I wasn’t sure Project Nemesis by Brendan Reichs was a series I wanted to continue with but I’m so glad I did as book 2, Genesis, is absolutely brilliant. Packed full of action from the very first page to the very last and with more than a few twists this is seriously addictive reading.
Note: as this is the second book in a series there will be spoilers for the first book from here on in.
Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive.
The 64 members of Fire Lake’s sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning, and zero rules apply. But Noah’s deaths have trained him–hardened him–to lead the strongest into the future . . . whatever that may be. And at any cost.
Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn’t enough.
Trapped in a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it’s tempting to lay back and let everyone else fight it out. But Min’s instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She’s ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whomever might stand in her way.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I finished the first book in this series I have to admit I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue. I loved the premise but didn’t connect to any of the characters and felt there was maybe too much going on. I couldn’t however resist Genesis when it popped up on NetGalley as I was just too curious about where the story would go.
It turned out this was a very good decision as this is a very enjoyable read. It picks up not long after the dramatic conclusion of the first book with a bang (literally) and the pace never lets up. I will admit that I’d forgotten some of what happened (and what was revealed) in Nemesis so was a little confused in the beginning but it didn’t take long for me to get back up to speed.
I’m not going to say much about the plot but there are elements of Lord of the Flies, the Hunger Games & Battle Royale all mashed up with something quite unique and different. There are more than a few twists and turns and I loved how the dynamics of the various groups of characters changed and developed with each new reveal. I will admit I’m not wholly convinced by some of the science behind it but I was willing to go with it and it did answer a lot of the questions that I had from the first book.
There is a lot more action in this book and, I should warn, a lot more violence and death, some even I found shocking. It does however raise a lot of issues over how far you would go to survive or to gain power but also what you’d be willing to sacrifice for your beliefs and those you care about. I thought the way the author used a diverse mix of characters to demonstrate this was very well done.
Unfortunately though the number of characters in this book was also something I struggled with. There are various different groups and a lot of different names and changing allegiances to keep track of. I don’t have the best memory for names I’m afraid so I did get muddled on who was who from time to time before deciding it didn’t really matter and focusing on the main ones.
Like Nemesis, this book is told in alternating chapters from the povs of Min and Noah and they really are intriguing characters. Both have had similar experiences but react in different ways. Min is the steadier and more stable of the two and I loved how she held onto her morals and beliefs. Noah was however much more erratic and therefore interesting. It is so good to see a male lead who is so uncertain and anxious. He makes mistakes and deals with things badly but I still found myself rooting for him and hoping he’d come good.
I did feel some of the other characters were a little stereotyped and I would have loved to get to know them better but with so many characters and so much going on there just wasn’t time.
This is a seriously action packed and fast paced story and I pretty much read the whole thing in a day, I couldn’t put it down. It’s not perfect but it is a series I’d recommend. I’m hoping that there’s a book 3 as I want to know what happens next.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.