Content: Rated ‘R’ for violence, sexual situations and language.
Review: The fourth and final book in the Black Earth series, Exodus brings the threads of Alderman’s epic story together for an explosive conclusion.
The book itself is surprisingly short. It’s the shortest in the series, and could be read in just a few sittings. Because of its brevity, I was surprised that Alderman was able to bring the story of all his major characters (and most of the minor ones) to a conclusion.
I knew going into this story that Black Earth served as a prequel to Alderman’s current young adult series Expired Reality, so I was prepared for an unsatisfying ending, and it was a pleasant surprise to find a mostly satisfying conclusion. I had two issues with the book. First, it would have been my personal preference to see the final two scenes’ orders switched. The story would have had a more “finished” feel for me if this was done. Second, while one of the major characters who became separated from the action of the story has a conclusion in the book, it was unclear to me how her “experiences” affected the overall conflict in this story. Despite these two issues I felt satisfied coming to the end of this long and rewarding journey.
Once again Alderman’s writing is superb, and the world he created is strange, bizarre, disturbing and imaginative.
Black Earth: Exodus belongs to the sub-genre of “Edgy Christian Speculative Fiction” which means that Alderman doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of life and the unfortunate consequences of decisions.
This was a great story and a great series. I highly recommend it to those interested in edgy science fiction and apocalyptic stories.
After reading the final book in the series, I have to say that the Black Earth saga is one of my favorite contemporary series. It’s not without its flaws, though. Some of the proper names are not very good at all, some of the characters are two dimensional, and some of the dialogue just falls flat.
All of that aside, I found David N. Alderman’s imagination to be unbelievably fertile. I love the world he created and how he revealed just enough about all the oddities in the world to grant me understanding, but not so much that the world didn’t seem mysterious and frightfully filled with the unknown.
The reader is given a satisfying ending, but it’s very clear that some elements of the story will continue on in his ongoing young adult series, Expired Reality. This isn’t a problem in theory, but I think the major flaw in this design is that Black Earth is for mature readers, whereas the follow-up series is for young adults. While the two audiences may interact with each other, this creates an unfortunate barrier for younger readers of the ER series to go back and read the prequels.
Personally, though, I am looking forward to reading through the Black Earth series again someday soon! It’s an imaginative, fresh and unique world!
Black Earth: Exodus Rating: 4/5 (I Really Liked It)
Black Earth Series Rating: 5/5 (I Loved It)
You can find information on Black Earth and the rest of Alderman’s works on his website: http://www.davidnalderman.com