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Genome: The Novel Paperback – August 16, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Author
Genome is at heart a ghost story with a technological twist.
What if you could alter your senses and experience the paranormal? Would you risk your life to see into that world? Would you risk blindness or worse to see the ghost of a lost love?
Genome asks these questions and more about our perceptions of life and the afterlife.
About the Author
Gary Henson was born in Levelland, Texas, among the dust storms, tumbleweeds, swamp coolers, cattle ranches and oil fields. His family moved to Boulder, Colorado in the mid 60's and yes, he does remember it. He joined the US Nuclear Navy at 17, married his lovely, childhood sweetheart, Debbie, and then 'saw the world' for 9 years. Though it was a somewhat oddly shaped world; seen through the periscope lens of a submarine. Storytelling is an everyday part of his life. He has a tiny but insistent muse sitting on his shoulder, always feeding him new and sometimes 'challenging' ideas. The good ones he tries to put to paper, the rest he tries to bury very, very deeply. Follow me at garyalanhenson.blogspot.com and on twitter @garyalanhenson.
Top customer reviews
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Cover Talk: I'm not a huge fan of this cover, but I do dig the science-i-ness of it all. It matches the the theme of this book well, particularly with the mysterious trees behind the science particles. I like that it blends together the two worlds of science and supernatural.
First Impressions: When Gary emailed me about reviewing his book, I was really excited about it. I still hate that I waited so long to buy and it read it, but I'm glad that I did. It's such a refreshing feeling to read books that I normally don't. Science related books are not usually at the top of my list, but I was intrigued by this one.
First Few Chapters: So, I'm not sure how I feel about the prologue. I understand after reading the book why it was there and how it relates to the supernatural aspect of this book, but it really threw me off for a good while. Also, the first several chapters were really hard for me to read because I am not science savvy. I understood all of the words, but I literally didn't feel smart enough to read this book.
Characters: Jack is such a sweet, genuine character. The whole time I felt so bad for him. His girlfriend gets murdered, his best friend is kind of lousy, and he doesn't seem to be 100% anymore after the death of Emily. I also really loved his willingness to be so open to the supernatural world after being such a man of science.
Frankie is too cocky for my taste. I didn't like him at all. There were moments that I liked him, the times when he got excited about his work were kind of cute. I love seeing people get worked up about what they do. I also found him to be way too jealous for my taste.
Samantha is such a great character. I love the supernatural yang she presents to Jack's science yin. They make such a great team. Her kindness and empathy makes her such a wonderful character. I really wish there were more characters like this.
Plot: I really enjoyed this book. I have not read a book like this ever really. It's one part sciencey, one part supernatural, one part romantic. Normally this is not my cup of tea, unless it's in a YA setting, but I will actively start seeking out these books in the future.
I did find myself skipping over some bits of the science mumbo-jumbo. Not to say that it isn't well done. It' is beyond well done. I liked the science scenes when the science was being explained to Samantha, because they had to dumb it down for her so I was able to catch up nicely.
My other issue with this novel was the character inside thoughts being written out. While I don't mind the occasional inner thoughts, I felt like there were just too many. It did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel though. I still definitely enjoyed this book and will be reading more of Gary's novels.
Final Thoughts: While a lot of the science stuff went over my head, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were incredibly interesting, the murder and mystery was well done, and I enjoyed the supernatural bit too.
Gary's premise that those who can communicate with the spirits are blessed with a special structure to their DNA, was unique, and then to suggest that a non-psychic individual's DNA could be altered to give them the power, really enriched the plot. Thanks, Gary, for bringing this story to us. I very much enjoyed it.
Gary's writing style creates a soft easy spoken voice in my head to tell the story. For me it usually takes a few pages to settle down with the author and on this, Gary was an exception. By the end of page two, I was comfortable and reading along smoothly. From there the story held me for the duration of the book. The plot and characters made sense, the sci-fi lingo was up my alley, and I found myself enjoying the whole thing as Gary steers the readers along on their journey to the last page.
As you can see, I don't indulge in reviews by doing a book outline of the plot etc. because that's not how authors make a living. I will say this. $2.99 makes this writer and this book a low cost, high entertainment value read for those who enjoy the genre. I've published 15 books so trust me when I say, this one will not come back to bite you. It's good fun reading pleasure.
Having said that, I am battling to read the book - it does not flow for me. The characters don't feel real, and the dialogue is stiffled. I think that a good edit / rewrite could easily take this book to a much higher level.