Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Review: Genesis by Bernard Beckett

genre: ya dystopian

book 2 of 25 for the Young Adult Reading Challenge
book 2 of 2 for the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge

The format of Genesis is one of the things that makes it so unique: when we meet Anax, she is beginning her entrance exam to The Academy. All her hopes for the future rest on her acceptance, so these four hours are the ones she has spent the last several years training for. Her topic of expertise? Adam, a critical figure in the history of the island Republic, one around whom both controversy and conspiracy theory swirl. We learn about the our earth's destruction (in the very near future for us) and re-creation through Anax as she answers her exam questions. She is forced to deconstruct her own assumptions and sift through everything she's ever been taught about history. We learn what has happened subsequently to our earth through the context of Anax's examination. Very cool.

Genesis is a book that will take your brain to the limit - the ethical questions, especially are abounding as we learn about Adam and part he played in the final war. I loved how it made me think, how it made me question and choose sides. Anax is such a sympathetic character, with feelings so much like mine (on an ethical level, anyway), that I loved hearing her interpretation of the events I was learning about. While sometimes the philosophical conversations got a bit...circular, they were pointed and really, made me think more every single time. I'm STILL thinking about it. What is it inside me that makes me human, what is worth protecting? Could I explain my own love of being human, if I had to? How do we determine, as a society, who gets to have "free will" and how shall we determine who gets to help make choices for all of us?

Books like this are why I love to read. With a slam-bang ending and a clear expectation that we are on this ride as much as Anax, this is one that I want to read and discuss. Great piece of work. Totally worthy of my Comfy Tree Award.


bermudaonion said...

That book really gave you a lot to think about! It sounds like one my whole family would enjoy.

alisonwonderland said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I'm adding it to my to-read list. Thanks for the review!

Shanda said...

I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for your review!

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