Dark Genesis

Rated 3.96/5 based on 25 reviews
With no memories, Alyssa stumbles into a dark world populated by witches with frightening powers. Even more terrifying are the monsters who rule over the land - vampires and other awful creatures have taken over, forcing the witches behind stone walls, afraid to venture outdoors. But Alyssa finds that as she kills certain monsters, memories return to her, of Earth and the boy she left behind. More

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About Dave Ferraro

Dave Ferraro grew up in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where he was warped by a steady diet of comic books, horror movies and young adult novels. He is the author of the paranormal fantasy series "Hunters of the Dark," as well as "Dark Genesis" and the gay teen paranormal romance "Twice Bitten." He graduated with a B.A. in English and creative writing from Saint Cloud State University, and currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Irais Heras on Sep. 22, 2013 :
This was not the book for me, a little too fairy tale... but that doesn't mean that isn't a good book
I was expecting something different, more like paranormal urban fantasy, so maybe that's why I didn't liked the book so much
The book stars a little too slow paced and then at the 70% of the book everything happens too quickly and the end was a little disappointing, after all Alyssa had to overcome I was like "seriously?????"
I was more interested in Alyssa previous life than what was happening in this other world/dimension/plane or whatever you want to call it
Also somethings were really predictable
The good thing was that some of the supporting characters where interesting but the villains felt kind of meh...

Book provided by the author in exchange of my honest review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: BookAngelRV on Sep. 18, 2013 :
I really loved this story. The world that the author created was very interesting as well as scary. It had several twists that I did not see coming. The ending tied up everything neatly giving this book a well-deserved ending. I give the book 4 stars.

I think my favorite part was the different covens and creatures that inhabited this world. There were many myths that surrounded this world as well as a history that made it believable or possible. However with everything that happened in the first book all I want to know is what in the world is left for the second book? Also I think that the Ticks were a nice addition to the story. They had just enough “ick” factor to make the reader cringe when you hear about them or they enter the story but they were a necessary part of the story as well as creepy addition. When dealing with witches and spells that go wrong it is not all going to be good.

The thing that I didn’t like as much was that I didn’t feel like Alyssa stayed consistent throughout the story. At the beginning she was tough and took out a ton of vampires without breaking a sweat but by the middle of the story it seemed that her friends were doing all the dirty work. At the end she started to show more of the kick butt heroine that she is but for a while there I was worried.

The story let us get to know more about the main character by giving us flashbacks to her past at the same time that she was getting the memory. When she arrived in the story she didn’t really have all her memories of herself and I liked this way of getting to know her. It helped us to know more about her and why she is able to be who she is.

The ending was very well written. It tied up all the issues that had come up during the story as well as gave us a few twists at the end & throughout the story that I was not expecting.

While there was a few things about this story that I didn’t like as much the good definitely outweighed the not so good by far for me. I will be reading the next in the series and will re-read this book also in the future again.

*I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: chucklesthescot on Sep. 15, 2013 :
Alyssa wakes up in a field on an alternate Earth full of magic and monsters and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. After befriending a coven of witches, Alyssa begins a dangerous quest to kill the monsters to get her memories back, helped by a variety of people with special monster hunting skills.

I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting the book to have the setting of a more traditional King Arthur court kind of fantasy so I was worried that I might not like it. However as soon as I got into it, I was caught up in the adventure. I like the fact that Alyssa has no magic powers in this world and that she finds ways to use that as a weapon against the witches and monsters she faces. The worldbuilding is interesting and detailed without getting boring and the varity of characters and monsters was great!

I really liked our band of heroes-Alyssa and Vessa had an interesting and complex relationship that is well developed through the novel. Parker struck me immediately as the likeable rogue, instead of just the straight romantic hero. I laughed at the vanity of Eric and enjoyed the sarcasm of Lace who became one of my favourites. Kaitlyn was a character that I wasn't too sure about all the way through which gave her a more interesting edge than she might otherwise have had. I liked what was done with Beth as well. Ooh there is so much I want to say about the characters but that would mean spoilers so I must restrain myself! OK one wee hint-when the witches discover a traitor in their midst, I knew instantly who it was because of what happened when they first entered. I did suspect the possibility of what happened in that flashback shocker but I was taken by surprise a few times in the final showdown. I like it when that happens!

