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 woman who has been raised in a post-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 was published on January 10, 2012 by Sand Dollar Press Inc, a publishing company founded by Foyt.
In August 2012 Weird Tales magazine announced that they would publish an excerpt from the novel’s first chapter. The magazine cancelled plans to publish the excerpt after readers and authors threatened to boycott the magazine.John Harlacher removed a post by editor Marvin Kaye that defended the book and posted a message apologizing to readers, a move that was criticized by ThinkProgress’s Alyssa Rosenberg.
Imogen Russell Williams in the Guardian panned the book, saying “there is barely a detectable sign of any plot; the whole thing is remarkable for repetition, [and] incoherence”, and also criticised the book’s handling of race.
In the book racial groups receive titles according to their ethnicity, with characters receiving the name “Coal”, which some readers viewed as a racial slur.
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 racism, interracial love and global warming.