adapting Eden)
- "Racism row novel Revealing Eden falls at every hurdle". London: Guardian. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Young adult novel sparks controversy over racism". Daily Dot. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Gerstein, Julie. "Today In Racism: YA Series "Save The Pearls" Employs Offensive Blackface And Bizarre Racist Stereotypes Plot". The Frisky. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Foyt, Victoria (30 July 2012). "Judging a Book By Its Cover". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Fox, Rose. "Weird Tales Goes Back in Time". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Anders, Charlie Jane. "Weird Tales Magazine faces a boycott after endorsing a "thoroughly non-racist book"". io9. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Flood, Allison (21 August 2012). "Racism row over SF novel about black 'Coals' and white 'Pearls'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Anders, Charlie Jane. "Weird Tales backtracks on support of "ridiculous and offensive" novel". io9. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "A Message from the Publisher". Weird Tales. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Boog, Jason. "Weird Tales Publisher Apologizes for Magazine’s Association with Controversial Novel". GalleyCat. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Rosenberg, Alyssa. "From Weird Tales and ‘Saving the Pearls’ to ‘All-American Muslim,’ Consume the Content, Not the Hype". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 22 August 2012.