The range of monsters in the book was wonderful for an urban fantasy fan like myself! Vampires, werewolves, human sized ticks(UGH), witches, demons, Ice Queens and Fire Kings, zombies! What more could you have in a book? Plus we had the city of Frankenstein where the people are creating science instead of magic and I found this bit really interesting. It blended both versions of Earth together with a nice thick helping of monster mythology!

I don't think I could say there was much I didn't like. There was a good mixture of action packed plot and character development. I enjoyed the way Lace in particular was developed with her mixture of cowardice and bravery. It made her more real. I liked the storytelling and the simple way that the story was told. I liked the gradual development of the relationships between the characters and the way they became more committed to each other and the quest. It was good to see them all playing their part in the quest and becoming a real team. OK so I didn't like the cruelty to a few poor animals though! *Sniff*. I'm such a soft touch when it comes to dead animals. I never did forgive JK Rowling for what she did to Hedwig and Dobby...

The great thing is that I have a few more works by this author that are lurking on my Kobo and I'm REALLY looking forward to reading them now! This book will appeal to those interested in fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal and adventure books. Highly recommended.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bruce Weller, Jr on Sep. 09, 2013 :
I found this book riveting I like the way Alyssa found herself. The idea of selflessness by someone is a deed that only is done by courage. The way the character’s begin and found betrayals and understanding within them is a very good way to live. In the end a decision had to be made that was from the heart not of the mind. We as people can be put in places that are scaring and dangerous but it is the trueness of which you are that will see how you survive it. Life is based on choices and the choices the character’s made in this book were by far courageous and heartwarming. The outcome of the book was indeed a surprise and I love it when it takes me a while to figure a book out! I hope the author finds a way to make these characters into a bigger series. The only thing I hate is when the story I like is completely done! I would love to put in all the great parts of this book. But I will not spoil a story for no one. I am glad that I read this book and I hope many people get a chance to read this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Alyssa on Sep. 07, 2013 :
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT ANY MAJOR SPOILERS.

Dark Genesis was really good. During the middle of the book, it made me think as if the story was an RPG game. If you know Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy and such Role-Playing Games, the book definitely gave a feel that it was like one of those that has a good war story, and you're part of fighting with them. Which was really interesting because it's the first time I viewed a book as such.

It definitely has a great plot. I love that there's always happening either in the world around or even in the characters' minds. Because of that, it gave the impression that the book was not about Alyssa only, but it was about the people in the group and the world itself too. Yes, the story's main character is Alyssa but it shows off the other characters well, making it the story of all of them. Especially the part that Alyssa wasn't the only one who killed the Targets. Just shows that each character had a story to tell and not just Alyssa's.

I loved the twists present in the book. Some were expected but the part of Alyssa's memories had the best twists for me. I appreciated the fact that the memories she gained changed the way she lives in the Witch world. I also love the concept and the world that the author made. I especially liked the concept of Adam and Lilith, thus making the Witch world so realistic.

There were times that when I read it, my mind would trail off to something else. I'm thinking maybe it's because of the abruptness of what was happening. There were parts that happened too quickly. And also made me think that the action in the book was lacking. I always thought that conquering Lady Blood and Lilith would be the hardest and would take a long time. But they were very straight forward and seemed easy.

I know that the romance is just a side story of the book, but it had me going! There came a time that I had no idea who would Alyssa choose, whether it be Parker or Cory; which was very interesting. But I do wish the there was more dose of romance. I just thought that the love story of Alyssa and Parker was not through out the book, but only in parts where they should be there. Even Vessa and Eric's love story seem so sudden to me as if it just presented itself. I just thought that it would be cool if there were hints given of their love stories through out the whole book.

In general, the book was really good. It gave surprises and twists that every reader would definitely love. It was well written but could've been better, but the story-telling was at it's best! Congratulations to the author, Dave Ferraro.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Niamh on Sep. 05, 2013 :
Thank you to Dave Ferraro for the free copy of Dark Genesis as part of the Goodreads Read 4 Review programme.

