Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Genesis—Dale Mayer

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I've had this book finished for a few weeks, but the schedule's been a bit crazy and it's taken me a while to put together a coherent and thoughtful response to it. Especially considering the nature of how I came to read it, namely a free copy from the author/publisher.

Let's start with the things that I really liked about this book. The premise and world were incredibly interesting, and the idea of the magic system was intriguing. Essentially, Genesis, the oldest of triplets, lives on a world called Glory. In a stunning turn of events, humans had completely destroyed planet Earth, and so had to look outside of their native planet for somewhere else to live; hence, their existence on Glory, and ostensibly other planets throughout the galaxy. (There was a casual mention that scientists were working to making Earth habitable again.) Glory has some sort of magic system that involves the use and movement of energy, which is a power that Genesis has in spades, and has been taught by her late grandmother. There are water pools underground that have some sort of healing qualities, although that's not really investigated. The spirit pets were adorable and worth reading it on their own, because now I desperately want one.

Okay, things I had issues with. This list is unfortunately a bit longer than the list of thing I loved. Overall, this book just felt so disjointed, and ultimately like nothing plot-wise really happened. It's the first in a trilogy—each one is about one of the triplets, which, don't even get me started on the triplets—but it doesn't feel as if there's anything to be resolved further in the trilogy because the conflict feels entirely manufactured. There was NO background on any of the characters, the world they live in, or the magic system that exists. While the snapshots that we see of each of these are enough to keep you reading, there is no explanation of any of them and how or why they work they way they do. Which leads to the feeling that there is no payoff. Why should I care about a character who seems to have come into existence three seconds before I started reading about their life? Further, the lack of development into the magic system, and the terminology and phrasing which makes it seem as though you should already know exactly how it works, leaves a reader feeling as though they've completely missed something.

Ultimately, the story ends up feeling like a poorly constructed vehicle for a love story. Perhaps if the love story itself had been more compelling, I could have forgiven the other issues I had with the book. Because we don't get much background on characters—if any at all—I have no investment in the relationship between Genesis and her ex-boyfriend. Further, the information that we do get is that they only "dated" for a week, over a year ago. Yet, they're still pining for each other. Now, I consider myself something of a romantic. But two people who were only together for a week, that relationship is not based on an undying love for each other—it's based on pure lust. That's fine, if you want to have a lust-based relationship in a book, I'm all for that. I love sexy times as much as the next person. But don't try to sell me mud and say it's ice cream...or some other saying that connotes the same thing. Just be up front about the nature of the relationship.

This gets incredibly frustrating when Genesis and Connor both refer to how he/she has "always" made them feel a certain way. Really? Always? Like, that whole week? Here are just a few examples: "He'd always had the power to move her, a sensuality that he never seemed to be aware of." "A look she'd always loved and thought she'd never see again." "She loved him so much. Always had." Emphasis was mine, but that was only three of the myriad examples. I just can't take something seriously when "always" refers to one week's worth of time.

There were moments of poor grammar and unrealistic, awkward, clunky dialogue. But I could have also forgiven those if the other redeeming features had been greater.

There was a lot of promise here, and I can only hope that the other books in the trilogy live up to that promise.