Review: Genesis by Lara Morgan

Rosie Black is on the run to save her family and uncover the truth.

Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the Centrals ; the have-nots, the Bankers ; and the fringe dwellers, the Ferals . Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it and they ll kill to get it. Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss? From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box. Before it s too late.

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Review

Genesis was not what I was expecting, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I was assuming the story would be an Australian-based dystopia interspersed with an organisation-based conspiracy. The conspiracy is present and a chunk of the story is set in Australia, but at some point it warps into something else and I ended up not knowing what to expect.

When we’re first introduced to the protagonist, Rose Black, she’s scouting with a friend in a potentially dangerous, off-limits area, in the ruins of what was once Perth. Right from the start we can learn how precious water is, vegetables are luxuries to the point of Rosie willing to risk her safety to attain them, and it’s fairly obvious how different Rosie and her friend Juli are; one is a toughie and has street smarts, while the other is quite naive.

The difference between Rosie and Juli is only the beginning of showing the divide between classes with both characters reflecting where they have come from. The divide is shown up even more when the girls head back into the living areas and we’re presented with how far advanced certain aspects of society has become with high-tech gadgets, hover crafts, space travel, and lots of U.V. protection for those who can afford it, as well as poverty running rampant throughout the area.

Civilisation is a mix of poverty and hard living with high-technology giving a sense of futurism, but the mixture is pulled off in such a way that the technology doesn’t come across as overblown and out of this world. What I loved about Genesis was the believability of the two extremes and how the daily living could conceivably come to pass. I think having the Australian climate as the background setting lent a harshness that enhanced the world building.

With the introduction of space travel and the more sci-fi elements of the story taking place, you’d expect it to change into a science-fiction, but for the most part the beginning came across as a post-apocalyptic tale even when more and more high-tech gadgets kept cropping up. The main impressions I received up to the half-way point was an intriguing post-apocalyptic harsh climate affected by global warming and a shifty, nefarious organisation leading the story to something darker.

Up until the halfway point that is; I was finding myself turning pages in rapid succession. Genesis is quite an effortless read and I believe part of that is due to the momentum the first half of the story creates. The other part would be the promise the beginning gives and thanks to these two reasons, I feel that’s why I was able to finish and be carried further on to the end.

During the second part I found I continued reading, not for a love of the story anymore, but in order to feed a need of reading, which eventually had very little to do with the tale itself. What came across as being a post-apocalyptic dystopia quickly turned into more of an adventure, science fiction novel once the halfway point had been passed. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that for me except for the discrepancies taking place when the setting changed to Mars. For all the time the characters spent there, descriptions of Mars came across as quite sparse. There were descriptions to a degree, but unlike the first half of the story, I found it harder to keep those images in my head while reading and they lacked the fullness created earlier on.

What did not help the story in my eyes and irked me was Rosie. I appreciate vulnerability in a touch character, which is how you could consider Rosie, but she developed tendencies that stood out and I found to be rather annoying. At one point it seemed as though each time she had a confrontation with someone, Rosie would taste blood. It began with her biting her tongue, then moved onto biting her lip, and after a while she wound up tasting it without biting anything.

She was self-deprecating by calling herself an idiot far too often for my liking and for someone who had supposed street smarts when we first meet her she was very trusting. Not that she didn’t question people at all, it wasn’t so breezy a journey for her, but for someone who had grown up with her background, I found it hard to believe her character at times. Rosie gave up too and in too easily and then when it comes to life-threatening situations, the way she would react about Pip’s closeness… I was jarred from the writing each time she noticed his muscularity or his eyes, especially when it was smack, bang in the middle of an action scene.

Anyway, needless to say I wasn’t impressed with the characters or the ‘love story’, and unfortunately the detail with the villains was a little on the skimpy side, but I’m curious to see where the story goes. The ideas Lara Morgan has come up with, the use of technology, and the tantalising glimpses into a believable futuristic society has whetted my appetite enough for me to want to pick up the next one soon after.

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Word on the street is I love guest posters. It’s true! If you’re interested in guest posting on BA, whether it’s book reviews or something else book related, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

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