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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Book Review: Genesis

Author: Bernard Beckett

Release date: 2009
Genre: Science Fiction
Target audience: YA
Publisher: Quercus

Genesis is a sci-fi tale of survival, philosophy and artificial intelligence. In my mind it is also about compassion and what makes us human.

This is a story set in a future where humanity faced extinction. On the island republic founded by Plato, a small society survived and cut itself off from the rest of the world.

The inner form of this novel is really unusual. It is told largely as a record of an examination. The dialogue is between the main character Anaximander and the examiner. Anaximander is being tested on her knowledge and if she passes, she will enter the Academy. The topic she chooses for the exam is the life of Adam Forde. Through the interview, we learn about Adam, Eve and the fate of humanity. In the pauses between the parts of the exam, we also learn about Anaximander and how she comes to be sitting the examination.

This book was such a quick, gripping read. It was intriguing to be given the back story to Anaximander’s exam in little tiny snippets. I was willing her to do well in the exam even though I didn’t know what would face her on the other side. Beckett creates great tension and the feeling of standing on a precipice as if one wrong move will send you into the abyss. The writing is skilfully done.

The ending was a twisty, surprise. I never saw it coming and that was both thrilling and shocking in equal measures. It is weeks since I finished reading this book and I’m still ever so slightly confused by it all but in a good way. It was a revelation! And for a book with the title Genesis, that seems entirely fitting.

Read Genesis if you like your novels concise, thought-provoking and compelling until the very last page.

Source: Own copy

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