This is hands down the best book I've read as part of this programme. Ferraro has a deft touch when it comes to setting the scene and the characters have nuance (albeit nothing very original in terms of the human experience but they're well written). I love the whole premise of the book and the dilemma the protagonist is faced with at the end of the novel is an interesting one to ponder. I saw it coming, but nonetheless it's still a great thing to consider. The world has been rendered well and is a great venue for an exploration of bravery, loyalty, friendship and sacrifice. The story progresses well and the characters face interesting challenges. I don't normally like religiosity in my fiction but enjoyed the exploration of the notion of what constitutes the soul as it felt more existential and spiritual than preachy.

I'm not sure who the intended audience is. I'm used to my quests being more complex and detailed when reading adult fiction, but I think this is great for a young adult audience or adults who aren't looking for a dense Games of Thrones/Wheel of Time saga. Each 'trial' is resolved rather quickly and easily but that keeps the book chugging along quickly.

It's the first R4R book I've read where poor grammar, spelling or stylistic choices didn't derail me and lift me out of the story. I noticed a couple of little things but nothing that distracted me so props to who(m)ever edited and proofed the book: well done.

I don't normally spend money on digital books as my iPad is provided by my work, but I'd consider buying the next book in this series as I want to know what happens next. Congratulations Dave!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Ana Torres on Sep. 03, 2013 :
I loved this book. I love paranormal books, give me one anytime I will read it till I am done. I can never get enough. Alyssa was sent to another world with monster she didn't think existed. I had my fill of vampires, weres, witches.. and even though she couldn't remember who she was she kick some ass and more she did, the more the memory returned to her. Alyssa had to go through some hard jumps in the road to recovery of who she is. Being sent somewhere with no memory, not sure if I could of done half the things she had to do.Dealing with two powerful witches she saved from Lord Kryd's men. It was like she was thrown back in the dark ages no cars. Carriages was only option to travel no fancy cars. Saving the two witches Beth and Vessa could of been a good thing or bad? You will have to read it to find out. And will she return back home to her true world not one that she was sent to by witches to begin with.

I absolutely loved it.. and one I can and will re-read again and again.
I was given a copy free copy for my honest review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Satarupa Biswas on Aug. 17, 2013 :
I got this book from the author, free of cost, in exchange of an honest review from my side, which I’m thrilled to give.

Firstly I would like to thanks Dave Ferraro, author of Dark Genesis for this wonderful opportunity that he presented me with by giving this fabulous book for reviewing.

The author nailed it, literally. The plot and the story line is just freakishly awesome and I’m glad that I signed up for this one rather than any other book.

The mysterious and suspenseful world that the author created and which haunted the main character Alyssa really touched me and drew me inside it and I really went through all the emotional turmoil that Alyssa faced.

I was swayed away by the freshness and awesomeness of this story. The characterization was so prominent and lively that it didn't even feel that you’re reading a fantasy book rather you’ll feel as if you’re a part of it. I loved the other characters that came along as the story progressed.

The writing style was very easy going and really interested me a lot but there were some editing mistakes which I’m sure the author will take care of.

So paranormal fans , it’s a must read for you all and I heartily recommend the story to everyone even if you’re not a fantasy fan but I bet if you go through this then you’re ought to develop a knack for this genre!

Enjoy reading!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cat T on July 09, 2013 :
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Writing: 3 stars
Editing: 4 stars
How much I liked this book: 2 stars

Starting from the outside in: I knew the cover looked familiar! Not trying to pump that book, but I do enjoy that series. Okay, beyond it being familiar, not exactly sure that it matches this book. The heroine of this book, Alyssa, is a kick-butt kind of girl who dislikes wearing dresses. I don't think she ever ends up in a white dress, either.

Now for the actual content of the book: Alyssa is awesome. She copes amazingly well for a woman who has no idea who she is or where she is. I also liked all the other (good-guy) characters. They provided a nice mix of humor, muscle, and magic.

The plot moves quickly. Alyssa and her team are pretty much constantly on the move or in battle. The action scenes are pretty good; not too blood or gory while still being descriptive and interesting.

I really enjoyed the basic premise of this book: girl with no memories has to gain back her memories by slaying evil, powerful beings. I liked reading the flashbacks...and that the ending leaves things a little bit mysterious :).

