“Book Review: Genex of Halcyon”
Reviewed by Steph Huddleston
A dystopian world exploring the pain and hope that plagues humanity.
Joshua Stelling weaves a tale about the near-future world of Halcyon, where everyone is free. The Genex, humans who have taken the next evolutionary step, fly through the sky while technology rapidly expands.
In this world of technology and freedom, Stelling focuses on several individuals who don’t feel the freedom their world claims to champion. Sayd and Orion are brothers caught in a love triangle with Harmony. Day is a Genex with glorious wings who cannot fly. Azad, Harmony’s brother, seeks to find his way to a new horizon. As these characters navigate their world, they consider and face the issues plaguing it.
Stelling’s writing in this book is beautiful. Poetic and complex, it explores deeper issues through the narrative than what is initially apparent. He engages with topics like climate change and the responsibility of humanity throughout a truly entertaining storyline.
Stelling does a fantastic job of making this future seem real and close enough so that the reader can evaluate their own present world. Yet the world remains far enough away that sensitive issues can be discussed without offense. In the dystopian genre, this can be a difficult line to walk, but Stelling does it masterfully.
“In physics theory, even the blackest holes can give a spark. But it could be anything, out there in the dark. We claim to know…. We’ve barely begun to open our eyes. In this life.”
Genex of Halcyon is a highly stylized read, too, which even resembles poetry at times. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, readers may have to sacrifice narrative and character during these poetic and thematic reveries.
The world of Genex of Halcyon has an almost Bladerunner vibe to it. The characters are gritty and tough, as is the world around them. Whether it’s the sky, wind, or grass, the ornate descriptions help us engage with its theme of the natural world. Despite its place in the dystopian genre, there’s still a hope in humanity that runs throughout the book, keeping us optimistic about the future.
This book is something special and unique for its genre. It is worth reading for the first time and even worth revisiting to explore its complex and fresh ideas, too. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction and poetry, Genex of Halcyon could be an overall great fit for you.
Publisher: Arch and Gravity Publishing
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