Cover Image: The Genesis of Misery

The Genesis of Misery

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Member Reviews

This was a cool sci-fi with some interesting philosophical themes and contemplations on AI. I really like Neon Yang’s writing style and having previously only read their novellas I am pleased to say it worked very well in a full length novel as well! The characters were well written but I didn’t feel particularly attached to any of them, which can happen for me sometimes with sci-fi as I feel it can be very plot and theme focused!

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This book suffers from a total lack of background information. For example, I understand that in the context of this story religion exists and it essentially governs all things. However, the different tiers of the religion are entirely lost on me; apparently one can tell who is a saint by looking at them? What qualifies one as a saint? What does that even mean? And then there are the heretics whose way of life directly opposes and threatens society (supposedly) but like... what do they want?

I also personally did not like how the framing and interludes were handled. Directly addressing the audience and telling a story colloquially in between the highly detailed account just isn't my preferred vibe.

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SPACE OPERA JOAN OF ARC PACIFIC RIM. YES. If you love Gideon the Ninth RUN to this book. RUN TO READ IT. The cast of characters was enchanting, no one felt hollow they were all so perfectly appointed in their narratives. I can't stress enough how perfectly this hits the mark.

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This wasn’t an easy read, and it wasn’t an easy book to like. I found it slightly exhausting, and I had to put it down after short stretches. But I kept returning to it, even after a longer time, so the story was interesting enough. But I have no idea who I would recommend it to.

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I did not like this book. I was on the fence of not liking it but not disliking it, but the end tipped the scales. First, I listened to the audiobook at it is just poorly done. The editing is just bad. You can hear different cuts of the audio and the narrator just randomly changes voices for the book's narrator and other characters. It's just not consistent.

The tone of the book is another problem. It's like a Gen Z person through several bastardized pop culture references into a litany of misused curse words. The author just threw the word fuck around just for the hell of it. It sounded like a child who wants to use curse words but doesn't quite understand or get the context of curse words. The book was also very redundant but this seems to have been done on purpose.

There could have been so much more action, but the fight scenes we do get are lackluster and poorly described. Maybe I've just watched too many gundam anime. I can't tell if the story is satire or not but I just was not a fan of the overall presentation.

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This is a complete mess, the story makes no sense, none of the world building is explained, the author tried to explain things with ‘interlude’ infodumps but they just made the book even more boring

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A very cool sci-fi story that doesn't go in the direction you think it would. Will definitely be on the lookout for Yang's next novels.

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This book is cool. Simply put, that's the most honest thing I can say about.

First of all, it’s about this absolute disaster trans character who is just knowingly wrecking havoc on every last person around them, who is actively and unapologetically living a lie despite the incredibly dire ramifications of said, and who is manipulating these two warring factions simply because they can. All of that is great.

But the story also has really compelling political conflict, there’s cool stone magic, there’s badass mechas in space, there’s epic galactic battles and risky gambits and intense dramatic pay-off that results in these jaw-dropping moments. I absolutely could not get enough.

But I think through all those twists and turns, through all the lies and the doubt, the story is really about the malleability of human nature, how we can contort ourselves into all these different shapes and possibilities depending on what we know—or what we *think* we know—which is always changing.

As the reader, you’re constantly flip-flopping back and forth between what you should believe about the characters and about the story, and while that could potentially be off-putting, I think it actually makes you more invested in what’s happening because you want to see how it all plays out. You want to see which truth—or which version of truth—prevails.

Besides the intense action, the very cool magic, the commentary on religious righteousness, and all that, at its heart I think this story is about how we all want to believe in something, and how we also on some level want to be that thing that other people believe in. We want people to believe in us.

It’s about the desperation that stems from those two desires, which sometimes can exist on their own separate trajectories and sometimes can be in conflict with each other. So what happens when those two components of human nature clash?

This would have been an easy five stars if not for two minor things.

First, there are these sort of distant interlude sections that I don’t think were entirely needed, and secondly the ending is a little too abrupt and ambiguous for my taste. But even taking that into account, this was a super strong four stars. Highly recommend for a chaotically good time.

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I was super excited to start this book especially since the main character uses more than one pronoun but I was left a bit disappointed. Despite this, I had a good time anyway. This is was a bit hard to get through but once I got into the plot, I really got into it. I loved the queer rep as well! I love a good queer sci fi so that was really fun.

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Quoted as Joan of Arc meets Gideon the Ninth and a dash of Pacific Rim, I was extremely excited to read this. As a teen, I was a huge fan of Gundam and Escaflowne and this was up that alley.

+ Mechs
+ Space Opera
+ Chosen One

The Genesis of Misery was a space opera that took elements of both more hardcore sci-fi and military. I did, however, love the LGBT representation as Misery uses she/they pronouns and has romantic/physical relationships of people of different identities as well.

I love the author's writing style. It's very poetic and beautiful.

I do wish there was more building on the characters to flesh them out.

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I don't want to get too much into this one because put simply, it was not for me. I can see how other people will love this one, but the main character really irked me, and I could not get past the writing style.

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What an amazing ride this book was! Action packed and never slowed down. I loved the religious aspects of the story and the way different types of stone did different types of powers. The world building was phenomenal. I really would love to see another story in this world because the characters were very interesting and I just wanted to know more about them.

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The Genesis of Misery tells the story of Misery Nomaki, who lives on a remote moon colony and their destiny as a warrior chosen to lead a holy war. Misery is sure that she is not the chosen one, but they must go along with the charade. It's a grand space adventure, with interesting characters and excellent world building.