So why not more stars? Well I just couldn't wrap my head around how things could be so darn similar to our non-magical-Earth. The language is exactly the same EVERYWHERE: no differences in continents, no slang by region...nothing. But okay, I can forgive that since in magical-Earth Babel doesn't happen and people don't develop different languages, but that still doesn't account for why everyone sounds/speaks the same. There should still be regional differences, especially given that these far flung communities rarely communicate with each other.

I also thought things were just too easy for Alyssa. Between her and her friends, things just worked out in their favor. Granted, they are a talented group, it just felt like this could have been more complicated.

I would definitely recommend this to YA paranormal/sci-fi fans, with the caution that there is sex mentioned multiple times (not erotica at all, but it is mentioned).
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lili Lost in a Book on June 30, 2013 :
This book was great! It was just...freakin' amazing! Have I mentioned that witches are my fave supernatural creatures? Because they are :) I loved how all the creatures we came across in the book were all connected back to the witches! It was just great, and so very creative! I loved it! This little detail just made this book that much more amazing!

Dark Genesis had a great story line. Alyssa suddenly wakes up in the middle of the forest with no memory of anything...she doesn't even know who she is! And not only is she lost in some forest, she's lost in this world that is completely different than it should be! I mean, this place has all sorts of supernatural creatures: Witches, for one, vampires, werewolves, and other freaky little things.

So, basically, we follow Alyssa as she kicks monster butt all while trying to recover her lost memory, but it so much deeper than that! She makes friends along the way and learns all these new things...it's just great!

And oh the characters. I loved them all! All the diversity, different personalities and abilities were very well executed without it feeling like there were so many characters you didn't know what to do with them all. They all played a very important role in the book. Believe it or not even the evil characters were great! Why? Because they're just so good at being evil!!

Alyssa herself was AWESOMESAUCE! She's sassy, fiesty, and can totally kick ass!

And OhMyGods all the gorgeous guys to drool over! Ahh! Eric *swoon* and Parker *double swoon* Dave is just great at making me swoon over hot-mazing fictional guys ;) I only wish they were real *sigh*

As you can see, I just plainly loved this book, the world, it's characters, and the story. There were so many twists and turns I didn't see coming...it was great! I love surprises! Then there's the mystery and the action...I honestly have no complaints! I'll definitely be checking out Dave's other books!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Anastasia Agrotera on June 26, 2013 :
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Witches, vampires, werewolves, ice queen, fire king, and of course the mother of evil are all included in this adventure. Alyssa finds herself awake in the middle of a group of dead witches and with absolutely no recollection of who she is. Yet she somehow has the strength and skill of a trained assassin. With help from friends that she picks up on the way, she goes on a quest for her memories.

Overall a good read. The characters were easily lovable and distinct. The book taught that people can change and even those most innocent can be engulfed by evil in a world where to embrace the dark is easier than to survive with the light.

I would recommend it to anyone looking for a tough heroine that is determined and focused but yet will show a tender side whenever necessary.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Melinda Bolinger on June 19, 2013 :
I read Dark Genesis by Dave Ferraro last night, yes; I did read the whole book yesterday.
I really enjoyed this book and I look forward for the complete series. This book was very pleasing to many of my needs for a book. Ferraro writing style is flawless almost immaculate. Ferraro delivered a well-thought, engaging story with a theme that is pretty cool. His depth of bringing worlds, fictitious characters along with Biblical references suggests he has a mind for writing. I certainly would follow this writer to see where he ends up.
The draw back that I have there is no impetuous events. Some scenes could qualify but there is something missing. For me, I was not able to connect with the characters. I really wanted too however, I never made it to that level. The lack of emotion or the emotion in thoughts would have helped. I think he missed here because I would have rooted for the characters more than what I did. I would have loved to see the book drawn out to each target was a book. These seemed to have a major mojo going on and all would have produced a riveting storyline. This does not make the book in any form less appealing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Moka (Words Create Scenes) on May 27, 2013 :
Dark Genesis is a fun read. The world is unique, jumping from place to place without any displacements. I loved the plot. It's all mystery and action and drama. Just pure excitement and suspense around every character/moment that is written. Each memory of Alyssa's is like a slice of cake: short to finish, but sweet. I kept craving more facts about her real life. Who the heck is this girl that happened to land in a world full of nonsense and magic? And slowly, I got to find out.

