Thursday, April 30, 2009

Genesis by Bernard Beckett Discussion + Giveaway

Today we have something a little new and exciting! Lenore of Presenting Lenore, Sharon of Sharon Loves Books and Cats, and I will be discussing Genesis by Bernard Beckett today spread across all three of our blogs. Please stop over to their blogs to check out the rest of the discussion!

For those not familiar with Genesis here's the information off the back of the ARC:

It's the year 2075. A remote island Republic has emerged from an apocalyptic, plague- ridden past. Its citizens are safe but not free. They live in complete isolation from the outside world. Approaching planes are gunned down, refugees shot on sight. Until one man rescues a girl from the sea...

Outstanding and original, Bernard Beckett's dramatic narratives comes to a stunning close that will leave you reeling. This perfect combination of thrilling page-turner and provocative novel of ideas demands to be read again and again.

Onto the discussion:

Alea: When Lenore first featured this book on her blog, she shared with us several versions of the cover. What do you make of the U.S. edition? Does it fit the story in your mind? Did what you see on the cover change after reading it?

Sharon: When I first saw the U.S cover of Genesis I really wanted to know what the book was about. After reading the summary I thought that it fit the book really well. The strip of hair that appears on the cover didn’t make much sense to me until the end of Genesis. The ending totally changed my perception of the cover. I really thought that the U.S. cover was a perfect fit because the ending of Genesis also changed my perception of the book. So the cover and the book were just perfect for each other.

Alea: Being much more familiar with this genre were you surprised with how the events unfolded in Genesis? Did the ending take you by surprise? Would you consider Genesis to fit in easily with other dystopias or is it in a class of it's own?

Lenore: I was shocked by the ending. It’s not that is totally original – I’ve read several stories that are surprising in a similar way – but I really didn’t see it coming until it was there. And then in that moment, you think back on all you’ve read up to that point and realize, just like Anax does, that it couldn’t really end any other way. After reading, I’m actually a bit surprised that Genesis is being marketed as YA since, as a dystopia, it more resembles adult titles of the genre. Teen titles tend to have a lot more action and have a more active protagonist – but Anax doesn’t do anything in the novel besides study and take her exam.

Sharon: With barely any description to go by how did you picture the character of Anaximander? Did you find she had a relatable personality?

Alea: I pictured Anaximander as a quiet, bookish girl that doesn't call attention to herself, always with her nose in a book or maybe looking off into space thinking about the past or the future. Physically I decided that she had long brown hair that maybe hid her face a bit. I found her personality very relatable! If we lived at the same time we definitely would have been friends or study buddies! We're both serious about our studies and are big rule followers!

And let's end with a giveaway for an ARC of Genesis! To enter:

Leave a comment sharing one of your favorite dystopia novels and why you like it. If you have never read one what interests you about this genre?

For 1 additional entry post/blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment telling me you have done so.

This giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. and Canada.

Please leave a way for me to contact you if you are the winner!

The giveaway will end Thursday May 7th at 11:59pm Central Time.


  1. Great discussion guys!! cant wait to see what Sharon and Lenore have to ask on thier blogs!

  2. This was really fun! We should do it again :)

  3. Wow, what a great way to promote this book! I've never even heard of it until now but now I'm REALLY intrigued and want to read it. Great discussion style!

    stephxsu at gmail dot com

  4. I've put a link about this in my sidebar!

  5. Oh man, I'm lame and forgot to answer the question. When one says "dystopian novels," I usually think of three: The Giver, Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, and The Hunger Games. I read The Giver in middle school and now it remains in my mind as a successful way to integrate MG/YA lit into the classroom. Uglies is, Scott Westerfeld? Need I say more? And HG because it's terrifying and enthralling and engrossing. The end. :)

  6. Steph - I completely agree on your three choices. Very good examples of the genre.

  7. I LOVE The Stand. That has to be my all-time favorite. And especially relevant at the moment.

    I also loved the Hunger Games. But I think The Stand wins out. The ultimate battle of good vs. evil and King's character development is tough to beat.

  8. At my first stop on Lenore's blog I had mentioned that I haven't read a dystopian novel before. But the genre does interest me and I have many on my TBR shelf. I also mentioned why I'd like to give Genesis a shot first because of the different approach the author took.

    After reading your post, Alea, I find myself extremely curious about this ending! I'd love a chance to win a copy but if not I'll definitely go get one so I can finally get a dystopian novel under my belt. The book itself does sound right up my alley!

    P.S. This spoil free discussion you gals are doing is unbelievably great! I'm really enjoying it.

  9. I also posted a link to this giveaway on my sidebar.

    Thanks for the chance to win Alea!

