Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review of The Apocalypse Gene

Some people love the paranormal powers of psychics and auras. Others are devoted science fiction fans. Still other readers fall to the lure of fantasy, angels, demons, and gods. And who doesn’t like a good action adventure? The Apocalypse Gene is a book that takes elements of paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and action adventure and weaves them into a tale that readers of all these individual genres can enjoy.

Olivya sees auras, something she has always tried to control and keep from interfering in her day to day life, which happens to consist of caring for the dying souls spending their final days in her family’s hospice. Who would want to see the vibrant colors of death and diseases? Olivya’s abilities lend a very vivid and artistic element to the story. I enjoyed the descriptions of emotions through color, the bright yellows for lighter emotions and dark variants of reds and greens for those that were more sinister. Seeing the world through Olivya’s eyes was a new and interesting experience.

Mikah is a mystery to Olivya in so many ways, but the reader quickly learns that there is a reason for his secretive nature. Bringing a mythical slant to the book is Mikah’s demigod heritage and not-quite-human abilities. His story also connects the death Olivya is surrounded by every day with worlds beyond imagination and monsters of alien background. The combination of these two characters twists classically separate genres into one story very well. The sci-fi was balanced well by the more mythical side of angels and demigods. Even the futuristic society were all “normal” life is carried out in an online reality contrasted very nicely with the everyday malignancy of cancer run amok.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the incorporation of the familiar with the unfamiliar. Many of us have heard of auras, but have you ever thought of using psychic power to do battle? And who doesn’t have an avatar of some kind in today’s world, but have you ever considered what you would say to a miniature version of yourself suddenly come alive? The Apocalypse Gene never felt too out of the realm of reality, even with Adversarii and Xeraf-Yim, because there was plenty about this society you could relate to still.

Overall, this was an entertaining book that had interesting characters and a well thought out plot. I never knew what was coming next, but I looked forward to finding out. The endings of books are a big deal maker or deal breaker for me. If the ending is awful despite the rest of the book being good, it’s most likely I won’t read anything else by the author because I hate putting in a lot of time with a book only to be disappointed. The Apocalypse Gene definitely came through on the ending. I felt like all my questions were answered, it was exciting, I was kept guessing right up to the end, and it was nice and dramatic. You won’t be disappointed at the end.

One thing I didn’t particularly connect with in the book was the heavy used of slang and hyphenated future names for things. I found these very distracting while reading and felt like it took away from the writing. Similarly, the Ayvilo character was my least favorite in the book. Her constant sarcasm and generally bratty attitude and constant slang usage did not help me connect with her. I found her to be obnoxious rather than funny, and a distraction at times. My only other complaint was that while the romance between Olivya and Mikah was sweet, it wasn’t as compelling for me as it could have been. It seemed to be based too much on looks for Olivya’s part. If the “outsider” connection between them had been used as a stronger pull for them to be together I think it would have struck me more profoundly.

As a whole, the book was a very interesting read. I loved the separate genres combined in such a fun, yet dark, way. The creativity of the story was very compelling and the artistic and vivid descriptions pulled me in time and again while reading. The Apocalypse Gene was an entertaining read that will make you laugh and threaten to make you cry when you’re convinced nothing is going to work out. And the end will pull all the myth, science, and emotion together beautifully.

Would I recommend The Apocalypse Gene? Yes, you’ll enjoy it!

Who would I recommend this book to? Anyone willing to give crossed genres a try, and YA readers who want a slightly dark, but a generally sweet book with a great ending. 

Go get your own copy today