Protogenesis by Alysia Helming reviewed by Autumn

ProtogenesisTitle: Protogenesis: Before the Beginning
Author: Alysia Helming
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Pages: 398
Source: NetGalley ARC
Amazon | Goodreads

I was given a free copy of this book through NetGalley. This review is in no way is influenced by that factor.

When Helene Crawford’s mother seemingly dies in a fire at work, she’s sent to live in Greece with an unknown godfather. Doubtful about her mother’s death, Helene tries to search for answers while trying to assimilate to Greek culture and her new caretaker, the often unhinged Janus.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but it just didn’t work for me. The description sounded awesomely different with a mix of fantasy, romance, and Greek mythology. Add beautiful cover art and I was exited to check Protogenesis out. Unfortunately, Greek mythology and a pretty cover were not enough to make me enjoy the story.

The following points are totally spoiler-y, so avoid the rest of this review if you are going to even attempt to read this book.

1) The main character was changed from an average American girl to a typical Barbie doll.

Helene first comes across as an average American teenager with faults. After a, ahem, trip, her sight is perfect, her complexion is flawless, she’s a perfect fighter, she’s skinnier, more toned, and tanned. Helene can also understand and speak fluent Greek. She was made into a freakin’ Barbie, which she hated.

2) There were one too many love interests.

Sure, there were only two, but she fawned over them more in the first week than anything else. Not only that, but it was a horrible version of insta-love that didn’t make sense. In the end, I never truly cared about either love interest because I didn’t know enough about either of them to give a damn.

3) The Time Factor aka I think the entire book takes place over four weeks, but Helene acts like she has been in Greece for a year.

“It feels as if months have gone by since I first arrived here in Athens and started school.”

Girl, it was like one freakin’ week.

And pulled from a note on my Kindle when Helene was walking down the street and reflecting on street music or the language (I can’t remember which at this point and don’t care to go back and look to clarify):

   “It takes me back to when I first arrived here, when it sounded so foreign, so exotic. But now that I live here, it feels very familiar, as if it has become a part of me.”

   Me: “Bitch, you’ve been there like two or three weeks. One of those weeks you were on another planet.”

4) Everyone yelled at one another instead of having a conversation.

Holy crap on a cracker! Everyone yelled at everyone! Helene didn’t agree with Janus, so she yelled! He was a raging wackado, so he yelled back! Helene didn’t get what she wanted, so she’d yell! Arguments and tons of exclamation points over nothing instead of talking!

At one point Helene asks,

   ”What will I do now?”

   I really, truly didn’t care.

While just shy of four hundred pages, it felt at least double in size. At halfway through I wanted to know what was going to happen, but contemplated not finishing. The love interest should have been done differently, the pacing should have been faster, and revelations came way too slowly.

I greatly appreciate the effort and the work that must have went into researching Greek mythology and Greece itself, but I just can’t be tempted to come back to the series. Not for all the pretty covers in the world.

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