3.5 starsI’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked by this book without giving it so much as a second glance, so I’m a little late in making the discovery that this book is completely rad and excellent. (Yes, rad. I don’t give out that kind of praise easily! And shame on me for ignoring this book.)Genesis was an ideal book to break out of my genre comfort zone, a smooth step into speculative / science fiction after a glut of contemporary and dystopian reads. Lara Morgan’s depiction of “Newperth” was vivid – while the writing is not heavily descriptive, reading the book was quite a visual experience. Morgan has some seriously imaginative ideas for her future world and I loved the direction she took with the Melt and the division of Perth into the Old City, the Banks and Central, and the socio-economic repercussions for the residents. I particularly liked the portrayal of life for the Bankers: the squalor and the noise and the bustle really came to life on the page. However, for me the real strength of this book lies in the pacing – it is tightly written and the tension mounts consistently. Even though Genesis weighs in at over 400 pages, it’s still quite a brisk read, with punchy chapters and cliffhangers drawing you quickly through the story. Morgan also weaves in some good twists and turns, keeping the plot engaging and the stakes high. It also helps that the characters are well-drawn and interesting. Rosie herself is a resilient, inventive sixteen year old, who is still vulnerable and makes mistakes. I liked her blend of intelligence and street-smarts, while still being a relatable teenage girl. Rosie’s dynamic with dreadlocked, blue-eyed Feral, Pip, is brilliant. Their interactions felt believable and true to their characters, and I couldn’t help but smile each time he showed up (except, of course, when bad things were happening. Pip!)While I did read this book in a bit of a frenzy, flipping pages because I needed to know what was going to happen to next, I will say that I did prefer the setting of the first part of the book. (If you’ve read this, hopefully you’ll pick up what I mean here). While the latter setting was intriguing, I preferred the… believability… of the former, and found it easier to immerse myself in. During the later stages of the book I was more invested in the characters than particularly fascinated by the world they were in. Also, I don’t feel qualified to comment here on the science used in the book, or how Genesis stands up against other young adult spec/sci-fi, but frankly, I was far too busy being entertained to care. I wasn’t distracted by questioning the world or the premise as I have done with other futuristic fiction. The story and the characters were strong enough to keep me thoroughly engaged in the prose. Having now been suitably chastised for making a baseless assumption that this wouldn’t be the type of book for me, I will definitely read the second book without hesitation, and look forward to the next instalment in the Rosie Black Chronicles.