The characters were all decent and well-built. There's a good many introduced, but not all at once which eases the situations. Two characters from the beginning of the story remain throughout the whole story: Vessa and Alyssa. An unlikely pair, but not quite compared to what eventually came along. I'm glad Parker was introduced. He's a cocky, bad boy and was much needed to keep the momentum going.
Then came along characters like Lace, Eric, and Kaitlyn. I didn't see anything bad about them. Each page I found out a bit more about each person.


I liked how all paranormal monsters were intertwined within the story: werewolves, druids, witches, vampires, flesh eaters, ice savages, and flaming wrath. Things are always interesting. At the very start of Dark Genesis, I didn't think Beth would be the traitor of the group. I thought it would be Pip because she was keeping watch when the main character went to the stream to bathe. She could have gone to the 'others' during that stretch of time which brings me to my next point: This story isn't really predictable which is a highly good thing.

In a short snippet:

-Good imagery. Amazing imagery. Whatever you want to call it. It did its job.
-The villain/monstrousity evil scenes were well done. SUSPENSE.
-The different environments were a plus.
-CHARACTERS WERE FAN-FLIPPING-TASTIC.
-This may not be looked upon as much, but the higher vocabulary was a plus, too.
-Ideas: how people teleported, powers, familiars, how everything tied together...
-Not much romance through 50% of the book. Some flirting done by the cocky guys. 'Tis expected.

Great read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: AppleSticker on May 10, 2013 :
I got this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I first read the synopsis for this book, it sounded exactly like my kind of thing - dark and gritty, filled with all sorts of monsters, a desperate situation, and a strong female protagonist. And it delivered on all accounts.

The story follows Alyssa, a young woman who wakes up in a field surrounded by dead bodies, with no idea how she got there, or who she is. But she does have some memories, basic memories, and she knows that the world she is currently in is not her own. She soon learns of the dark and demonic creatures that roam this earth, of the fighting skills she posses, and the magic that is in every human being - except her, that is. Alyssa soon discovers that killing certain creatures, who had been branded with the pentagram, helps her to regain memories of her old life, and so with her little band of friends she sets off to find the creatures and unravel the mystery.

The biggest pros of this book were the way Dave weaved common myths and stories into the story, and the ones he created were just as interesting. They were well written, chilling and enthralling at the same time.

The cons included a few typos, same badly written sentences, and one occasion of the wrong character name being used (which resulted in a very confusing moment for me - good thing a pdf makes it easy to search for things!) I also felt some of the character relations and conversations were a bit forced, and there were times when the plot oscillated between moving too slow and moving too fast. There was a fantastic twist right at the end - and I mean right at the end, with about 5 pages to go, and that could have been explored more.

But overall a great book, would be 4.5 stars if that were possible.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Zainab Hassan on April 26, 2013 :
The thing about this book is that once you get to know what the author is talking about, some parts become so predictable. Like when she figured that one of the girls was a druid, it was so obvious that the least likely one was it. Also when she really started to get attached to that world, anyone could guess that she would make the decision to stay there. The one thing that really surprised me was that Eric is Prince Air. I totally couldn't see it coming. Overall, i don't want to give a bad rating but it's not very descriptive. Sorry, but that's my opinion
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Johanna Thiemann on April 26, 2013 :
It is really hard for me to review this book. I know that authors put so much hard work into their books. And it truly breaks my heart when I give a bad rating, especially to an indie author. But in the end, this is all about my personal opinion and I just have to be honest.

Dark Genesis is about Alyssa, a young woman who wakes up in a world full of magic. She knows that she originally stems from the Earth as we know it because she has memories of cars, technology and so on. Yet, she doesn't remember anything concerning her own life. Soon, she finds out that when she kills one of the monsters that this world seems to hold many of with a pentagramm engraved somewhere on its body, she will retrieve one precious memory from her past.

