What was the name of that bus that hit me? Oh, that's right, it was Dark Genesis!
My, that was a noodle nuke. I'm still trying to gather my thoughts for a moment...
First off, I think I'd like to give my rating of 4♥'s, and explain just a bit of why it didn't quite make it to 5♥. I really think it's important to note that this is more of a 'straight-up fantasy' with only light hints of what I would think of as today's idea of 'urban'. In fact, if you could take Buffy, Lord of the Rings, and maybe even a little Wizard of Oz, and a dash of La Femme Nikita, and roll it all together into this little package in book form, it would be at least similar to Dark Genesis. Odd mix, right? I have to admit, as well, that fantasy is not my usual 'bag'. I've read LOTR, urban fantasy galore, and even loved the YA fantasy series Eden, but in general I need the 'urban' in my fantasy. Once I realized (fairly quickly) that this is primarily a fantasy, I dragged my feet. I spent forever reading in the beginning. I was fighting a battle with myself, and my short attention span, trying to get 'grabbed' by the book. Took absolutely forever, it seems. But short of that beginning (and my personal preferences being the instigator) I ended up loving this book. So, I can only rate my reading experience, and while I was smitten by the end - it didn't grab me by the collar at first and say, "Screw you and your 'thing' against fantasy, READ ME." Does this make sense?
Now, that being said, there was a point where I was captivated and could not stop reading. It actually took till around 40% or so... seems a long time to finally get sucked in, but boy! Hook, Line, and Sinker. The characters is what finally broke my shell and shook me up. At the beginning, there was this feeling like 'quest time' and you know the usual collecting the merry band of travelers... but once that kind of almost superficial veneer wore off and I got to really SEE the character underneath, I was surprised by their depths. For the girls, you got a two-fer choice between Parker, aka 'bad boy' rogue-type anti-hero/hero, and the almost Prince-Charming-like, gallant hero, Eric. It's totally a win-win situation for us girl readers, although I'm firmly a member of 'Team Parker'. Love those bad boys! And something should be said for Alyssa as well, being the main character and all... She was really surprising, all around. Mad skills like Buffy, interesting inter-actions in this 'fantasy' world when she's used to our regular existence... well, her version of 'regular' anyway. I understood her choices and was able to sympathize with her, regardless of my personal skill level of decapitating vampires.
Roller coaster ride that is the reading of Dark Genesis starts here. Buckle your seats, make sure your tray tables and chairs are in their full-upright position, and grab onto your armrests, because this book is one twisted, wild ride. There are more twists, turns, and loop-de-loops than I've read in a while. Predictable, except for a common fantasy 'quest theme', this was not. I was REALLY starting to get nervous around 80%... thinking, there's not enough time left to finish this, is there? (Time enough left in the book to resolve the plot.) Then at 90%, I was wild-eyed and twitchy, thinking there REALLY isn't enough time to finish this! Then *BOOM* (that was the sound of me practically falling out of my chair at the end.) *Gah!* Indeed, it freaking resolved. It really was the ending I wanted to see, too.
Ultimately, if you are a fan of fantasy with just a dash of urban, and even a slight sprinkling of steampunk (in a fantasy setting) then I think you will absolutely revel in Dark Genesis. It's really got a good sampling of critters, an ensemble supporting cast, and sweet little modern 'nuggets' (references) through the book!I did receive an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own and I gained no compensation for my review.