Book Reviews

Evolution: Genesis by Lissa Kasey

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Angels & Demons / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Vampires / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 08-October-2019

Book Blurb

Genesis Sage is on the verge of becoming a superstar as the singer of rock band Evolution. While Gene tries to play at being normal, he’s far from average when he is plagued by nightmares, ghosts, and a creepy sense that something big is about to happen that isn’t related to his music career. When Gene runs over his idol—literally, Kerstrande Petterson, rock god, music critic, and vampire in hiding, he discovers there is something more he needs in his life than just music.

Jaded by a decade of the music business as life transformed as a vampire, Kerstrande thinks Gene wants to use his fame to make the band truly immortal. Except there is something about Gene that draws Kestrande in, more than the voice of a legend, or blood that smells like the sweetest wine. Gene’s chaos is a storm that calms Kerstrande’s demons, at least for a little while.

The collision between the two sets them on a course of power struggles, vampires out of control, media bias, rogue bandmates, and a devouring darkness awakening with a hunger for Gene’s soul. Can they forge a future together when fate itself seems determined to keep them apart?

 

 

First edition published by Harmony Ink Press, April 2013.

Second edition published by DSP Publications, July 2015.

This is the third edition, two novels in one, Evolution and Evolution: Genesis.

Book Review

Evolution
Anyone who reads my reviews, might know that I generally stay away from young adult. However, it seems, recently, that I've been hit with some truly fantastic books in the genre, and knowing how much I adore Lissa Kasey, it only seemed fair that I try out one of her young adult books. The fact that 'Evolution' has a world where vampires and the supernatural are "out" didn't hurt my desire, either.

Genesis (Gene) Sage is seventeen, living on his own, and the lead singer of Evolution. He has a job as a waiter at a gay club, and he sees ghosts. One night, on his way home, he accidentally runs over Kerstrande Petterson, former lead guitarist of a well-known rock band and a vampire, although Gene doesn't know that last part when they meet. In a strange, or not so strange, twist of fate, Kerstrande ends up recruiting Gene, and Evolution, for the record company he part owns. But this book isn't that cut and dried. Not even close. It's not so simple as vampire rocker takes teen band to stardom, while lead singer and vamp fall in love.

There's darkness all around Kerstrande, which only Gene can see. Kerstrande's sire is trying to take over the entire city, and with it, Gene, and being signed by a record company isn't nearly as exciting as it should've been. Gene's life is filled with strange happenings, and for a guy who can see ghosts, he's still pretty innocent about life. "Like a child, he felt everything, saw everything, gave himself to everything without hesitation. I didn’t know how he had survived so long without being tainted by the brutal real world, but it just made me want him more."

'Evolution' is a very dark ride. It is, by no means, light or fluffy. Not even in the same realm as those two words. At times, I adored Gene and I wanted to protect him. At other times, I wanted to smack him and tell him to wake up. Kerstrande is a whole different guy, and one I had a very difficult time warming up to. Although, to be honest, that's more my fault than the author’s. I think I had a preconceived notion of how I expected him to behave, and Kerstrande was nothing like that. As to the story, it's complicated and not easy. At times it depressed me, and then it would turn and reveal something completely unexpected. Did I like it? Hmm. Like is a tame word. It made me think, and it made me feel. Sometimes, that's a whole lot better than like.



Genesis
I honestly wasn't sure if I was ready to read the second installment in the 'Evolution' series. The first book was very intense with a lot of darkness and bleakness. Yet I wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to see if Genesis (Gene) discovered anything more about himself and his purpose and I was hoping to get a better feel for Kerstrande.

I couldn't imagine being Gene. He sees ghosts, always has, and now he's a phoenix, and it happened before he turned eighteen. His best friend, Joel, was turned into a vampire at the end of the last installment, and now he's in a mental institution being trained on how to be a good vampire. When Kerstrande kills Hane, the darkness, the shadow, the Fallen within him moves to Kerstrande. The shadow tries to kill Gene right off the bat but only ends up breaking him and Kerstrande up for a while.

Gene is constantly being killed and being reborn, but growing weaker each time. The King of Vampires shows up to force Gene to either contain Kerstrande's shadow or kill him. Kerstrande spends so much time battling the shadow back from allowing it to take him over completely that it was painful to watch. The incredible love Gene and Kerstrande share is the only thing, in my opinion, that keeps Gene from going totally insane.

'Evolution: Genesis' was a difficult read for me. There is so much going on and there were times I had trouble following, although that had more to do with the length of time I took between reading the first book and this sequel, and is totally my fault. The first book absolutely needs to be read before this one.

Even though this sequel is just as dark and bleak, for most of it, as the first book was, I still enjoyed this tremendously. The writing is phenomenal, the storyline is fascinating, the fact the author wrote from both Gene and Kerstrande's points of view was amazing, and the ending blew me away. Much like with 'Evolution', "like" is too simple a word for what I felt when I finished reading this book. It definitely made me feel many different emotions and I was thrilled at how the author tied up the loose ends and answered my questions. So, not “like”. Definitely “love”.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 465 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 27-September-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $11.99 paperback
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Genesis-Lissa-Kasey-ebook/dp/B07YJ81RKT