So, Alyssa sets out on a mission to retrieve her memories and subsequently free the world of witches from its baddest monsters. Because in the alternate world, everyone is born with some kind of magic. The different coven of witches have produced numerous kinds of monsters in their pursuit of power. Alyssa quickly finds friends even though some of them seem to keep turning out to be traitors. I thought the plot was quite predictable most of the times (there was one surprise in the end that I didn't see coming).

There's a lot of potential in this world-building and it could have been a wonderful novel. But, I couldn't really get into it, not into the story, the characters, the world, anything. I also wasn't a big fan of the writing either. Here an example:

"The hardship that they'd shared had obviously had the adverse effect of bringing them closer in the end, however. Something good could come out of something as awful as what they'd experienced."

Ehm, alright. Like I'm so dumb that I can't figure this out myself and it has to be spelled out right into my face. I don't like to be treated as a stupid reader. Emotions, deductions, all this should be between the lines and up to the reader's interpretation while reading. I couldn't feel anything for the characters. Especially Alyssa wasn't very authentic, I just didn't believe her. Whenever she said she felt bad or happy, I couldn't believe it.

I was also a bit confused with the world-building. If this was a completely alternate version of the Earth, why would the witches call Japan also Japan? I mean why do they come up with the same name for it? And that was just one of many questions.

So, even though it sounded promising I didn't like the novel very much. I can still see why others might like it though which is why I still give it a 2.5 fairy rating. The author has an extremely creative mind and the story never slows down and moves with speed and action.

At the end, there are still questions left unanswered. But unfortunately, this doesn't leave me curious for the next part in what is supposed to be a trilogy (which should definitely be marked as such on Goodreads).

*I received this book by Dave Ferraro to read and review for the Read It & Reap programm of the Goodreads group Shut Up & Read.*
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sue Klassen on April 25, 2013 : (no rating)
So I guess I owe a review for Dark Genesis. I feel bad because I really wanted to like this book. It caught my attention right from the beginning and was fairly intriguing right up until the plot twist was revealed. Right when Alyssa finds out what she needs to do to get back to her own world, is where it lost me. I found that the story line started to slow down, became somewhat implausible and the characters started fading to a two-dimensional cartoon.There was just no depth to any of them and I felt that I had stumbled into a child's fairy tale! I am really sorry but I can't recommend this book to anyone except maybe a 12 year girl?? I just couldn't even finish it. I don't normally give up in the middle of a book, but this one just seemed a waste of time and I couldn't continue.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amy Townsend on April 25, 2013 :
Loved this story. Wasn't sure what to think when Alyssa woke up in the middle of a field surrounded by naked people, but the story took off and I LOVED it! Couldn't read fast enough
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kim Jackson on April 25, 2013 :
This was a good book. I would love to give it 5 stars but there were quite a few verb tense and grammatical errors. There were also a few instances when the author jumped to another place and time leading the reader to wonder if they had skipped a page. This book had quite a few unexpected twists and an awesome plot. I will not put any spoilers in her but I will let you know that it was kind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-ish. Plenty of action scenes with some underlying love interests. All in all a very good read. I give it a thumbs up. I look forwarding to reading more from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Angie Krieter on April 24, 2013 :
My Rating: 4.5/5.0

First Impression: I started out very confused. Once the main character gets her bearings, the plot picks up and it gets much easier to read. I couldn’t stop reading after that happened.

More Detailed:
Overall, this book is very well written. It has action, romance, paranormal aspects, and everyday problems that most people will be able to relate to. The plot had slow points, but it had enough action points to balance it all out. There were few errors in the book, so it was a very clear read most of the time.

The characters in this book were all very interesting, but they were still relatable. I loved that Alyssa, the main character, was such a bad ass with her ninja-like skills. The only thing that bothered me about Alyssa was at first she was hesitant to be trusting, but then as the book keeps going, she just tells her story to everyone who becomes her “friend”. Otherwise, I really liked Alyssa and I wish I could do some of the things she could.

My favorite character was Lace. Lace was a snarky goth girl who could sometimes be an upright bitch. But since she befriended Alyssa and Vessa, she wasn’t too bitchy to them. She reminded me of myself in a way. The other characters are there, but you don’t learn much about them.

