Tiny stones wielding a powerful force lie scattered throughout the Gulf of Mexico, remnants of a past war between godlike aliens. In the wrong hands, they could be used as biological weapons -- which is why Kane and Grant are tracking a notorious pirate said to possess an entire collection. But they quickly realize something bigger is happening: the genesis of a new age.
The epic battle between two would-be gods to rule earth may have ended, but the struggle to survive aliens of near-immortal powers -- aliens determined to cage humankind -- continues. As the freedom fighters of the Cerberus organization regroup and press on, a shattering storm heads toward the planet... the blood tide of a new apocalypse.
They're tiny stones that wield shattering power, remnants of the war between the godlike aliens Ullikummis and Enlil, and they lie scattered throughout the Gulf of Mexico. In the wrong hands, these stones could easily be used as biological weapons. That's why Kane and Grant are dispatched to track a notorious pirate -- it's believed he has an entire collection in his possession. But int he Bay of Campeche, they realize something much bigger is happening. Something unthinkable: the genesis of a new age. Andt hat means only one thing for mankind. Annihilation.
Recently I have tried very hard to return to Mark Ellis's Outlanders series.
After giving both authors a try-out, they both left me cold and dry.
After some time had passed, I kept eyeballing the Outlander books piling up on my 'To Read Shelf' and finally decided to give a couple more a try. Instead of going in order, the last one I read fully was Serpent's Tooth, which was really a let-down in oh so many ways! After perusing the next 10 to 14 books I had, the cover and concept of Planet Hate caught my eye and interest.
And to my utter delight and surprise - I found it fun and exciting. A far cry better than the last one I read by the other author. Plus, instead of a one-book storyline, this one had a story arc that finally seemed to go in a direction to the heart of the series - battling the overlord Annunaki!
Overall, this whole several book story arc was very enjoyable, and I found this group of books the best writing by Rik Hoskin any both Deathlands and Outlanders series. He seemed to have warmed up to the OL series, and that is why I decided to try this latest installment, Genesis Sinister.
After finishing it last night, and thinking about it, I thought it not nearly as good as the last 3 books. The first half was interesting, chock-full of pirates and Brigid trying to deal with her alter-ego killing innocent people, including Kane himself. Brigid follows Rosalia - a good Mexican bad ass character I like - back home, finally showing the fans just where Rosalia came from and where she learned all them battling techniques. (But nuns, though! Really?) Monks would have been much better.
The storyline was OK, nothing as huge or epic as the last few books. Action sequences were pretty decent. But some of the battle situations Kane and Grant find themselves in, I don't understand why they don't carry more ordnance from the Cerberus base armory. They also didn't use the very cool Mantas to their full potential.
The last half of the book went into a bizarre concept of a long-lost temple that was built from stoned off their asses Mayans? Hoskin just seemed to have tossed this in for good measure. Unlike Ellis, who utilized real myths and legends, this 'Omniforge' was basically a huge clock in another dimension that was fed by a single pirate's blood. Huh?!
Unfortunately, this was where my interest went out the window. I struggled through to the end, and I see where Hoskin was going. But I think he could have cultivated this much, much better. Deadline, anyone?
The 'anam-chara' thing has been wayyyyy overused in this series. Ellis developed it CLEARLY as a love-bond for Kane and Brigid, even though for whatever reason he never fully went towards that oh, so obvious direction. Now, with these two new writers, they are 'soul-friends.' You know, like when you fell heavy for that girl in school, who led you on, just to finally say: 'I just wanna be friends.' I roll my eyes at this now.
I don't know why love interest in this series has gone to the wayside in recent years. Grant likes women. Kane has never shown himself to be sexual at all. What do you call a hero who is surrounded by babes all the time, but never - ever - shows any interest in getting laid? I swear, I never understood this. And why do they continuously take unnecessary risks? I know this is an action/adventure series, but come on!
