Tag Archives: Mars

Author Interviews
November 22, 2010 posted by Christina

Interview with Lara Morgan

Lara Morgan is the author of the thrilling new novel, Genesis, the first book in the Rose Black Chronicles.

Set five hundred years into the future, the story follows Rosie Black as she deals with a world much different from the one we know.
The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.

**As always, beware of a few small spoilers**

Genesis has elements of both dystopia and sci fi, and does it quite well, what drew you to writing a book in those genres and where did the idea for Genesis come from?

I’ve been a fan of dystopian futures for years (I think it has to do with being a teenager in the 80s when we were all convinced the Cold War was going to end with a nuclear winter) and although I’m generally a positive person when I look at the way the world is today, I don’t hold out much hope for any kind of utopian future. Given the environmental damage we’ve inflicted, and our politicians’ short term policies for dealing with it, I can’t see any other alternative than for a fairly bleak future. That concern about our environment, the climate change debate, is really where the idea for Genesis came from. I’d been reading a lot of books about it and wanted to explore a future where we are dealing with the possible fallout from our present mistakes.

From the Melt, to Pip, to Riley, the actions of the past have made a huge impact on not only the story and the world but also for the characters personal lives – was that something you wanted to highlight to readers?

The past always informs the present and the more interesting or challenging a past, the higher the stakes are in the present. I like to write about consequence, for both characters and the worlds I create, so having had awful things happen in the past creates for more interesting characters and a more interesting world.

How much research did you do before starting Genesis?

A lot. I’ve always had an interest in space but I’m no scientist so I had to do heaps of research on that. I read a lot of books on climate change and I also had to research Mars, space exploration and try to get my head around the physics of the solar system and travel within it. I have a whole stack of books on astrophysics on my shelf now to add to my collection.

Will we get to hear more of Yuang’s back story?

You will get to hear more about Helios which will lead to a better understanding of why Yuang was the way he was, but Yuang himself, of course, is not in book two.

I was getting the feeling that Riley and Aunt Essie could be a good couple, am I wrong?

You’re not wrong, but love is complicated so let’s not pressure them into anything!

We’re left with a lot of unanswered question and unresolved issues (that I’m dying to get to the bottom of), what can we expect from the next book?

Equinox is going to go further into what/who Helios is and also offer up some new challenges for Rosie. Pip will return but there is also a new boy, Dalton, and the fight against Helios moves into the wild lands of the north, known as Gondwana Nation. Rosie will find out that not everything is as black and white as she thought and she’s going have to make a choice that will alter the course of her future.

In your acknowledgments you mentioned Isobelle Carmody (who I am also a big fan of), what was it like having her input/advice?

Isobelle’s advice was absolutely invaluable. She saw Genesis in its very early stages in 2007 and was really supportive which I very much needed at that stage. I’d been writing for adults beforehand and she gave me the best advice anyone’s who is writing for young adults can get which is; never let your adult characters take over from your teenage protagonist. Oh, and she is a totally awesome person as well, just in case you were wondering.

Any quirky writing rituals or habits? Where do you prefer to write? Cafe, at home…etc

I can’t write in noisy crowded places like cafes, I have to be at my desk or in a quiet place, but I must, must have tea. The writing day starts when I have a cup of tea sitting on my desk, a little to the left as I’m left handed. Irish breakfast, loose leaf, white, no sugar, thanks.

What’s currently in your to-read pile?

Fallen by Lauren Kate, The Poison Diaries by Wood Northumberland, Slights by Kaaron Warren and some research for a future project: Lilith the First Eve and The Book of Enoch

Thanks Lara! Genesis is available in store in Australia and New Zealand and online for international readers.

Book Reviews
November 13, 2010 posted by Christina

Genesis – Lara Morgan (Rosie Black Chronicles, Book 1)

“Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.”

Life’s not easy in Rosie Black’s world.

The Melt has devastated the earth and sunken all the coastal cities and forced society into a crippling caste system of the haves, “The Centrals” and the have-nots, “The Bankers”. As a Banker, Rosie and her dad struggle to survive after the shattering loss of Rosie’s mother to the MalX disease.
The world as Rosie Black knows it is very different from the one we know today, and the contents of a seemingly harmless little box are about to turn that world upside down.

The box contains a secret, one so incriminating that the powerful Helios corporation will stop at nothing to get back in their possession. But they’re not the only ones who want to get their hands on it. As it becomes clear that Rosie and her family’s safety is in jeopardy she finds herself on the run without knowing who exactly she’s running from or to where. As she falls into the web of the schemes and plots of others, Rosie must put her trust in Pip, a shady and much too attractive Feral (the outcasts of society) and his boss Riley, a man who keeps his cards, and true identity, close to his chest.

Rosie soon realizes that the situation is bigger than all of them as they race to Mars to put a stop to actions that could have devastating consequences.

Genesis is the very impressive first book in the Rosie Black Chronicles, Lara Morgan’s first foray into young adult fiction. Morgan’s dystopia paints a bleak picture of a society where the people are on the one hand, living in gleaming skyscrapers, making progress in medicine, technology and the colonization of Mars, yet at the same time the other half are struggling in poverty and desperation.

The story is gripping and complex as we uncover the layers of conspiracy and hidden agendas within Helios and to what extent each character has played a part in these schemes.  Genesis at times had a very Hunger Games feel, not just with a strong female like Rosie but also with the author’s no holds barred approach to certain characters.

Like all good villains the one in Genesis is not only not apparent at first, but also has motives that sound logical but are obviously misguided. Our villain is also cold and ruthless, but needed a bit more explanation into what made him so, which will hopefully be seen in the next book.

To balance out the breathless action, we see Rosie as well as Pip battle with their emotions as they come to terms with their pasts and the current circumstance they find themselves in. The relationships between characters felt very organic and believable, and not just in the romantic sense. But, behind Pip’s demeanor and endless, obnoxious flirting could there be real feelings?

Genesis is fabulous novel that takes on the dystopia/sci fi concept and does it well. We have a strong female lead in Rosie and plenty of unresolved issues (and feelings) to take us through to the next book.

Pages: 454
Publication Date: October 2010
Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote:   “Grunts know how to hit, don’t they?”
The heat in her skin seemed to spread suddenly all over and her heart rate spiked making the machine beep faster. “Get off.”
“You sure?” He glanced at the machine.
“Get. Off.”