Lara Morgan (author)
Walker Books, USA: 2010; 455pp
Genres: adventure, science fiction, speculative fiction
Issues: corruption, ethics, family, friendship
In her spare time, sixteen-year-old Rosie hunts for ancient objects from before the Melt. But when she finds a mysterious, ancient box, Rosie finds that her life has just taken a sudden turn towards dangerous. Why are people pursuing her – and threatening to kill her?
Five hundred years into the future it is a post-climate change world. The coastal cities have mostly disappeared and Newperth, where Rosie lives, is divided into the rich and the rest. The ancient junk that Rosie finds can usually earn her enough cash to buy fresh vegetables for dinner. Her mother dead from a plague, her father lost in grief, Rosie is determined to be like her aunt and become a space pilot.
The box changes all that. Rosie finds herself on the run and forced to rely on two strangers for help. Can she unravel the mystery before she makes a fatal mistake – or before her choices cause other deaths? Rosie rapidly finds that her insecure world is about to become totally unpredictable and she's going to have to grow up very fast if she is to save herself and those she loves.
A thrilling piece of speculative fiction, Genesis is the first in a series of what promise to be first-class futuristic action-adventure stories. Lara Morgan crafts believable characters in a frighteningly realistic context – a world where the climate change issues we are ignoring now have fulfilled their horrific promises. The world is a dry, harsh, over-populated place where the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever, where business controls government and where the drive to survive all too often outweighs ethical choices. Futuristic worlds often seem artificial but Rosie Black's world is all too possible – an overpopulated Earth, a small human population on Mars carrying out scientific research, communication nanotechnology, high daily temperatures, UV-protective clothing a daily necessity rather than choice, pure (rather than recycled) water an expensive treat... Genesis is a fast-paced thriller that demands reader involvement whilst also provoking (hopefully) some discussion about the world continuing blindly on our current, self-absorbed course.
Readers of The Hunger Games will enjoy this quite different series as it has an equally strong and determined heroine as well as the terribly handsome but apparently totally untrustworthy Pip. The Rosie Black series offers a similar, if less complex commentary on social, political and environmental aspects of today's world.
An absorbing read that you may not want to put down, so save it for a rainy weekend.
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