The book was told from a third person limited view. I personally like this type of p.o.v. because I write a lot of my stories in third person. This lets us get close to Alyssa and lets us know what she’s thinking but without all the “I”’s. What would be interesting to see would be to see some parts of the book through someone else’s viewpoint. I think it would be nice to know what the other characters are thinking since a lot of them don’t explicitly state their opinion all the time.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to any bookish person. As for it continuing into a series or having a sequel; I think it would be interesting to continue the story, because I always just want to hear more even when a series ends. I have no clue what Alyssa will have to face next but I can’t wait to see!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jesse Cook on April 23, 2013 :
It's been a long time since I've read a straight-up fantasy quest novel, and they can be hokey, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This book pleasantly surprised me, being well written with a great heroine and a quick-paced story that held my attention. Alyssa is a kick-ass character, and the love story involved is believable, not instant, which is wonderful. I found that I couldn't predict what was going to happen next, which is a great thing. I hate it when a story is too predictable. The reason I docked this story a star is because the typos were distracting. Other than the typos, it was a great book. It could be read by young adults, although it is violent. There are a couple of scenes where the characters have sex, but the author doesn't go into detail, instead trailing off to the next scene. I think this makes it more acceptable for younger readers. All in all, this was a great story.
In full disclosure, I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nicky Davidson on April 16, 2013 :
Overall I have given this book a 2.5-3 stars.

I recently finished Dark Genesis and I will say first that I enjoyed it. No matter the star rating, it is a fun read and likely especially so for young adults who would like an epic adventure story in a small package. However, it is not without its flaws and I admit to liking the first half far more than the second because of this.

The book is a mini-epic. It's a travelling story where the characters need to go on several journeys to reach their goal. Traditionally this is done over a series of books but this one manages to fit the whole story into 400 pages. This is appealing as it is a fast paced read and the story moves along quickly (sometimes too quickly), keeping you interested.

The beginning of the story was particularly interesting and I feel that this set the book up to be a disappointment as the interest was lost somewhat as the story sped up. A lot happens in 400 pages and whilst it is a quick read, it could possibly have benefited from being split between two books.
In the first few pages we are introduced to a character who has lost all memory. She is in a strange world that she cannot understand and has abilities she isn't sure how she acquired. She meets some witches from the world and understandably is wary of giving too much of her (limited) knowledge away. This turns out to be a good idea in the first part of the book.

This first section grabbed me instantly and I was interested to see how Alyssa would cope with her new surroundings. They main goal of the book has already been revealed although it is still shrouded in mystery and we have seen that she needs to be careful of who she can trust.

Unfortunately, as she leaves Haven, the book takes a turn for the generic.

One of the defining character traits she is given early on is caution. When we find out a bit of her background we understand why. However, after being betrayed she suddenly becomes willing to tell her story to everyone she meets and encourages them to join her on the quest. This is explained by her 'liking the look of them' but considering what she experiences early on it makes little sense. Plot wise it is to create more of an ensemble novel with more characters to play with and for Alyssa to be able to achieve more. Unfortunately, in adding more characters, each successive character becomes more and more 2D. We do not know much about any of the characters besides Alyssa, Beth, Parker and Vessa and even these main characters are rather shallow. They exist purely to move the plot forward. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for a quick read but it's disappointing as there appeared to be more promised. It is as if the author had ideas but these were set aside as he gained momentum whilst writing.

The shallow characters are my main disappointment in this book and worryingly the characters seem so interchangeable that errors appear in the text. This happens twice, first with Lace being confused for Vessa, and then Mia being mentioned as speaking when it was not physically possible for her to do so at that point in the book. Combined with several spelling errors (the used of wretched rather than retched was particularly off putting), the writing appeared to get increasingly erratic as the story went on.

This could be because so much happened in such a short space of time. The first half is well paced up to the characters' struggle with the Fire King. However, this is very suddenly over and each successive monster is dispatched in quick succession with challenge suddenly nullified in most cases. In particular, the end is particularly jarring with the speed at which it finishes. It reads as if the author realised that he needed to wrap things up and this is not a good thought to have when immersed in a book. It reminded me of myself when writing to a time limit when I spent so long on the first section and had to rush the rest.