So, overall, Genesis Sinister went from a pretty fun and exciting read, to a mishmash of bizarro world ideas where very quickly, without any time to study it, Brigid instantly knows everything about this giant clock world destroyer thingamajig that left me unsatisfied.
I really wanted to give this book a 7 or 8. I really did. I thought it was a great follow-up to the Ulikummis/God War storyline, what with Kane and Cerberus attempting to get things back together again. It was great to see some of the characters and how they reacted after everything had taken place, particularly Brigid.
However, there were just a few things that I couldn't get past and which, while seeming to be nit-picky, do have an effect.
First, during the mission to find the boat and the stones, Kane and Grant (K+G) flew around in the Mantas with little regard as to who saw the vehicles. Normally both men attempt to be sneaky and ensure they aren't see by anyone. But in this book, fly around out in the open and even land on the beach to go talk to the locals. I thought they would have had a bit more tact, but I guess when you need to recover living stones, secrecy gets thrown to the wind.
Second, during the one mission to the pirates' HQ, when K+G are sneaking around through the house, Grant takes the lead into a room. Since when does Grant, a big broad-shoulder beast of a man, ever take the lead on anything?!? Kane is the point man; he should have been in front the entire time. Frankly, Grant leading was just a big plot device that made no sense. There was also the fact Grant can now apparently smell, even though his nose was said to be broken so many times while as a Mag in Cobaltville.
Third, by the end of the book, it just seemed too...neat and tidy how Cerberus HQ was back up and running again as if nothing had happened (well, aside from some character deaths that is). Do they just happen to have a supply of computer monitors laying around in the base? If rock covered and altered the entire base, wouldn't computer screens be useless, along with pretty much every other supply?
The one thing I found interesting was Brigid's state of mind. She was definitely having some PTSD, so her taking a trip with Rosalia was kind of nice. The problem with the interphaser and the possible erasure of the time stream snapped her back to her usual self. Actually giving her something to do was a good idea, aside from moping around all day. Although, her giving up on the combat training with Rosalia did seem kind of lame. After all, if she can fire a gun she can use a staff.
Aside from those few things, I thought it was a good book. I can't wait to see what's next.
If Outlanders was a TV show, this book is what I’d term an ‘aftermath’ episode. It’s a story dealing with the consequences of the climatic events of the ‘season finale’ - “God War”. On one hand it is one of the best novels amongst the last few entries, but on the other you really need to have been keeping up with the series and enjoying the Ullikumis saga to appreciate its strengths.
Making the chief enemies a band of vicious pirates lends this book a level of gory violence more usually associated with Deathlands. This sadistic band are well depicted, their human depravities and the bloody way they need to be taken down by Kane and Grant, makes an interesting gear shift after the more SF fantastical creatures and foes of the previous eight or so novels. But there’s a third act that takes the book back into the cosmic realms. In fact it strongly echoes the events of “Infinity Breach” and the author acknowledges this in the narrative.
We also discover some more about the mysterious Rosalia’s past when she and Brigid visit the Mexican convent where she grew up. A convent which teaches its girls to be highly trained mercenaries for hire! It’s an amusing idea which is well described, and I suspect we’ll find out more about the history of this institution in time.
Spoiler warning for this next paragraph – What made this book especially good for me is Brigid’s sub-plot as she wrestles with the guilt the evil she committed whilst under the thrall of the alien Ullikumis. Her ironic desire to forget and how she works through her demons is expertly woven with the main plot and both threads are cleverly brought together at the climax. Learning how the Cerberus team recovers from the reign of Ullikumis and Kane, Grant and Brigid become a team again gives this book real emotional heft.
Humanity faces a highly original new threat to its existence that emphasise the new, more global feel of the Outlanders series. The loose threads are believably tidied up and newer Cerebus regulars like Edwards now feel part of the family. The occasional visitor to Outlanders may feel like they missed the party, despite the copious explanations, but this novel is a rewarding one for regular followers.