Today, I have the fabulous S.M. Schmitz over with her recent release. So I'm sharing my Review of Genesis Rising.
SM Schmitz dives into the pathos of a human created with selective DNA that makes him a perfect soldier, then ‘improved’ with chips in his body and brain that allows Parker, the scientist who created him, to control his thoughts. Drake is the first of his kind to survive the ‘modifications’ and is now to be field tested. Even upon waking for the first time, Drake gives hints of future non-compliance as he objects to being chained to the table and Parker’s declaration that he is not human. However, the chips in his head leave him no choice to do whatever he’s ordered to do, at least until the day he is ordered to do the unthinkable.
The novel is written in Drakes POV, (first person) which is perfect for this story, since his emotions are new and fresh. No one has ever experienced a life like Drakes. All of the three main characters are very different, well written and lovable in their own ways. The character of Parker is a bit soulless, but given what he’s done, soullessness suits him. Plenty of shock moments, shootings, destruction to entertain. However, my favorite part is when Drake truly falls in love, because that altered him in ways no chip in his head could control.
A most unique Love Story.
from Genesis Rising,
book one of The Genesis Project
S. M. Schmitz
From USA Today bestselling author, S.M. Schmitz, comes Frankenstein reimagined...
I am not a man. I am not human.
When Drake awakens in an unfamiliar room with no memories, Dr. Mike Parker reveals the answer to Drake’s puzzling existence through a silent directive sent to the microchips in his brain intended to control his thoughts and behavior. The Genesis Project created him to be the perfect special operations soldier, but as the product of advanced genetic engineering, the lines are immediately drawn in his mind: he is not human. He is the property of the Project, incapable of free will, and he shouldn't have his own thoughts or reservations.
Five years later, those codes that made him believe he’s not really a man and that he’s not really human are tested when he meets Saige, the first woman who’s ever made him reconsider what it means to be human. Not only will he finally begin to question what he is, but he will discover that the transformative powers of falling in love are stronger than the fears that have kept him tethered to the Project for years.
But his love for her will have far more dangerous consequences than he could have imagined, and their only chance for survival may lie in Drake’s own ability to overcome the beliefs that have been so deeply ingrained within him.
Want to know more? Here's an Excerpt
Cade lay seven feet to my right and we both peered through the scopes on our rifles into the small house below us. Phillips and Ramirez had positioned themselves on my left and we each waited for the third and fourth targets to return from the back of the house so we could take them out at the same time. I didn’t move but internally, I twitched and fidgeted nervously as I continued to stare at the woman I’d been sent to kill.
She stirred something in a pot on the stove of the kitchen then put the lid back on it. A second woman stood near a counter cleaning and sorting lentils. Phillips had his rifle fixed on her. As soon as the two men, whom I assumed were their husbands, returned, they would all be dead.
Below us, I could hear the screams and laughter of a group of boys who played soccer in the distance. I’d briefly wondered if any of those boys were the sons of these couples, but then I thought I would lose my fucking mind if I wondered about it any longer so I just replayed the message I’d received from The Genesis Project over and over to distract me from my own thoughts.
Original target spotted twenty-five miles west. Proceed as planned.
His coordinates had been sent to me as well and I pulled the map up in my mind and focused on it. Since no one else in the world – as far as we knew anyway – had the technology The Genesis Project used to communicate with a living thing, I’d not only become their ultimate soldier but their stealthiest cellphone.
It annoyed the hell out of me.
Look: there’s a difference between relaying important information that affected the goals of a particular operation or how we were supposed to achieve those goals and simply having to tell someone on the ground with me that they needed to report back to Admiral Borowitz as soon as we returned. One of these days, I fully expected to receive a message to return to base with lattes and donuts.
Movement in the front of the house signaled that all targets were in sight again. Four fingers squeezed four triggers and four bodies fell to the floor.
I was the first to rise so we could hurry from the rooftop to try to reach the man we’d been sent here for the in the first place.
As always, Cade was the only one who talked to me as we rode to the next location. Phillips and Ramirez watched us warily but I tried to ignore them.
Cade pulled his headgear off and wiped the sweat from his face, complaining, “Why does it always have to be so fucking hot here?”
“Because the entire country can be classified as a desert. It rarely rains here.”
“Drake,” Cade sighed, “that was rhetorical.”
Of course I’d known that, but I was bored. So I kept annoying him. “It’s summer yet it was raining in Adana. Statistically, we only had a seventeen percent chance of encountering rain on any given day. In fact, the amount of rainfall in that hour alone probably exceeded the monthly total of precipitation for the area.”