Overall this review is highly critical but it only because I was disappointed by what this book could have been. It was a good read and enjoyable, but it was sorely harmed by being a single novel. Deeper characterisation following from the first few chapters, and a more realistic struggle in the journey would have helped to turn what was a good read into a great one.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Maggie W on April 07, 2013 :
I enjoyed this quite a bit. I think it was fresh, it was action packed, and the underlying love story was fantastic.
Here's the things I didn't like: There were some spaces of the book where it seemed like the author just wanted a change of scenery, so the scene changed very abruptly and without warning. These parts (particularly the first time from Fire King to Ice Queen, and the Climax) ended up somewhat confusing, and had about a couple of pages of what I call the "skeleton effect", where the description was down a little so the author could transition the action, and the reader was left scratching their head like, "Huh? What just happened?" Now, the Fire King to Ice Queen wasn't quite that bad, but the Climax could use some work. I was completely confuzzled over the fact that Lilith was masquerading as the queen.
And Alyssa could have been a bit more suspicious, at least in the beginning. Her fatal character flaw is her suspicion, right? Maybe I was wrong, but it kind of felt like it. Especially since she was a spy and she did show instincts.
I would also like to point out that some character lines seemed detached. None from Alyssa or Parker, but I think I saw a couple from Vessa, Lace, and Flax. And not all of them, just a few scattered around.
However, don't go thinking I didn't like the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it! First of all, I loved how the author distinguished exactly how Alyssa ended up in that world, and what distinguished the two. Some people who have "alternate universe time" don't tend to do that. They just go, "Hey, it happened, let it go." I also like how the relationship between all the characters on the quest evolved. There are some things you just can't go through without being friends, and this book really showcased that. The ending, also, was a little quick but something I loved. And I love all the myth from our world that was put into it, as well as a lot of original thinking on the author's part. My favorite portion, personally, was their time spent in Frankenstein as well.
All in all, it was well done and I enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me read!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jaime Buncie on April 07, 2013 :
This book made my Holy-Crap-That-Was-Good shelf...that should tell you something right off. I really enjoyed this book. I'm not going to give anything away, other reviewers do that. All I have to say is that this was VERY well written, well developed characters, great descriptions, and I will be reading this again. Thank you for allowing us to have a chance to read such a great story.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Dii on April 02, 2013 :
Dark Genesis by Dave Ferraro started out the gate like a day at Disney! You know the roller coaster that loops and twists and spins and only centrifugal force is holding you in at breakneck speeds? When the ride is over, you are all pumped up to go again because it was Just. That. Good.? That pretty much describes how I feel about Dark Genesis and the creative genius of Dave Ferraro.

Alyssa wakes up inside a pentagram in a strange world filled with vampires, werewolves, witches, and even a town called Frankenstein, where scientific technology abounds! (Un-apologetically named for the man who created the gray, eight foot tall, heavily scarred “go to” guy in town.) Everyone has magic, except Alyssa, of course, who also happens to have no memory of her past, but she knows this isn’t her world. Short version: Alyssa is put on a quest to regain her memory and it can only happen if she kills those who wear a pentagram like the one she woke up in. Along the way, she gains friends, allies, enemies, and a new piece of her past with each kill. But is it all an evil game that she is merely a convenient pawn in? Could each battle bring both this world and Alyssa’s closer to destruction?
As Alyssa and her band of merry men (and women) battle against insurmountable odds, uncovering deceit and evil, slaying monsters and chopping off heads, I had gut-clenching reactions, I swear I wanted to duck with her, I felt her pain when someone was lost, I was totally invested in each moment of the book!

For those who like a little romantic tension and conflict, it’s there, as snippets of a man named Cory come back, Alyssa still finds she is drawn to bad boy Parker, a dashing rogue-with-the-ladies kind of guy! Oh! Eric, too…all heroic, Nordic and full of himself in a completely endearing way! In the final battle, the stakes are high, what will Alyssa do? Where does she belong? Can she reconcile her past with her future?

I highly recommend this book for its characters, its world-building, and its pace! If you like larger than life fantasy that plucks tidbits from other genre, you’ll want to read this, for sure!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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