I first heard about Genesis by Bernard Beckett from the joint discussion/review held by Presenting Lenore, Pop Culture Junkie, and Sharon Loves Books and Cats. When I saw it on the shelf at a local library, I pulled it off, grabbed a seat, and started reading. About two hours later, I came up for air and realized I had just read the whole book in one sitting. Its a short book, obviously, and a compelling one.
Anax, the dedicated student historian at the center of Beckett's brutal dystopian novel, lives far in the future. The world of the 21st century, we learn, was ravaged by plague and decay, the legacy of the Last War. Only the island Republic, situated near the bottom of the globe, remained stable and ordered, but at the cost of personal freedom. Anax, hoping her scholarly achievements will gain her entrance to the Academy, which rules her society, has extensively studied Adam Forde, a brilliant and rebellious citizen of the Republic who fought for human dignity in the midst of a regimented, sterile society. To join the Academy's ranks, Anax undergoes a test before three examiners, and as the examination progresses, it becomes clear that her interpretations of Adam's life defy conventional thought and there may be more to Adam—and the Academy—than she had imagined.I'm not sure why this book was classified as Young Adult. Anax is young, but the ideas presented were sophisticated. The structure of the book was unusual - the book is the proceedings of Anax's exam. The few other bits of action are either Anax reflecting on events that led her to this point, or the few holographic videos played during her exam. It is a book about thoughts, not of action. But I found it to be an interesting book; one that kept my attention and made me think, even after I put it down.
Buy Genesis on Amazon.