Posted August 28, 2017 by wildandw in ARC Review, Book Reviews / 0 Comments


The Genesi Code cover
 The Genesi Code (The Genesi Series Book 1)
Author:  Tristen Willis
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Publishing:  September 1, 2017 (Austrailian eBook Publisher)
Format:  ebook, 226 pages
Source:  e-ARC via author

“‘Now, Luka, I need you to pay very close attention to what I am about to tell you.  What I am about to say is going to change everything…'”


MY RATING: starstarstarstar .25


Luka was only eight years old when her father, Christopher Foster, was murdered.

Christopher had been working on a cure for the Genesi Code, which has plagued the human race since the government began experimenting on human DNA in an attempt to create a genetically-advanced army.

Luka has spent the last ten years training for the military’s elite taskforce, known as Delta Force, so she can uncover the truth surrounding her father’s murder. But along the way, she uncovers a truth about herself that she is not yet ready to face.

Could the truth surrounding Luka’s past be the key to curing the Genesi and ending the war? In the end, is revenge all that matters?


The Genesi Code photo


Anyone who follows me on Bookstagram knows how happy it makes me to support authors and small businesses.  Tristen Willis happens to be both — a debut author, as well as the owner of Burning Pages Candles (a small bookish candle company).  I was so thrilled when I received a message from her regarding reading and reviewing an e-ARC of her novel, The Genesi Code.

Willis resides in Australia, where she works full-time in addition to running her small business and writing.

Let’s chat about her book…

I am not going to lie, I tend to be really critical of dystopian stories.  I am always really drawn to them, but they are super hit and miss with me.  *Side note:  Dystopians also totally freak me out; thinking they could possibly happen one day.

So, I loved the synopsis of The Genesi Code!  The cover is also really pretty.  This is the first book in a duology, although, I think Willis could have easily lengthened this into a trilogy.  I did like it, but I had issues with it, too.

The ‘Genesi Code’ was a government experiment gone bad; an attempt to create an army of super soldiers that backfired and plagued mankind.  Luka’s father was working on a cure, or so we thought, when he was murdered.  Luka and her best friend, Harvey, promised to avenge his death and spent the next ten years training in order to be accepted into the elite military branch known as Delta Force.  Once there, they find out that things are not what they seem.

The story line for The Genesi Code is great!  I think fans of Divergent and Maze Runner will enjoy this book (duology), but I think the execution of it missed the mark a bit.

After being drawn in by the description, the book kicks off with a really intriguing prologue.  The pacing slows a little as the story is being set, but it does level out once we get to the training facility.  The book wraps up with a plot twist that I NEVER SAW COMING and a cliff hanger that absolutely has me wanting to read the next book.

I did find it a bit odd, though, that this story is set 200+ years in the future and things are so familiar.  I would have imagined a little more change, whether it’s technologically or more drastic destruction due to the war.

I mentioned previously that I thought Willis could have easily made this into a trilogy.  I say that because I often found myself wishing the plot or the characters were developed more fully.  Willis used a lot of details to describe certain things, like the layout of the training facility (and/or the secrecy or it) and, later, the exploration of the abandoned town, but I felt that the important events transpired too quickly and without enough evolution or explanation.

I assume the observations help us to understand Luka’s analytical personality, but I would still prefer the events have transpired with more detail.

I also feel like I would have liked to get the know the other Delta Force recruits and some of the other secondary characters better.  Where did they come from?  What made them who they are?  What are their strengths/weaknesses?  Why should I care about them?  Etc.

Luka, Harvey, and Ren are dolls!  I didn’t know how I felt about Luka at first because she is so analytical that it comes off very mechanical.  I understand why, now, and I do like her!  I felt really bad for her at the beginning, too.  My heart literally broke for her.  I  was so glad Luka had Harvey as a friend, and I thought he was such a great rock for her.  He just seems like such a genuinely good guy.  Then, I met Ren!  Ugh, Ren!  Let me clarify…that is a good “ugh.” He makes me a little nervous, still, but I think that just has to do with his upbringing.  Just for the record, I have an internal tug-of-war going on, and I don’t know why side I want to win; Harvey or Ren!  I love them both.

As far as the Genesi go — meaning the people themselves — I don’t want to talk about them except that I have hopes for Nate.  I will let readers discover the Genesi on their own!

The last thing I wanted to critique is the writing.  Unfortunately, that (along with the lack of development) is the major reason I lowered my review rating.  I did think it got a little better as the book progressed, but I struggled with the lack of fluidity.  Concepts and phrases were often repetitive, and it made for very choppy reading.  I think this is something that will only improve as Willis continues to write and grows, perhaps adjusting her editing/reviewing/publication process, but for this book, I feel the inconcise writing hindered it, some.

Overall, as I said before, I enjoyed The Genesi Code, but I had some issues.  I think fans of dystopian/sci-fi YA will enjoy it, and I will recommend it!  I cannot wait to see what else Tristen has in store for us, and I hope the second book is in the works because I NEED to know what is going to happen next!  The Genesi Code releases September 1st and is currently available for pre-order!

Until next time…xo

*Thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced galley of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.

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