The Genes of Isis by Justin Newland ** Blog Tour Extract** #GenesOfIsis
I am delighted to bring you an extract from Justin Newland's The Genes of Isis today. It is quite a difficult book to categorise but has been described as alternative or speculative fiction, mythological fantasy or ancient history.This is the second edition of this epic fantasy and supernatural thriller.
Before you get to read a sample of the book, here's a little about the story:
The Genes of Isis means genesis and Justin's novel speculates on an alternative origin for the human race. It weaves together the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris and the story of the flood from the Book of Genesis.
Akasha is a precocious young girl with dreams of motherhood. She lives in a fantastical world where most of the oceans circulate in the aquamarine sky waters.
Before she was born, the Helios, a tribe of angels from the sun, came to Earth to deliver the Surge, the next step in the evolution of an embryonic human race. Instead they spawned a race of hybrids and infected humanity with a hybrid seed.
Horque manifests on Earth with another tribe of angels, the Solarii, to rescue the genetic mix-up and release the Surge.
Akasha embarks on a journey from maiden to mother and from apprentice to priestess then has a premonition that a great flood is imminent. All three races – humans, hybrids and Solarii – face extinction.
With their world in crisis, Akasha and Horque meet, and a sublime love flashes between them. Is this a cause of hope for humanity and the Solarii? Or will the hybrids destroy them both? Will anyone survive the killing waters of the coming apocalypse?
Extract - Chapter 4 The Wheel of Change
Akasha stared despondently at the pale green dress hanging on her door. It was the traditional attire for anyone visiting the Emerald Cavern. Ah, who would ever want to sit in that awful chamber and come out infertile? Not her. Yet everyone in Samlios was obsessed with it. “We have to do what the Solarii tell us,” they would say. Well, they might have to, but she didn’t. No, there was something intrinsically wrong with the idea and she wished there was some way she could avoid stepping over its threshold.
Mind, if the winds howling outside the temple and the clamour from the night bell were anything to go by, there might yet be a chance. Clouds of crimson dust scraped against the window like a scaled serpent, jarring her nerves. The winds moaned through the temple’s cloisters, muffling shouts and cries of alarm. A door banged open and then slammed shut. She moved across to the window and for a moment, the visibility cleared. In the centre of the cloisters was the silhouette of the old oak of Samlios. The winds had already stripped its early spring leaves, but at least it was intact.
A sense of foreboding quickly replaced the feeling of relief. Squinting through the billowing dust, she swallowed hard, her mouth dry. The winds gathered into a swirling vortex around the oak. A loud and ominous cracking plunged the city into silence. The winds had severed one of the oak’s thick lower branches, which lay forlornly on the earth. They toyed with the rump of the branch, rolling it repeatedly. Then they tore into the main tree with such ferocity that even the trunk strained its mighty sinews. Like a vengeful deity, the winds scraped at the tree until, with a noise like a clap of thunder, the huge trunk cracked. Slowly, like some titan felled in battle, the great oak tilted and plummeted to the ground. Its upper branches smashed through the window of Akasha’s cell. Covering her head with her hands, she ducked behind the window ledge.
The oak of Samlios was broken, snapped in two by the winds’ vitriol. Reputed to have been planted by old Enoch himself, it was a symbol of the isle’s strength and endurance. But why these winds? Had they offended the Source? Were the winds a pestilence, or a cleansing? Her mentor would know. She had to ask Shamira.
Akasha pushed against the door but the buffeting wind prevented her from opening it even a crack. Trapped, she yelled for help. Her cries echoed back to her and her hopes of rescue faded. As the wind abated, the door fell ajar. Then the breeze picked up again, snaking through the gap, ruffling curtains and sucking her green dress out of the window opening.
Well, that was it. She wasn’t going anywhere near the inside of the Emerald Cavern now. Leaning headlong into the winds, she squeezed through the tiny opening. The door slammed behind her. A moment later, her nightcap sprinted down the corridor ahead of her.
She joined the throng of people fleeing the temple and emerged into a heaving maelstrom of salt and sand. The particles hit her with such speed that she felt like a thousand minuscule daggers were piercing her skin. Dust drove splinters into her eyes. Buffeted by the winds, she struggled into the bared teeth of the gale.
Outside the temple entrance, the winds had toppled the statues of the divinities from their plinths. They lay on the ground in undignified fragments, their long reigns brought to a sudden and premature end. The path to the Step Well was strewn with branches and debris, all coated in red dust. Off the lee of the isle, two waterspouts stretched from the angry seas right up to the heaving sky waters. Swarms of gulls and sea birds swooped and dived in the air stream, blown about like stray twigs.
Staggering down to the Step Well was an achievement in itself. The portico had collapsed. The night bell swayed back and forth, issuing a terrible din. Akasha ducked to avoid a branch that flew at her, as if thrown by some invisible hand.
Tros the Gatekeeper was staring down into the Step Well.
“The oak of Samlios! It’s gone!” Akasha yelled.
Tros lowered the scarf over his mouth. “There’s nothing we can do,” he shouted back.
She thought he was probably right. “What are you doing down here?”
“The men are trying to pin some material over the pool.” Tros pointed down to the pool at the base of the Step Well. He was ever the practical one. To survive the onslaught, they needed to protect the city’s main source of fresh water.
“Let me help.”
“No. Shelter in the cathedral with everyone else,” he said.
After what seemed a lifetime of evading the deadly winds, Akasha finally glimpsed the murky outline of the cathedral on the peak of Spirit Hill. The winds had left a crimson deposit on the outer crystal surface of the cathedral. Next to it, the Emerald Cavern was the same. She murmured a prayer of thanks to the winds for sparing her visit to that dreadful place.
She crawled along the ground like a snake, and eventually slumped against the cathedral doors, her body aching. Her face stung from the swirling sand, and the salt spray parched her lips. Hiding from the claws of the storm, she glanced across at the marketplace. Splinters from the flagpole lay strewn over the ground. The market stalls were scattered, broken into tinder. What was the point of this devastation? The hybrids? Or the Solarii? Or both? Everything else in their lives was, so she guessed the wild winds might be too. Anyway, Shamira would know.
Hundreds squeezed inside the rotunda, not one of them moving. It was as if the tempest had sucked out their spirits and turned them to stone.
Has this whet your appetite? If so here is the book link: Amazon UK . It is released on 28th August 2018.
About the Author
Justin was born in the tenth ember of 1953, making him a Capricorn. Hey, someone has to be one. Today, he lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills, in Somerset, England and writes historical, fantasy and speculative fiction with a supernatural bent.
His first loves were sea stories and these led to a lifelong love of literature.
His academic career includes a B.A. from Essex University, an M.Sc. from Sussex University, and a Maths Ph.D. from Imperial College, London, where he wrote a short story published in the local student rag.
His literary influences are eclectic and he enjoys all genres and forms of literature from poems, plays, short stories and novels.
An avid reader of both exoteric and esoteric non-fiction, he has researched the mythologies and philosophies of Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as an in-depth and prolonged study of Ancient Egypt.
He has enjoyed books written by authors from South America, North America, Africa, China, as well as France, England, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Russia and Poland.
After starting writing fiction again in 2006, he has attended various writing courses and participated in writer's groups in Bath and Bristol.
His other loves include world history, classical music, philosophy, travel, sport and yoga.
Thanks to Justin Newland, Matador Publishing and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the extract and a place on the tour.
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