Title: Unknown 9: Genesis
Author: Layton Green
Publisher: Reflector Entertainment Inc.
Publication Date: March 13, 2020
Similar in style and execution to familiar puzzle thrillers like The DaVinci Code, but with physics rather than religion at the heart, Unknown 9: Genesis is an exciting first instalment in a new multimedia franchise.
Layton Green throws a lot at the reader, with influences ranging from the sci-fi conspiracy theories of The X-Files to the globe-trotting history of Indiana Jones, this was a fast-paced story that that follows several interwoven narratives to keep things moving at a breakneck pace. A big part of what makes it so engaging, despite that pace, is the characters.
Andie is a brave young woman, thrust into world for which she’s completely unprepared by the death of her mentor, Dr. Corwin. Told to trust nobody, she is forced to rely on her own instincts in the search for answers. Cal, the young ex-reporter who crosses her path when they both begin asking the wrong questions, is a paranoid conspiracy podcaster – reminding me of The Lone Gunmen – who adds a little more experience to the quest, fueled by his underground connections in the hacker community. Then there is Omer, the man chasing them both, who captured my attention because while he’s dedicated and relentless, he’s also refreshingly fallible.
Despite the frantic pacing, you do need to have a little patience with the story as there’s a lot to set up and a lot to explain. This is a book that’s heavy on physics, science, and astronomy – not to mention hacking technology – but, to his credit, Green does a stellar job of making it all accessible and interesting. It’s the second half of the book, where we begin getting deeper into the adventure element, that the story really pulled me in, racing from one landmark (and narrow) escape to another.
Granted, this is only the first chapter in a much larger project, but the questions asked and the mysteries teased are more than enough to keep the reader’s interest, despite the cliffhanger ending. Smart, adventurous, and possibly even inspirational, Unknown 9: Genesis is definitely worth the read.
Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