Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive.
The 64 members of Fire Lake’s sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning, and zero rules apply. But Noah’s deaths have trained him–hardened him–to lead the strongest into the future . . . whatever that may be. And at any cost.
Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn’t enough.
Trapped in a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it’s tempting to lay back and let everyone else fight it out. But Min’s instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She’s ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whomever might stand in her way.
[Contains mild spoilers from Nemesis]
It was kind of hard to gather my thoughts for this review as I kept forgetting where Nemesis ended and Genesis began. I read this immediately after Nemesis, so the lines separating the events in both the books kept blurring in my mind. Moreover, it has been a while since I finished this book.
But, oh my, this was so good! I am happy I managed to get an ARC and didn’t have to wait till March to read this. This was such a fantastic sequel and .. well … an amazing example of how you up the ante on everything, while resolving some unanswered issues too:
- Genesis starts off with Min and Noah pondering about everything they do know. And still don’t. I loved that Min kind of spoke for me as a reader. Spoke for all my doubts. Through the characters, the book wastes no time tackling a gaping existential plot hole of the first book – how on earth can you make a book about murders interesting when no one can really… stay dead?
- I found the inclusion of so many characters in the first book sort of overwhelming, But this book explains the need for such a large “book population”. New alliances are formed, old ones are broken and some just go underground. Oh, there is a lot of emphasis on strategy, vantage points, “brute force v/s brains” and the clash of personalities. Of people choosing to die instead of “sinning”.
- Min’s best friend – Tack avoids coming across as the generic best friend / sidekick stereotype we usually see in fantasies with the “strong female teenager” as the main character. In fact, none of the three – Min, Noah and Tack, ever come across as invincible. It is quite the opposite – All three of them – at some point or the other (or, for most of their lives) – have been shown as people bullied by others, lacking confidence, and shirking the responsibility of leading. It is something they have to learn to “fake” – the poise – in order to survive.
- At different points in the story, the three of them get separated from each other and re-group with different characters. I think that was such a great way to not just see them as “individuals” (instead of, as a “pack of three” – like it usually happens in fantasies”), but also let the secondary characters share the spotlight and be integral to the plot.
- I loved how, for the most part, Min and Noah were just stumbling around for answers. How they never came across as the Chosen One or “special snowflake” stereotype. In fact, for all the time taken to set them up as lovers/antagonists, it was two other characters who stole the show – whose actions set up some of the concluding moments in the book.
There were a few things that could have been better. After all the violence in the book, the ending gave a “wrapped in a neat little bow” vibe. And, I feel the inclusion of so many characters diluted the effect of some of the “twists” in the book. It is hard to get “shocked” about a X,Y or Z character betraying one another if I barely remember who they were in the first place.
If you loved Nemesis – If you were spooked by the Guardian, daunted by the Silo and wondering whether there was more to the beta-testing, then you would love Genesis. It is gory, twisted and perfect for readers who love books with people dropping dead every other page. And yaayyy!!!! There is a third book coming!! Can’t wait!
Note: I won an ARC of this book from Amanda MacGregor. Genesis releases on March 6th , 2018