Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: March 21st 2017
Summary: He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.
Let me say that I was not expecting to love this book so much! And I did! It was fantastic! I loved it so much! It was something I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did!
It had such a high level of mystery without being a mystery! Here you were trying to figure out why Min is being killed every two years on her birthday, and also trying to figure out what is going on! It was just fantastic!
I was hooked from page one and could not put it down and I felt that everything was revealed at a good pace! It wasn’t all revealed at once, it kept you wanting to find out more and you didn’t want to stop reading because you were so interested in finding out what was going on.
I loved Min as a character. I sometimes find characters in books similar to this a bit annoying, but she wasn’t. She was a really great character and I liked her need to find out what is going on in her life and town. She’s curious, and smart, and has a attitude and ability to care for people and others that were maybe not the kindest people to her.
Noah was a sweetheart and I adored him and felt so protective of him because of his anxiety and inability to really stick up for himself. I liked how he and Min were around each other during the hard times.
Tack was a handful. Oh my gosh he never knew when to keep his mouth shut. I thought it was funny how Min seemed to mother him a lot and would try to keep him in line.
That scene with Ethan and what he did to Tack killed me. Mainly it was Min’s reaction to what happened to him that made it hard for me; not in a bad way. I actually got a bit emotional when it happened. Because you could really see that Min cared for him, no matter how much he was a pain in the butt; she did care about him a lot. I enjoyed their friendship a lot, I feel like it was solid throughout the storyline and that was something I really felt helped Min during the struggles.
But this was such a fun ride!
There are so many things that happened that it’s hard to say without spoiling anything but oh man the secrets that were revealed towards the middle and the end were jaw dropping! They were insane! I couldn’t even believe what was happening and I was shocked!
This is probably one of my favorite books this year so far! It was amazing! So fast paced, action packed, intense, and full of awesome writing and awesome characters!
Genesis by Brendan Reichs
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: March 6th 2018
Summary: Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive.
The 64 members of Fire Lake’s sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning, and zero rules apply. But Noah’s deaths have trained him–hardened him–to lead the strongest into the future . . . whatever that may be. And at any cost.
Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn’t enough.
Trapped in a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it’s tempting to lay back and let everyone else fight it out. But Min’s instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She’s ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whomever might stand in her way.
This was such an amazing sequel to Nemesis! I didn’t love it as much as the first, because I felt the the first had so much secrets going on and you were in a rush trying to find out what was going on and how everything mixed together.
In this book a lot of the secrets were revealed, and the students were trying to survive against everyone fighting.
But there was still a mystery surrounding a new development in the program and I felt so on edge seeing the developments play out and what Min and Tack, and Noah were handling it.
It was so weird seeing Noah become so unraveled in this book. I actually liked seeing it because it added so much complexity to his character. He tackled killing people head on and wow it was intense because he was so intense this time.
Tack was scary in this one actually. He pulled a Noah and was all about killing everyone and wow that scared me a bit.
BUT THE END WITH HIM. THAT SCENE. OH MY GOSH.
HIM AND MIN WERE BFFS AND HE DID WHAT HE DID FOR HER AND I CRY.
I’m a mess.
But wow glad things were settled but damn that was intense.
Sarah I hated, but I also liked that she was so cunning and smart. She was all about the coding and such and was able to do everything the males in the class weren’t able to do; and Ethan was a nuisance. I hated him in book one and I still hated him in this book. He’s a jerk and a horrible person. But not as horrible as Toby. Damn that guy was horrible.
I cannot wait to read the third book because oh man it ended on a slight cliffhanger and I really want to find out what happens!
And while there wasn’t a pressing need to find secrets out there were still secrets revealed that made my jaw drop. Like literally! I was at work and read most of the secrets part during my lunch break and I was freaking out! Legit!
I never expected what was revealed to be revealed and man that turned me around!
Overall I really enjoyed the two books in this series so far, and I felt that the stakes were raised so much higher in the second book, even though the first book was full of secrets and mysteries and such! This one raised the takes for the people involved and it was interesting to read and see the characters evolve as they were. Highly HIGHLY recommend this series to everyone! It was amazing and if you love high action books you will love the series!
Q&A with Brendan Reichs
• Who has been the biggest inspiration for your writing??
Well OF COURSE I have to say my mother and distinguished co-author, Kathy Reichs, because I’m not crazy or a jerk. But seriously, working together on my first series, Virals, really helped me hone who I wanted to be as a writer and discover what things I wanted to write about. I’m eternally grateful for her editorial help. I’ve come a long way since then, but that was my first job and it will always have a special place in my heart.
- Are you a power writer and just sit and write all day long or do you go and come back to your writing randomly during the day?
