The Genesis Wars (The Infinity Courts #2) by Akemi Dawn Bowman and Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson #bookreview #YA #fantasy #dystopian

I don’t usually post more than one review, but I’ve read several books that release around the same time and had to double up today.

It’s been ten months since Nami narrowly escaped the Four Courts and Ophelia’s wrath. Ten months since she was betrayed by someone she once considered a friend. Someone she poured her heart out to. And now her family here in the afterlife are gone, captured, and Nami is utterly alone.

On the run, only steps ahead of the AI forces pursuing her, and desperate to free her friends, Nami must take the allies she can find, even if she doesn’t fully trust them. And as she tests the limits of her own power, she must also reckon with the responsibility that entails.

Stakes are high as Nami navigates old enemies, unexpected allies, and an ever-changing landscape filled with dangers and twists at every turn. Along the way, she’ll learn powerful truths about who she can trust and the sacrifices that must be made in order to fight for a better, freer world for all.

While I love the concept of this series, I was on the fence about continuing with it while reading the first book. Until I hit that mind-blowing cliffhanger of an ending. This second book was exactly the same for me.

The Genesis Wars picks up ten months after the ending of The Infinity Courts. Nami is still reeling from Prince Caelan’s betrayal, and the people she considers her family in the afterlife are missing. She’s full of guilt and blames herself. She’s spent this time undergoing intense training in hopes of becoming strong enough to rescue them. The first quarter of this book moved slowly for me. Nami talks a lot about training, her family, and her need to find them – but it’s just talk for quite a while and no action.

Soon the storyline picks up, and several new characters are introduced, all of them wonderful additions and a few excellent allies (especially Kasia and Nix). While the majority of the first book is spent in the court of Victory, most of this book is set in the court of War – which means Prince Caelan’s brother Ettore (who’s quite partial to torture) gets a good amount of page time. He’s a character you love to hate.

The action scenes are tension-filled and easy to visualize, the romance a little angsty, the characters flawed and relatable, and the politics a strategic minefield. A couple of twists are sure to have you picking your jaw off the floor, and the final one ensures I’ll be requesting the next book the second I see it on NetGalley.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Jamal Lawson just wanted to be a part of something. As an aspiring journalist, he packs up his camera and heads to Baltimore to document a rally protesting police brutality after another Black man is murdered.

But before it even really begins, the city implements a new safety protocol…the Dome. The Dome surrounds the city, forcing those within to subscribe to a total militarized shutdown. No one can get in, and no one can get out.

Alone in a strange place, Jamal doesn’t know where to turn…until he meets hacker Marco, who knows more than he lets on, and Catherine, an AWOL basic-training-graduate, whose parents helped build the initial plans for the Dome.

As unrest inside of Baltimore grows throughout the days-long lockdown, Marco, Catherine, and Jamal take the fight directly to the chief of police. But the city is corrupt from the inside out, and it’s going to take everything they have to survive. 

Jamal is a high school student and budding journalist hoping to receive a college scholarship, and he yearns to snag the photos to secure it. He travels to Baltimore for what’s supposed to be a peaceful protest of police brutality after a Black man is murdered. He’s not there long before chaos erupts and the Dome descends over the city, trapping him inside.

The action begins almost immediately when Jamal scrambles to survive and has no choice but to place his trust in strangers. Luckily he finds a couple of valuable allies he can count on who lead him to safety – temporarily at least. After that, be prepared for some cringe-worthy violent scenes and the occasional racial slur.

I really liked the concept of the Dome, and pacing moves right along in this quick read. What I missed was becoming better acquainted with the characters. Other than Jamal, I didn’t feel like I knew them very well. Although Marco plays a prominent role, he remains a mystery for the most part, which might be why I didn’t feel the romantic connection between him and Jamal. Catherine is given less page time, but her backstory is delved into a little more, and I understood her motivations.

Survive The Dome can be a tough read at times since real-life events are interlaced with this dystopian novel, but it’s a powerful story and politically relevant. The ending makes me think a sequel is in store, and it’s something I’d be interested in reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

16 thoughts on “The Genesis Wars (The Infinity Courts #2) by Akemi Dawn Bowman and Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson #bookreview #YA #fantasy #dystopian

  1. Two very different books, Teri, but it sounds like they were both compelling reads. I love your definition of politics being a “strategic minefield” in the first one. I always like when there is layer upon layer of intrigue in a fantasy novel. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it’s politics in the afterlife, Mae – who would have thought? A lot going on in that story, and it’s difficult to know who to trust – if anyone. A third book is coming, so I’ll be on the lookout for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yesha! With the first book in the Genesis series, I really wasn’t sure if I’d continue – but then I hit that cliffhanger. And the second book is the same. A huge reveal at the end. So I’ll definitely be waiting on the third book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They were, and in very different ways, Jan. I could easily see Survive the Dome being a movie, but I’d want a little more character depth. The Genesis Wars keeps surprising me – and I just love that in a series/book.


    1. I’d say fantasy is one of my favorite genres (I can tell you’re not surprised, lol), but sometimes I need a break from it. I’ve been reading a little more contemporary lately, which is unusual for me. I always enjoy a good dystopian.


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