Cade blinked at me then sighed again. “There’s no way they programmed you with such useless information.”
“It’s not useless,” I countered. “I’m using it right now.”
Cade flipped me off before asking, “Wasn’t Constantinople in Turkey?”
“Technically, it was in the Byzantine Empire.”
I got flipped off again for that.
“I don’t even know what that is. And don’t even think about telling me because I don’t care.”
“Then why did you ask about Constantinople?”
Cade shrugged. “I couldn’t remember.”
I liked history so I wanted to tell him anyway, but I couldn’t now since he’d told me not to tell him. I shot a quick glance in Phillips’ direction since he was still scowling at me and tried to think of anything else to talk to Cade about but he saved me the trouble.
“Dude, knock it off,” Cade told Phillips.
“Knock what off?” Phillips asked.
“Being an asshole.”
Phillips snickered and shook his head at him. “It’s not like it has feelings or anything.”
Cade pointed at him and warned, “I told you to stop being an asshole.”
“You hate having this bastard around all the time, too,” Phillips retorted.
I didn’t mean to react to his accusation, but it startled me – and yeah, it hurt.
Phillips and Ramirez both noticed and narrowed their eyes at me, but I wouldn’t look in their direction again. I wouldn’t look at Cade either.
“Drake, we’ll talk about this later,” Cade said. “And Phillips, I swear to God, you keep pulling shit like this, I’ll report you to Admiral Borowitz. Those guys at the Project have us all under their thumbs, even him. If they think you’re a liability with their investment…”
“I’ve never touched him,” Phillips interrupted. “I’m not risking my career over Frankenstein.”
Frankenstein? So that was the nickname they’d given me behind my back? Admittedly, it wasn’t that bad of a nickname and part of me wished they’d use it. I also suspected they’d never read Frankenstein and didn’t know the creature Viktor Frankenstein created had turned to murder because of his despair over his existence and his rejection by humans.
Yeah, I thought the nickname was far more fitting than they could have possibly realized.
Cade would have most likely continued their argument but I’d been keeping track of how long we’d been driving and we were only about five minutes away from our drop-off. I kicked his foot to get his attention and reminded him where we were supposed to go. The rest of our trip would have to be made on foot.
“I know what the goddamn coordinates are, Drake,” he spit out angrily.
Why the hell was he angry with me?
As we began the five-mile trek westward, I allowed myself to think about Saige for the first time since leaving Virginia. She didn’t even know I’d left the country, and we were supposed to go out again in a couple of days. If I didn’t get back in time, I had no idea what to tell her. I’d planned on asking Cade later, but he didn’t seem like he was in the mood for teaching me how to be normal right now.
It’s not like I worked in intelligence. I’d heard Cade bragging about being a SEAL to so many women, I’d just accepted that for some reason, this job brought with it a substantial increase in sexual prowess. I’d asked him once if the same thing were true for guys in the Special Forces and he’d looked at me like I’d finally said something incredibly stupid and just told me, “Of course not. Nobody’s impressed by some asshole making the Green Berets.”
That didn’t make any sense to me at all.
The missions themselves were classified but that wasn’t what prevented me from telling Saige more about my job. Unlike the others, I didn’t have a rank because I wasn’t really in the Navy. I’d never had to endure the two years of training or survive Hell Week. I’d never been deployed. There was no way the government was going to allow me to live that far away from the men who controlled me at the Project for more than a few weeks at a time. And that was my record: nineteen days.
I’d never been given a choice about any of it.
Ultimately, I didn’t want to see Saige’s eyes light up as so often happened to other women when Cade career-dropped because he was trying to sleep with her. It almost always worked, too. I wanted her to like me, even though the me she was getting to know was mostly a lie, wasn’t it?
Thinking about her made me miss her.
Even if I’d wanted to replay our entire date or fantasize about our next one, I wouldn’t have had the chance. That obnoxious, unsettling buzzing in my mind made me stop walking and close my eyes. Cade immediately noticed and I heard his boots on the dry ground beside me.
Abort mission. Suspect not linked to ISIL. Return to base.
I gasped and opened my eyes because it was too late.
We’d already murdered four innocent people.
About the Author:
S.M. Schmitz is a USA Today Bestselling Author, and has an M.A. in modern European history. She is a former world history instructor who now writes novels filled with fantasy and, sometimes, aliens.
Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employed frequently in the classroom, and as a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here. Like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is also convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.
You can receive her post-apocalyptic novella, The Scavengers, for free by signing up for her mailing list.