120. Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Genesis by Bernard Beckett (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 185
Ages: 14+
Finished: May 19, 2011
First Published: 2006 New Zealand (Mar. 24, 2009 CAN)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopia, post-apocalypse
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

Anax moved down the long corridor.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I love dystopian literature and will read pretty much anything I can get my hands on as long as it sounds interesting to me.

The year is 2075, an island society lives behind a Great Sea Fence and is modeled after Plato's Republic. The society is Utopian to all those within, but watching over society very carefully is The Academy where the Original Sin has been concealed very carefully from this Brave New World.

Written in a unique format, we meet Anaximander as she begins her four hour oral exam to gain entry as an historian at The Academy. The book's chapters are divided into the four separate hours of Q & A followed by a stretch of break time between each where Anax is left to her thoughts. Anax's project is based on Adam Forde a great cultural hero who died before the Great War. Through her telling of his story and the questions asked of her we learn the history of this world: the global disasters, the Last War, the seclusion of The Republic behind the Great Sea Fence, the plague that destroyed much of mankind and The Republic's response to killing any who sought asylum with them,  and finally, the beginning of the Great War which tore down the old Republic and established the New Platonic Republic. We are mostly exposed to Adam and his world, along with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) device that has been left with Adam after he ends up in jail, as all true great people's hero's eventually do. It is through Adam's and Art's relationship and lack of such that we really get to know this man and his society and eventually back to Anax's. The surprise reveal at the ending was a shock to me but now that I've thought about it I should have seen it coming, but I didn't.

The book is unusual. It wasn't a page-turner for me and took longer for me to read 185 pages than it should have. But it was interesting and never did I consider putting the book away, or *not* continuing on with it. The story lingers with me. The ending is certainly what makes the book worth the read and leaves one to ponder on many levels. Readable.


  1. The setting and format of the story sounds different and unusual.


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