Wednesday 12 August 2020

#bookreview: Genesis | T. Sae-Low

Genesis (Prophecy Rock #1)Genesis by T. Sae-Low
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My cousin used to have this phrase to describe overly-fantastical, utterly unbelievable shows: “outa”*. Stories like Ultraman vs Godzilla, or involved some monk (probably drunk) flying from tree to tree and defeating a hundred soldiers with kungfu. So outa this story. Genesis fits into that mould—so fantastically outa and yet ridiculously fun as well. (Fireballs, anyone?)

Eos is torn apart by war. The gods have left and all that is left to guide them is an obscure prophecy inscribed on Prophecy Rock. The Renzai believe that the One is sending a saviour to bring unity and peace to Eos. The Vicedonians believe the Creator will choose a Candidate to restore mankind. Both sides search for the magical person endowed with the powers of the Ancients who will bring the war to a decisive end.

In most stories, there’s a clear good kingdom and bad kingdom, which the author is trying to get you to root for. Here, there’s no telling, as yet; Sae-Low shows you both sides of the story, with both kingdoms committing atrocities and also doing good for their citizens. If the protagonists are anything to go by though, I tend to be more sympathetic to Raden, a Renzai soldier orphaned at a young age, who’s driven by his promise to protect his sister Kimi. Prince Aric, spoilt second prince of the Vicedonian kingdom, is impulsive, bratty, and exasperating.

A question that would probably come up is “is this Wuxia?” To which I will answer, I don’t know, because I don’t follow Wuxia enough to be able to tell. It does have distinct East Asian influences, with sages who live forever (sorta), Moon Goddess mythology… and a lot of hand-thrown fireballs. (I keep thinking of Street Fighter lol)

* This is an approximation of how it sounds. It probably is some kind of Chinese phrase but since my Cina knowledge = 0, I cannot tell you what the word actually is or what the correct character/pinyin is. Lol.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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