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  10. I'm going to have to go with Uglies + sequels because I'm a big fan of Scott Westerfeld. I also loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

  11. I've never read one. This sounds really interesting and I love expanding my reading.

  12. Oh, man, I love dystopian fiction. I just read (and reviewed) Hunger Games, and I reviewed Parable of the Sower a few months ago (it was excellent).

    lorin_arch (at) hotmail (dot) com

  13. PS: I forgot to say, great discussion, you three!

  14. What a great way to discuss a book! I'm really enjoying this.

    I like The Stand - I've read it multiple times and watched the miniseries. The characters are great and the underlying message is actually one of hope. I also like Stirling's series starting with Dies the Fire - again because of the depth of the characters.

    dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

  15. I'll always have a soft spot for Orwell's 1984...but Hungar Games was my favorite recent distopian read.

  16. i like this discussion format you have going. i took a look at the other covers and agree that the U.S. one fits best. i must say though at first i was turned off by the title. Genesis reminded me of the bible and christian fiction. i wasn't interested in a preach-y kind of book so i didn't read the description. however after reading the description and this discussion, i'm really interested in this book! btw, my fave dystopia storyline is the uglies series by scott westerfeld.

  17. Sylvia6:31 PM

    I've never really read any dystopia books but this book sounds really interesting and I would love to read it!

  18. I really like the discuss and style of discussion. Very creative. Thanks. And the book look fabulous BTW.
    I'm a big fan of dystopian fiction, both YA and adult. Hunger Games is the most recent example I've read, and then Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, Uglies series by Westerfeld, City of Ember by Jeanne duPrau, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Exodus by Julie Bertagna, Feed by MT Anderson, The Gover by Lois Lowry, Life as We Knew It by mary Beth Pfeffer and Watchmen by Alan Moore

  19. I'm not sure if it counts, but "Cell" by Stephen King would be at the top of my list. My e-mail addy is in my profile.

  20. And, as an added entry, I've mentioned this contest on my own blog, which is linked in my profile along with my e-mail addy.

  21. WOW. This book looks AMAZING. I love books involving dystopias. One of my favorites is the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfield. I just thought the world he created was really interesting - in some ways it was very futuristic, but in some ways it was a huge amplification of the problems that exist in today's society. Plus, I loved the characters, and Tally was written in a way so that I could feel how she felt and understand the struggles she was going through.

    My email is


  22. I linked the contest in a blog post.


  23. My favorite dystopian novel would have to be Fahrenheit 451, mainly for the ideas that books and thinking are bad. That's just so backwards. This book looks very interesting, so I'd love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity!


  24. My favorite dystopian novel would have to be The Giver. I loved The Hunger Games, but The Giver has a place in my heart since I love teaching it to middle school kids.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

    silverwebd2419 at yahoo dot com

  25. *pauses to look up dystopia*... Oh, um... I think the Giver is one of the only ones I've read. Science fiction isn't really my thing.

  26. And I put a link here:

  27. Islands. I have this thing about islands. You're trapped, but not starving; it's beautiful but dangerous. I've always thought it would be neat to either read or write about living on an island.

    I blogged about this contest on my "Contest" page.

  28. Oops! Forgot to include my email!

  29. Bleu Reader11:25 PM


    This is a very cool dialogue regarding the book Genesis. In a couple bookstore hops, I saw this book in both young adult and science fiction. The book flap caught my attention regarding the question of soul and existence. I then did an internet search and came across your discussion. It seemed this would be a type of book I would appreciate, in the mention by Lenore over at Sharon’s site regarding Battlestar Galactica. I do remember when Sharon faces Adama on the question of why the human race believes they should survey, as well as Natalie in the fourth season on colonial one negotiating the plan to rescue and the influence of mortality on the cylons’ existence philosophically.

    Your question of favorite dystopic novel, do you consider dystopic the same as post apocalyptic? Or is dystopic being more a philosophical term? I first thought of the Y: The Last Man series, in that it does address philosophical, religious and political issues, as well as post-apocalyptic world. But it is not a novel. Then I thought of the Dark Angel television series, which i would consider in this genre as well. Cross media it has been interesting, once in a while providing really complex, strong women characters.

    Really, books, identified as dystopic that I would consider as a favorite is challenging. I think that it is hard for me to categorize into this type. Would The Lottery by Shirley Jackson be included? I think maybe of futuristic representation or alternate reality rather than infused with supernatural, books such as by Melissa Marr and Rachel Caine which orient differently. Similar, could Sunshine by Robin McKinley fit into this genre? Or is the emphasis more on identity and self context. Maybe Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro?

    I appreciated the characterization that you considered for Anaximander, and I as well find her extremely relatable and self reflecting.


    scullybleu at yahoo dot com

  30. This was a great way to review the book. It was so hard to write the review without giving everything away.


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