Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark

Title: The Apocalypse Gene
Classification: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Parker Publishing Inc. (July 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 160043102X
ISBN-13: 978-1600431029

'The Wright-Ono Hospice. Professional pain snuffers. Weavers of sunshiny hypno-dreams. Come die with us!'

The end of the world seemed to be drawing nearer. Hope appeared to be lost. Death appeared to be everywhere, and where it wasn't, it soon would be. No one seemed to be able to escape.'The victims had one thing in common. Cells dividing out of control. Tumors in almost every organ. Olivya had searched the Net, but there was little solid information. All types of cancers had accelerated, seemingly overnight, morphing into one unstoppable super-cancer. The old therapies stopped working, and the world's greatest had no idea why.'

Olivya and her mom did what they could. They ran the Wright-Ono Hospice.They lessened their patients' pain and let them die with dignity. It was not the cheeriest of jobs for a young teen, but these were not normal times. Trying to squeeze as much normalcy out of life as she can, she agrees to meet a boy from her virtual school. She only knows him online and by his holo-sim, his simulated hologram self, which he uses at the Francis W. Parker Virtual School. Little did she know that that decision would change all of their lives forever and would be the difference between life and death.

This was a very original book. It has so much going on that I will confess that I did get a little lost at one point. Luckily, the authors must have realized they were throwing a lot at us and thankfully restated what confused me later in a clearer manner.

The story takes place in Chicago and things are quite different. Streets are seemingly abandoned except for some pockets of gangs, dealers, and stray dogs. With most of the population affected by the pandemic, Chicago is toted to be one of the safest cities. If you go walking the streets at night, however, you cannot let up your guard.

Olivya is a fifteen-year-old who is half Japanese and half black. She's smart, funny, strong and can take care of herself. She also is able to see the aura a person has. Some the things she can tell by reading a person's aura are if the person is lying or telling the truth, or if they mean her harm or not. I like how instead of becoming bitter by the impending doom that seems to lurk around the corner, she holds on to the hope a cure will be found. When her mother decides to start the practice of Deliverance, their version of assisted suicide, she is against it.

Mikah was a fun an interesting character. His gift is telempathy--he can read emotions. At the beginning of the book Olivya knows very little about him, and I like how the reader learns more about him as Olivya does. He introduces us to the Kindred--a group he initially refers to as demonic emo-vamps claiming they preyed on people's emotions and reveled in pain, hate, fear and sorrow.Through him, we and Olivya will discover what is causing the pandemic. The truth of what is causing the pandemic is something Olivya would never have fathomed. He, together with Olivya, may be the world's only hope.

Where did the book get its name? Well I believe from this:

     "Adversarii Body DNA contains a gene, unique in the galaxy, that has the power to switch off  the process of natural cell death. When cells don't die, the very force of creation, of life itself goes haywire,"...
     "Like an apocalypse gene?"
     "Not 'like'"," Mikah said. "Exactly."
Please be aware I shortened the quote so as to not reveal any spoilers.

This book has many twists, turns, and surprises. It goes a little into mythology at the end which makes me think this may be the first book of a series. While there are some things about this book I really liked, others were a bit much to take in. Overall, I gave this book a 2 1/2 out of 5 roses.

About the Authors:
Suki Michelle is a life-long Chicagoan, happily divorced and still good friends with her Ex. She lives and writes with her soul-mate, Carlyle Clark. She has one beautiful daughter, Bree, who is the first reader and critic of The Apocalypse Gene, and without her input, it wouldn't be nearly as cool! Suki's other children are of the four-legged type, Dahlia, the German shepherd; Kilala the lazy calico chub-cat; and Koney, the tortoise-shell demon cat from the Seventh Ring.

Carlyle is a burly dude from San Diego. He can look menacing at a glance, but as soon as he opens his mouth, pure intellectual. They are eternally grateful for the day they met at an on-line writer's workshop. They've been together for four years. On the outside. Suki and Carlyle are totally disparate. On the inside, they are the REAL Neo-Twins. You'll have to read The Apocalypse Gene to find out who the Neo-Twins are, but here's a hint: They are twisted devils with mirror-melded auras.

As writers, Suki and Carlyle have complementary skill sets. Lyle is plot master and edgy dialoguer. He is a huge fan of Japanese anime, and he draws upon this to choreograph fight scenes. Suki enjoys painting a character's emotional landscape and writing vivid descriptions. They both have wild imagination.

Suki and Carlyle treasure every opportunity to share their work.
Twitter:  @Suki_Michelle

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time of read and review our novel and for taking part in our tour.

    Much appreciated!

    Suki and Carlyle


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