I need uninterrupted blocks of about four hours at a time to get original drafting done. I believe in the importance of deep concentration, so I can’t nibble around the edges of a writing session. I want that period blocked off with no distractions. Oddly, I can revise in shorter bursts, because I’m only living within the individual sentences and paragraphs, and not creating whole scenes.
- Bouncing off that question: do you write what comes to you or do you have a detailed outline of what you want to write?
I always have a detailed outline of every chapter in the book before I begin. I need to know where I’m going, while I’m writing, or I tend to waste time and wander too far afield. That’s not to say the story won’t change while it’s in progress—it certainly will, and many, many times—but I need a framework in place. I always know the ending of a story before I write the beginning.
- What’s the easiest and the hardest thing about writing and being an author?
Setting a writing schedule and sticking to it is the answer to both questions. As a full time writer, I’m usually blessed with the ability to arrange my days most any way I want, which is wonderful in terms of being able to write when you’re in your sweet spots, but it’s also seductively easy to put things off and create problems down the road. Writers have to treat their work as a real job, with office hours, because there’s so much fluff outside of creating a book that comes with the gig. That can be difficult. But at least I rarely have to get up early!
- What drew you do this genre of writing? Did you always see yourself getting into the genre?
I didn’t know what I wanted to write at first, and I’m honestly a little surprised this is what I ended up doing. But I love my colleagues and fans in young adult, and feel like it’s my home. I like writing stories about young people experiencing things for the first time, and I think that’s all that defines “young adult.” I certainly plan to try other things. I have a middle-grade series launching in October called The Darkdeep, which I’m co-authoring with the great Ally Condie and really excited about. So I look forward to exploring many genres.
- Did you always want to be a writer? If not what drove you into this career path?
I started out as a lawyer. I do not recommend it.
- When you were younger was there a book that really spoke to you, and showed you the power of words?
My favorite book growing up was The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. In 1990, I was an uncool, unsure twelve-year-old. I wasn’t a social outcast or anything dramatic, but I was far from what anyone would call popular. During that summer I read this book, and it changed things for me somehow. The story is about a boy named Simon, near my age at the time, who gets caught up in a rivalry between two princes and must face an evil that threatens his entire world. The book blew me away me with its size and scale. I’ve been a hooked reader ever since.
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research while writing?
How to dissolve a body efficiently so that it’s completely gone. (Answer: quicklime, but be sure to buy it with cash, a state away and separate from everything else, and have a real need for it already established, like a garden project. Then you should be good.)
- Do you think any aspect of your childhood has influenced your book?
Isolation. As a kid I felt psychologically distanced from my peers a lot growing up, and I think Noah in Nemesis and Genesis feels the same. I relate to him a lot, and his struggles to act normal even though he essentially is normal. He’s hyper self-aware, like me, and that’s not always—or even mostly—good.
- What’s something you would like to tell your younger self if you had the chance?
The things that aren’t cool right now are the things that become incredibly cool later in life. Stick to your guns. (And don’t shave your head, you look ridiculous like that.)
- Do you have any tips for people who might be interested in pursuing writing as a career?
Write write write. Practice gets you closer to perfect. Writing is more skill than art. Anyone can do it well if they apply themselves, but the ones that succeed do so because they never give up and run through brick walls of rejection to get there. Stay hungry.
- How has it been writing a sequel? Is it harder than writing the first book or easier?
Genesis was easier to write than Nemesis because it’s actually more closely related to my original inspiration. I thought of this book idea while watching Highlander—a terrible ‘80s action movie—and began plotting it out, but I quickly realized it was two books instead of one. Nemesis was everything crazy that had to come before Genesis, the core my original inspiration. I loved writing both books and hope my fans enjoy this next chapter.
- Bouncing off that idea, did you find that you had a clear path the sequel was going, and found you had diverted from it at all?
It was a very clear path. These books go together. There will be a third Project Nemesis book as well, but these two are essentially bookends in my mind, although each can be enjoyed separately.
- How do you think Noah and Min differ in Genesis than in Nemesis?
In Nemesis, Noah is barely holding it together in the face of awful things that have happened to him throughout his life. He follows Min’s lead because he trusts her instincts more than his own. But something happens to change him, and Noah begins Genesis in a much darker emotional place. He thinks he must act in a certain savage manner to satisfy the Program. His struggle to be something that he’s not is central to the book. Min, meanwhile, stays grounded in her moralistic beliefs, but has to reconcile them to an environment where they might not apply. Their emotional arcs are twisty and complicated, and deepen the themes of the book. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be alive? I think Genesis is my best and most collocated book to date, and I really hope fans of the series agree!
And that is my Genesis blog tour post! Let me know your thoughts on this series and if you’ve read it! I would love to know!