Book Tour, Reviews

The Killing Gene

One of my favorite things as a reader, and a reviewer, is picking up a book that I’m skeptical about…and then being totally wrong. It’s the best.

That’s what happened for me with The Killing Gene, by E.M. Davey.

I was sent a request to review this by Duckworth publishing and am very excited to be participating in their #SummerReads tour for this book!

For more information on the tour, and to follow along, I’ll post a schedule at the end of this post that you can use.

And in the meantime, please enjoy my review of The Killing Gene by E.M. Davey.

When a young archaeologist goes missing in the Congo basin, Professor Randolph Harkness and troubled tearaway Ross McCartney go in search of her only to stumble upon a conspiracy to conceal ancient horrors lost to the passage of time.

Evading spies and trained killers, can they expose this cover-up in time or will they be buried with it? An unputdownable thriller The Killing Gene reveals the story of our species, the paradox of the modern mind and our innate predilection for murder…

I stumbled upon this book without knowing anything about it. And I enjoyed it a lot. The Killing Gene is a thrilling, fast-paced, well-researched piece of adventure fiction and it was a lot of fun to read.

The best thing about this book is hands-down the pace at which it carries itself. The writing is detailed, polished, and easy to read, carrying the plot with just the right amount of support. I kept reading almost compulsively. Because the chapters are short, every time I would finish one I would think to myself “It won’t take long to just read one more.” And then it was over somehow! That’s how they get you!

Moreover, this book was so well researched. I really felt that the author understood his subject matter the best that he could and that he translated that understanding to the audience well. Somewhat reminiscent of the feeling I get when reading Dan Brown’s books, The Killing Gene is rife with complex and fascinating theories that dip into history, culture, and science, among others. I feel like I learned some things while reading and I love getting that feeling from a book.

The plot was fun and unpredictable, and just “over the top” enough, in my opinion. I think that it uses the formula well, applying traditional choices when it made sense but then turning things on their heads at the next turn. This kind of writing kept the book interesting. I struggled with the Old Testament references, finding them a little heavy-handed, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the heart-stopping twists and turns on this adventure.

Finally, I enjoyed the characters in this book. Sometimes, with books like these in Historical Adventure, there is a tendency to place all knowledge, competency, and merit on the MC and not on the surrounding characters, or even cultures, that the book also talks about. I didn’t find this problem so much with The Killing Gene and it was a genuine breath of fresh air. Davey’s characters felt likable and relatable. I especially enjoyed McCartney and the complexity of writing a character with a life-changing diagnosis. He continually walked that line of endearing and reckless and I found that to be every entertaining, aware storytelling.

This book was so out of my normal reading comfort zone. I love adventure and thrillers and I used to read books like this ALL the time, but started getting away from the formula as I got older. This was one reason that I accepted the opportunity to review this book, I was excited to dive back into a known/unknown area of reading for a while! And guys, I wasn’t disappointed in the least. If you love the sound of adventure and running through the jungle and danger around every turn, this might be the book for you.

E.M. DAVEY is a journalist at Global Witness specializing in undercover investigative journalism into international corruption and environmental crime, which gives him the opportunity to travel to far-flung and unusual places. His novels incorporate real-world experiences and meticulous research, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. He has taught creative writing with the Wilbur & Niso Smith foundation and is the author of three novels: Foretold by Thunder (Duckworth 2015), The Napoleon Complex (Duckworth 2016) and The Killing Gene (Duckworth 2019). He grew up in Bristol and now lives in Kent. 

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What do you think? Sound interesting? Leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by! See you tomorrow! x — A


It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I’ve had such a fun Riley Sager Summer with Lock Every Door releasing this month. I caught the itch. I’ve read the first two of Sager’s novels before, Final Girls and now The Last Time I Lied, but I’m so excited to read them again and review them this time. And I’m in such a thriller mood right now, so this is hitting all the right notes. I’ll be reviewing this soon and definitely recommend for anyone looking for a creepy read.

Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higgenbotham

I just started this but I’m really enjoying and looking forward to the rest. I loved the Chernobyl mini-series on HBO, which I finished recently, and even though it was hard to watch at times, I found it moving and very well-done. I saw that it was somewhat informed by this Non-Fiction title and since I enjoy some NF now and then, I thought I’d dive in a little further. I’ll report back when I’m finished! This has some great reviews.

Spinning by Tilly Walden

I bumped into this title without knowing much about it at my library but I’m so glad I did. I’m not very far into this story, but so far it is sweet and a little bit sad and so relatable. This Graphic Novel is a coming of age story about the author’s life growing up through all sorts of life’s questions and I’m really enjoying it so far.

What I’ve recently finished:

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I LOVED rereading this series. I had such a fun, emotional, fulfilling time and these stories totally held up over the years. I can’t believe its over honestly, reading it again after all that time made all the thrills feel new and the nuances feel extra-special.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I finally finished it! Haha I don’t know why but this was the book that was always on my TBR and never read. I got it done though! I read this for Reading Rush this year and I enjoyed it a lot. The intrigue, the drama, the twists, I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of this YA fantasy series.

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

This was good, and I expected it to just be okay. Super happy. This science thriller came to me by way of BookishFirst and I enjoyed it a lot. It was fast-paced, complex, thrilling and multi-layered, all the things I love in a good thriller. This one hits shelves in September and I’ll be reviewing it fully before then, so keep an eye out!

What I think I’ll read next:

I’m in the mood for something thrilling!!

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

I’ve been meaning and wanting to get to this book for a long time and I’m only now accomplishing it. This is an ARC from Netgalley and its release is quickly approaching! I’ve got until just before August 13th to read and review this little gem and I’m really excited. The Swallows is an adult thriller and I’ve been feeling that call to read something thrilling!

The Killing Gene by E.M. Davey

I’m genuinely looking forward to this. This came to me by way of a review request through my site and when I looked into it- I was very pleased to see that it has some really good reviews. Part science, part action-adventure, part thriller, I’m hoping that The Killing Gene can satisfy my thriller-itch this week. Look for more about this book in a review next week!

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

This looks really crazy and really interesting. I’ve been seeing it everywhere lately! The Chain is essentially about a “chain” of people committing kidnap and blackmail in this twisted cycle and of course all the insanity that comes with, during, and after that. I got to know this author, a Belfast native, when I lived in Belfast and I’ve really enjoyed his other books. I have high expectations! Fingers crossed.

What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment and let me know! See you tomorrow. x — A

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