Protogenesis by Alysia Helming

First, I’d like to thank NetGalley and Black Rose Writing Publishing for providing me with an eARC for my honest review of the book.

Helene doesn’t feel remarkable even though she’s lived a few different lives in her short 17 years.  When her mother dies in a fire, she’s whisked off to Greece to a Godfather she never knew existed.  Helene is convinced her mother is still alive, but after a hit man part of the Greek mafia tried to kill her, she has no idea who she can trust in her quest to save her mother and figure out what’s going on with her strange experiences since moving to Greece.

A couple items I didn’t love…

  • Helene’s inner dialogue feels immature.  I get that she’s 17, but it feels maybe even a little immature for her age.  She jumps to conclusions with zero evidence and just supplies “facts” whenever she needs them.  Of course, I was a ridiculously sophisticated 17 year old, so I’m certain I never did any of that at the same age.  Ok, for real, maybe I was just as terrible, but it feels like she doesn’t really mature even though she’s fighting through some pretty heavy stuff.
  • Some of the writing feels heavy handed.  Rather than providing details about our heroine by putting her in situations or dialogue that helps shape her, much of it is plopped on the page through her thinking some of it, even if it doesn’t make a ton of sense for her to think some of those thoughts/memories/ideas.

A few things I did love…

  • Love triangle! I love me some love triangle.  Although, I kind of disagree with her choice?  But I think part of that is my own oldness getting in the way.  Even with disagreeing, I think that just adds more drama to the whole thing.
  • There’s adventure for sure.  Our story has plenty of action and drama.  I don’t love how we come to all of it or how Helene is able to participate in these moments, but it’s still entertaining.  So that’s a definite plus.
  • It’s the beginning of a series.  The book is obviously set up for a series.  I like most of the characters a fair amount, so I could see someone really getting into the series and enjoying their time with these new friends.

Overall, for a YA novel, I think this is cute.  I personally didn’t love it at 31, but I could totally see 13-16 year old me enjoying the story.  If you have a young reader in your life (or are a young reader yourself), this could be a good gift option for them (yourself).  Happy reading, friends!


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