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Initial Thoughts: Whenever I see a young adult novel with elements of Greek mythology, I automatically want to read it. But, Protogenesis caught my eye for another reason. Not only is it the first novel in a series of seven books but there is also a music video, and a jewelry line related to the series.

Summary

Protogenesis (The Protogena Chronicles Book 1)Protogenesis by Alysia Helming

With her unusual violet hazel eyes hidden behind heavy glasses, American teenager Helene Crawford is the kind of student that always has an answer; yet, she doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
One fateful day, life as she knows it comes to a grinding halt. There was a fire. Her mother is gone. But something is not right… The Greek Mafia may be involved. Vivid dreams of ancient deities consume her sleep. A maze of clues leads her to believe that her mother is still alive… She must go to Greece.
The answers to her perilous quest lie there, as Helene braves into the unknown of a new life, torn between two Greek guys and a new world that literally awaits her.
And who knows, maybe the Greek gods and goddesses are on her side… or maybe not.
After all, nothing is as it seems.

The Review

Helene Crawford has never really fit in anywhere. Awkward with a fascination with Greek mythology, Helene’s closest friend is her mother. But when Helene’s mother suddenly vanishes, Helene is whisked off to Greece to live with her godfather she never met. In Greece, Helene is desperate to unlock the secrets of her mother’s disappearance. But things are not what they seem. The Greek gods and goddesses from the myths Helene adores might actually be real, and one of them might want her dead.

Overall, this was an exciting story of a teenage girl’s journey to Greece to find her mother while getting caught up in a love triangle. There’s Ever, mysterious, alluring, rich and handsome. Then there’s Nick, handsome, a tour guide, and a bit of a bad boy. Usually, I find love triangles annoying, but somehow I found myself rooting for both Nick and Ever. I assume that there will be more drama between Nick, Ever and Helene in the books to come. It will be interesting to see how this love triangle will progress. 

For those who are not too keen on young adult romance, rest assured, romance is not the only dimension of this book. Behind Helene’s mother’s disappearance, there is a world where the Greek gods and goddesses are real. I was expecting something along the lines of the Percy Jackson series, but Protogenesis takes a completely different path with parallel universes and secret relics, which I found interesting. There was also a considerable amount of world building that I hadn’t expected. Although I know only a basic amount of Greek mythology, it seemed as if the author did her research while writing Protogenesis.

Unfortunately, the plot development is extremely slow paced and it takes a long time for any secret to be revealed. While I do love the mystery aspect of Protogenesis, it was just too slow to keep me fully entertained. Helene spends a lot of her time wandering around aimlessly before she stumbles upon anything substantial to advance the plot. I constantly found myself putting this book down because the story had become slightly stagnant. Although there is a lot of originality, the plotline seems to be imitating a young adult romance novel instead of carving out its own territory. Ever and Nick, Helene’s love interests, appear to be only two dimensional characters. They seemed to be only in the story for Helene to fall in love with. Sure, they each have their own backstories and history, but when they are with Helene, they turn into a carbon copy of a potential boyfriend material.

Although I found the book to be a slow paced and hard to get into, I have hope for the rest of the series. There is still something engaging and redeemable within Protogenesis. I await the next book to see how the relationship dynamic will play out between Helene and her two love interests, and also if more secrets will be revealed about the Greek gods and goddesses.

After finishing Protogenesis, I listened to “Forever and Tonight” by Kostas Martakis.

It’s actually a beautiful song, and the music video features Grecian landscapes. So breathtaking! And of course, Kostas Martakis is not to shabby either haha.

I recommend Protogenesis to fans of retelling of Greek mythology geared towards a young adult audience such as The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis, and Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

*I received an advanced copy of Protogenesis: Before the Beginning by Alysia Helming from the publisher, Black Rose Writing, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Protogenesis by Alysia Helming is available now.

Final Rating: 

A B

About the Book 

Title: Protogenesis (also called Protogenesis: Before the Beginning)
Author: Alysia Helming 
Author's website: www.alysiahelming.com
Series:The Protogena Chronicles (Book #1: Protogenesis)
Year Published: March 29, 2018
Genres & Subjects: fiction, young adult, Greek mythology, romance,

Where to Buy 

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (United States)

Barnes & Noble

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Until Next Time, 

-Alice

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