Book Review: Emergence by Rachel E. Fisher—and a Recipe Tour

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Eden’s Root Trilogy #3
Published April 30, 2013
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Eden’s Root Trilogy #3
Rachel E. Fisher
Rachel E. Fisher, April 2013
ISBN 9781484183915
Trade Paperback

From the author—

The pieces on the board are in motion and with both sides gathering strength, each move will be critical. When the Truthers make a play for checkmate, the Seeders are forced to respond.

Fi and her companions will face greater challenges and higher stakes than ever before, because this time if they fail, it’s for keeps.

Ah, it’s so  nice to re-connect in real life with the people we learn to love and appreciate and the same is true with the book series we read. Fi and Asher, Sara and Sean, and many of their friends have stuck in my mind and it was a real pleasure to see them again. I have also enjoyed getting to know certain other characters better than I did before, Seeders like Squeak , Darryl and Julius and even some of the Truthers, as unpleasant as they are. After all, to truly understand the two bitterly opposing sides, you first need to understand why they have become that way.

For my earlier reviews of the first two books, Eden’s Root and Seeds of War, go here.

I came across one thing fairly early on that alarmed me a bit in the depiction of the ultra-religious side, a feeling that the author’s treatment was overly harsh, making it seem as though there are no good aspects to religion. Ms. Fisher soon showed a different approach to the subject in one small but significant scene and I realized I was wrong about her intent. One other issue bothered me a little; the post-partum depression that Fi experiences is rooted in reality and I felt her descent into a personal hell, really felt it. The problem for me came when she recovered because it was just too immediate. Yes, some very good news was the impetus for her coming out of it but it happened too fast and completely for me to believe.

Putting that aside, Ms. Fisher has once again crafted a story that grabbed my attention in the very beginning and never let go until the end. Continuing with the theme of what can happen when genetic manipulation runs amok, the Seeders and the Truthers finally confront each other over how the world will go forward now that billions have perished thanks to the destruction of most of the food supply. Was war between the two sides inevitable? Yes, I believe so, for a number of reasons, not least of which is humanity’s propensity for hatred of ideas that are different. We don’t do very well at  accommodating each other’s positions or accepting that there is not just one correct way of life, do we? Ms. Fisher has done a masterful job of bringing her young characters to a point where maturity (perhaps born of great necessity) is now allowing them to be judicious even while their passions have not abated a bit. When their home is attacked and their friends and family put at great harm, Fi, Asher, Sean and Sara have only one goal in mind: to make it all right. How they will do that and still retain their own honor is at the heart of this conclusion to a captivating post-apocalyptic trilogy.

And about that ending…did I love it? Yes, heartbreak and all, but I also hated it because I don’t want to let go of these people. It’s a suitable ending, no doubt, and it wraps things up nicely, letting the readers feel a sense of completion but I have high hopes that we’re going to see these folks again considering the discovery that Asher makes in the last pages. Please, Ms. Fisher,  tell us more!

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2013.

About the Author

Rachel E. Fisher

Rachel E. Fisher

I am a wife and entrepreneur living and working in Florida. I am also a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where I majored in Biology. It was always my assumption that I would end up making research my life. Though it did not work out that way in the end, my passion for Biology remains intact.
I have always loved biology-based science-fiction and the young adult genre. It is in this vein that I offer my work.

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Recipes From Rachel’s Website

Sweet Savory Crossovers – Cinnamon and Chesnuts

Cinnamon Sticks - Healthy, Sweet Savory Crossover

Cinnamon Sticks – Healthy, Sweet Savory Crossover

Like my post on Quinoa, I would like to draw inspiration from some sweet / savory crossovers that made it into the evening meal last evening.  It occurs to me that lots of people who want to eat differently need to start by doing just that…eating ‘differently’.  In other words, just expanding your food horizons will help you to discover new things, new flavors, and new ways of putting things together.

Last night’s meal brought to mind how much I personally love flavors that can go with either a sweet or a savory dish.  One of the most interesting is Cinnamon.  Growing up, I always thought of Cinnamon as being a spice that goes with desserts and sweets exclusively, that is, until I saw someone use it in a chicken rub!  I was shocked but the chef was Mexican and she said that they use Cinnamon in a lot of their savory cooking.  Then I saw the same thing in an Indian meal and I was hooked on the idea.  To illustrate, I’ll describe last night’s meal: Vegan Chile Relleno

2 large roasted and peeled poblano peppers

1 giant portabella mushroom, chopped into small pieces/crumbles (can also use tofu crumbles or tempeh), marinated and seasoned and then cooked with onions.

1/2 large onion, diced and cooked.

1 cup brown rice, cooked and drained

1/4 cup of vegan almond, based pepper jack cheese, shredded

Just stuff and bake at 375 for about 8 minutes…It was delicious!  But where did the cinnamon come in?  In my mushroom mixture.  I marinated the mushroom crumble in soy sauce, mushroom broth, salt, pepper, oregano (also a staple in Mexican cooking), chili powder, and CINNAMON!

The interesting thing about cinnamon once you start using it in savory dishes is that you realize that Cinnamon is not actually a sweet taste or flavor.  Rather it is spicy or hot, just like GINGER!  The reason people reach for it with fruit pies and cookies is to help offset the sweetness, to provide a subtle heat to balance the sweet.  When you use Cinnamon in savory dishes (tofu and veggie chili for vegans, chicken and pork come to mind for non-vegans), you taste the heat and the flavor but there is nothing strange or ‘desserty’ about it.  I suggest that you give it a try in your next savory dish but GO EASY and TASTE.  It is a very strong spice and a little goes a long way.


Delicious Roasted Chesnuts

Delicious Roasted Chesnuts

On a separate note, we roasted chesnuts in our oven.  This link gives you a great article and instructions from someone who has done it both right and wrong.  It is very funny!  About half came out perfect and since my husband had never tried them, it was a real treat.  Needless to say, a chesnut is a delicious sweet/savory crossover all by itself.  There is a sweetness to the meat that is delightful, but in the end the chesnut is very…meaty and savory.  It is filling and delicious and I look forward to figuring out ways to do more with them than a simple roast.  I appreciate any ideas, comments, or recipes you may find for chesnuts that goes beyond the initial roast.

By the way, it is possible to get organic nuts at many stores that offer organics.  Our chesnuts were not only delicious, they were organic.



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