Sunday, April 19, 2020

Genesis by Layton Green

Unknown 9: Genesis (Genesis Trilogy, Book #1)
by Layton Green
Release Date: March 13th 2020
2020 Reflector Entertainment Ltd
Epub ARC: 432 Pages
ISBN: 978-1999229702
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from author

5 / 5 Stars

Strange hallucinations have plagued PhD student Andie Robertson throughout her life. After years of consulting doctors, she decided the visions were a glitch in her own mind until her mentor, the famous physicist Dr. James Corwin, is murdered in Italy, and Andie finds a stack of ink drawings in his office that bear a remarkable resemblance to her hallucinations.

Determined to find answers, Andie follows a trail of clues placed by Dr. Corwin, for reasons unknown, in museums and cultural sites around the world, highlighting human achievement as well as a tapestry of secret knowledge woven into the threads of history.

Yet Andie is not the only one searching. Powerful forces know of her mentor's invention, including a mysterious elite society that spans borders and will stop at nothing to find the device. Now a target herself, Andie and a disgraced journalist embark on a perilous journey that might hold the key to a new frontier of knowledge-and which also promises to unlock the doors of her past.

My Thoughts
I was thrilled to be offered Genesis to review as I have been a huge fan of this author since I first read his Dominic Grey series ages ago, and I was curious as to the subject matter he would present next in his novels.  I was definitely not disappointed; a puzzle thriller with mathematics and physics, and some conspiracy theories, at the heart, this book starts off with a bang and doesn't really let up until the end. 

Now, this book is quite deceptive as the author actually throws quite a lot at the reader; you've got everything from conspiracy theories about aliens, to government coverups, to mathematical and scientific theories, to secret societies.  I loved the scientific and mathematics concepts in this book and was thrilled to meet Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac***, and one of the characters, Ettore Majorana, plus some mathmaticians from the Ancient World.  Anyone with any knowledge of mathematics/physics will be familiar with those names, even Einstein was mentioned although he hasn't appeared as of yet.  And while you non-scientific people may be quailing at the thought of math and science, do not despair, as the author has this amazing ability to explain the concepts in layman's terms so it is easily understood, or as easily understood as possible.   

Like all of Layton's books, while the action can be pulse-pounding, the strength always lies in his characters and in their development.  Andie (Andromeda) and Cal come from completely different worlds, she is a physics doctoral student while Cal is an investigative journalist fired for digging into things he shouldn't have, and the two have crossed paths in their struggle against an organization known only as LYS. Andie's mentor and close family friend was murdered while on a business trip in Bologna, leaving some cryptic clues for Andie to figure out, telling her to trust no one, not even her family, thrusting her into a political struggle that has existed for a long time. Having little experience in evasion, I like how both of them rely on their wits to evade the people chasing them, plus a little bit of luck, but the luck doesn't seem forced or fake.  Having read this author before, I know not to take for granted anything in his books, so I am always paying attention to everything, even if I don't understand, as I know it will be explained later on.  

The plot of the book can be quite intense, in particular the second half of the book as Andie and Cal race after clues trying to evade people who are after them (and I am still trying to sort out who are the bad guys and who are the good guys in these rival factions).  Keep in mind, this is the first book of a planned trilogy, so the author is setting up characters and events for future novels, so the first half of the book does exactly that.  However, I find it all fascinating and intriguing; having both a science and history background, this was right up my ally.  The story does split into different POVs, even going back to the 1930s, told from Ettore Majorana's POV, giving us a plausible reason for his disappearance before WWII.  The multiple story lines are flow quite seamlessly together and I enjoyed the back and forth as it advanced the story without giving too much away.

Genesis does a great job making the story and the characters compelling and interesting. I have always loved puzzle element story lines so this was right up my alley, and I am thrilled there are two more books to come in this trilogy.  The author gives the right balance between explanation, description, and action without overwhelming; I particularly loved his descriptions of Egypt and Venice.  I highly recommend this book (and his other ones too), and am looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.


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