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This book ticks so many boxes, a queer space opera as well as a light retelling of the story Joan of arc.
It is truly a unique book, with beautiful language and imagery. But it does use a lot of words to get the point across. I feel like it gives the intended feel of mystery and almost spiritual prose. But it does get a bit dense at times.

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I’m a sucker for the chosen one trope. I always fall for these heroes and Misery’s no exception. She’s quick, strong, and independent, capable of so much destruction and heart at the same time. I delighted in her relationships with the other characters, especially Ruin and Lightning. I also enjoy space opera so much. The idea of the emptiness of space infecting the minds and bodies of humans is fascinating! This world that Neon Yang has created is truly compelling and I had an awesome time exploring it. Who were the real good guys here? Were the Faithful really worshipping a benevolent demiurge or were the Heretics right to pursue other explanations for humanity’s plight? The Genesis of Misery was just my kind of book, I loved it from start to finish!

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Oh god... I'm so sorry, but I hated this. However, I do not think I am the target audience for this novel.

I did not request this book; I was sent an ARC by the publisher just based on previous titles I had read, and the cover drew me in immediately. I'm a sucker for a good sci-fi novel, especially one with an amazing female protagonist (which I assumed solely off the cover; once I found out we were getting nonbinary representation, I was over the moon!).

However... I did not realize how flowery the language of this book would be. I am not someone who likes prose or long-winded ways of trying to say what can be condensed into a few words. So if you DO like those things, then this may be the book for you! To be frank, I don't think I fully understood what was going on the entire time because my brain could not fully comprehend every word on the page. THERE WERE JUST SO MANY WORDS!!

The neo-pronouns also were INCREDIBLY confusing when talking in the third person. I did not know which characters were being addressed at certain times, and it felt like an overload. A lot of the phrases felt like they were from 2021 Twitter, which was also weird and pulled me out of the story even more. It was just a lot of words that didn't go together in a cohesive way.

Overall, this book just wasn't for me, but I hope it DOES work for you!

(One thing to mention: I really hope the other one-star ratings on this book were just because they didn't like the book and aren't crazy people trying to review-bomb this book for being very liberal/progressive.)

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Queer sci-fi? Divinity and saints and weird powers? That title?? There was seriously nothing about this book that wasn’t calling to me in some way. I honestly had such high hopes going into this, so maybe that ended up playing a part in my experience, but I just wasn’t as obsessed with this as I thought I was going to be (and no one is sadder about this than I am!) The toughest part is that it’s hard to actually put into words why this didn’t work, even after a couple of weeks of musing on it. I like confusing books, so it feels weird to say this book was too confusing. I also like slow books, so it also feels wrong to say this book was too slow. And I’ve loved books that are mainly internal journeys, and books where the main character is mildly insane, so I can’t exactly attribute my not loving this book to that either. It just feels more like, while the components of this book are everything I’d normally love, I just didn’t particularly love how they came together in this instance. For this reason, though, I can definitely still see myself at least trying the rest of the series, and enjoying other books by this author! The elements are all there for me, just not quite the configuration. And I’m certainly left intrigued by much in this book, to the extent that I can easily see the second book being a lot stronger now that a lot of the groundwork is already done!

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What an odd, fun, queer space opera! I've seen this described as Joan of Arc meets Pacific Rim, and that's about as good of a logline as you're going to find! The book is paced like a rollercoaster, and there's a lot to love with the characters. I think it would have benefitted from a little more focus, but that's a minor complaint. People should check out this fun little ride!

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The Genesis of Misery lost me in the first two chapters and never won me back. Many of the concepts in this world are interesting, but never fully explored resulting in a very flat story. This problem is most obvious with the characters. Misery's POV is incredibly limiting and all of the side characters felt like they only existed to interact with Misery. They were insubstantial and inconsistent which left Misery as the only character with only substance. Unfortunately, I didn't even like Misery as a character so I found myself very disconnected from the story.

I struggled with the writing in this book almost immediately. When the author is trying to be mysterious and otherworldly it comes across as overwritten and repetitive. The language choices screamed of unnecessary thesaurus substitutions. It is very difficult to successfully incorporate modern slang into SciFi or fantasy and unfortunately, it was very distracting in The Genesis of Misery. The combination of both grandiose and overly colloquial writing was jarring. I also found the inconsistent pronoun introductions incredibly distracting. It is very possible to create a queer normative world without ripping the reader out of the story with direct pronoun references in the narrative. The inconsistency with this element and many other aspects of the story made The Genesis of Misery feel incomplete and unedited.

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The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang is a groundbreaking science fiction novel that explores themes of identity, memory, and the human condition through a queer and LGBTI lens. The story follows a trans character as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world, grappling with their sense of self and place in society.

Yang's writing is both poetic and deeply introspective, delving into the character's innermost thoughts and emotions. The novel is a powerful exploration of what it means to be human, and how society's expectations can shape our understanding of ourselves.

The book is also a celebration of queer and LGBTI identities, offering a much-needed representation in the science fiction genre. The trans character is complex and fully realized, and their struggles and triumphs are both relatable and inspiring.

Overall, The Genesis of Misery is a must-read for anyone who loves science fiction and wants to explore themes of identity and self-discovery through a queer and LGBTI lens. Yang's writing is exceptional, and their ability to craft a rich and engaging story is a testament to their talent as a writer. This novel is a powerful and important contribution to the genre, and it deserves to be widely read and celebrated.

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