Evolution by Sam Kadence

Evolution by Sam Kadence
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA
Length: Full Length (229 pgs)
Other: M/M
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Gene Sage has only ever wanted to sing, but his band, Evolution, is pushing him toward the big time. He finds it hard to focus on making musical history when he’s dreaming of graveyards and seeing ghosts. And while all he can think of is hiding who he is from a world unforgiving of anyone different, he discovers he’s also the ultimate snack for vampires and demons. When Gene literally runs into—over—his idol, Kerstrande Petterson, rock god, vampire in hiding, and music cynic, his life falls over the edge into chaos.

Jaded by the world and nearly a decade in the music business, Kerstrande thinks Gene wants to use him to make Evolution immortal in more than one way, but he can’t seem to brush aside the young singer’s enthusiasm.

Getting involved with Kerstrande drags Gene into otherworldly power struggles. Between the ghosts stalking them, the media painting supernaturals as villains, and a vampire out of control in the city, the only way for Gene and Kerstrande to survive is for Gene to embrace his powers—and his destiny.

All Genesis ever wanted to do was sing. With his chance right in front of him, fame and fortune calling his name, he finds himself fighting an inner battle that he doesn’t understand and an outward, more supernatural one that he might not survive. Who are his real friends and which of them are truly his enemies? If Genesis is lucky, he might just find out before it’s too late.

Genesis Sage is probably one of the most fun and original characters I’ve met in a long time. He’s full of energy, almost always positive, and has drive to outmatch many adults. He feels deeply and expresses it through both song writing and singing. No matter what was going on around him, he always seemed genuine and heartfelt.

Kerstrande Petterson is more than just a cynical rock god gone into hiding. He’s also a vampire in denial. Despite his aloofness, his attraction and soft spot for Gene is heartening. Watching him slowly melt and give in to the fireball of energy that is Genesis is fascinating. It shows that his human side hasn’t completely vanished and that he still has the capacity for good, even if he doesn’t always believe it himself.

There was a lot about Evolution that I enjoyed. The thing that probably endeared it to me the most was how much it reminded me of one of my favorite animes/mangas. The lead in that anime was also an aspiring rock star with abundant personality and more issues than you can shake a stick at. Both Genesis, in Evolution, and Shuichi in the anime, also fall in love with distant, seemingly uncaring men. Because of this, I got the impression I was reading a prose manga, which is both very odd and very fun at the same time.

Evolution is an intense, enjoyable story about love, friendship, and staying true to yourself. Packed with action, laughs, and enough twists to keep you guessing, it’s a story that I won’t soon forget. I can only hope that the author has more planned for Genesis, Kerstrande and crew in the future, because I have a feeling their adventure has only just begun.

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