Book Review: The Genesis Tree by Heather L. L. FitzGerald


genesis tree

 

She took down the Nephilim queen—but can she and her brother save the kingdom?

Sadie Larcen may have defeated the traitorous Queen Estancia, but she’s quite happy to be home with her family. Unfortunately, their fiendish neighbor, Mr. Marshall, is still up to no good. He’s called a press conference with plans to introduce the world to a living, breathing Bigfoot.

As a Sasquatch expert, Sadie’s mother Amy is coerced into lending her expertise to the spectacle. When Sadie and her brother Brady spy nefarious, uninvited guests at the gathering, they know there’s trouble brewing in the Tethered World. The two are driven into separate, dangerous exploits as they are thrust back into the schemes of the forces of darkness. Schemes that include using their autistic brother Brock as leverage to seize control of the Flaming Sword and the Tree of Life. The Gargoyles and Trolls have an ambition that extends beyond dominating these powerful elements. They’ve set their sights on the Topside realm—with or without the help of Mr. Marshall.

Deception is rampant, the enemy is subtle, and love dares to tug at Sadie’s heart amid the turmoil below. Once again, she and Brady will cling to God’s faithfulness as they fight for the people and creatures they care for, and against the enemies they fear.

Will the cost be more than they can endure?


Having followed the journey of the Larcen family almost from its conception, it is difficult to believe the final book has been published and now I have to say goodbye. What a satisfying, but heart-breaking goodbye it is, too.

In “The Genesis Tree,” the third and final installment of “The Tethered World Chronicles,” Heather FitzGerald has the seemingly insurmountable task of tying together all the loose ends, and yet she somehow manages it in a truly meaningful way. From the very first page, I was drawn in and hooked. All three books do a great job of holding attention right away with mystery and suspense, but this one really intensifies the tension. I found myself unable to put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next, stuck in that endless cycle every avid reader knows all too well: “Just one more chapter.”

With the exposure of the Tethered World and its inhabitants at risk, the pressure is very real, dripping from every page. The Larcen family, particularly Sadie and Brady, have almost no down time. They’re constantly thrown one curve after another, forced to fight back and protect their family and friends.

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Without giving away major spoilers (a difficult feat for this book), there are several big plot twists that will leave your jaw on the floor. There is especially one near the end that I did not predict and was totally unprepared for. All I’ll say is have your tissues handy for this one.

There are more mature themes present in this book than in the others, for sure. Just to be clear, it’s still clean and family-friendly. Rather, the “mature” aspect has more to do with the difficulties the characters face at the end. It’s not one of those too-safe stories where the heroes escape with no sacrifice. Where violence is present, as there inevitably will be in a fight of this scope and magnitude, it is all done tastefully and doesn’t get overly graphic in my opinion, making it still appropriate for younger readers.

One of my favorite parts of the series has been the growth of the main characters, Sadie in particular. At the beginning of the first book, she is fearful, resentful and often self-absorbed, focusing more on her own discomfort than on the needs of others.

 

But she doesn’t stay in that place. I appreciated getting to witness her steady, although not always easy or perfect, growth and maturing into a strong, courageous young woman who learned to trust in God’s plan, to let go of her need for control, and to put the safety of others ahead of her own.

Another interesting and unique aspect to this fantasy story is the conspicuous absence of epic, large-scale battles, particularly in the last book. Despite this lack of the usual “epic battle” scenario one usually finds in fantasy, the safety and survival of the heroes are never guaranteed. Somehow, this small-scale, more intimate conclusion works perfectly with the story and still managed to leave me satisfied–and sad that it’s over.

From my first taste of this unique world, I was hooked and blown away by its creativity and imaginative storyline. With adventure, deception, and suspense around every corner, I believe readers of all ages can enjoy “The Tethered World Chronicles.”

Overall, this is a fantastic ending to an equally fantastic trilogy. I highly recommend that all three books be read in order to fully submerge yourself in this unique world. You won’t regret it.

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Being set in the real world, it’s not one of those fantasy series that requires full-immersion into a made-up world and complete suspension of disbelief. One of its shining qualities is how believable and possible it actually feels. In my opinion, this makes it a great choice for the more casual fantasy reader and those who have a hard time getting into more “fantastical,” out-of-this-world fantasy stories.

There’s a vast well of material here that could easily be drawn upon for future stories, if the author wanted to. Maybe, if we’re lucky, this won’t be the last we see of the Tethered World.


Thank you, Heather, for a truly magical and unforgettable journey!

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Genesis Tree by Heather L. L. FitzGerald

  1. I was still reeling from the end of this book when I first heard “You Redeem” by Aaron Shust and it just seemed to apply so well. I love that song but can’t hear it without immediately being whisked back to The Genesis Tree. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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