Skip to main content

“I am human”, past-Áurea whispered, walking ahead while glancing at the raven perched on her shoulder.

“We must rectify that”, the alchemist cawed, blending into the shadows.

The Genesis of ChangeElliot shatters conventions and expectations in The Genesis of Change, a mind-bending standalone prequel novella to the visionary Records of the Orders series. Filled with ancient shapeshifting eldritch alchemists, philosophy-based alchemical magic, boldly experimental storytelling, and deeply thought-provoking themes, this dark philosophical fantasy very aptly feels like it could be the genesis of change for the fantasy genre.

The Genesis of Change tells the story of two extremely powerful alchemists, Élan and Verve, who are each sent on their own inexplicable mission by the enigmatic leader of the Orders, the Rector. Élan takes on a new apprentice in the labyrinthine Towers whose humanity must be crushed to transfigure into an alchemist, while Verve must examine and define an unexplainable phenomenon within a respected healer’s mind. Though unclear about the Rector’s goals, they throw themselves fully into their missions and start gaining answers that could alter their entire reality; will they stay content with the comfortable status quo, or embrace the chaos of change?

Now, every once in a while, you come across those rare stories that are so above and beyond anything you have ever read that it simply feels impossible to do them justice in a review; The Genesis of Change is the prime example of that. No, I can’t sit here and pretend that this was an easy or comfortable read all the way through, but that only made me love it all the more.

Even though my brain was cracking more times than I’d probably like to admit, Elliot’s engrossing and strong prose just sucked me in and made this narrative unfold in the most organic way possible. In a way, this novella almost feels like two separate stories in one, alternating between Élan’s and Verve’s personal missions. Yet in the final few pages, Elliot works her storytelling magic and lights up the red thread that weaves these two journeys together into one awe-inspiring and magnificent whole.

While I am usually much more of a character-driven reader, I quickly found myself absolutely spellbound by the rich themes, ethereal atmosphere, and imaginative sociological and philosophical elements in The Genesis of Change. There’s a certain alluring air of mystery and intrigue permeating every aspect of this story, and I found it fascinating to explore and discover this world through the eyes of such enigmatic, larger than life protagonists.

Seeing how far both Élan and Verve were willing to go to fulfil their missions was just morbidly fascinating to me, especially because their morals are more than questionable. The way that they each view and interact with their human ‘subject’, if you will, gave this story a certain level of suspense that I found infinitely more thrilling than any type of epic action scene you could imagine, and I honestly could not stop turning the pages.

The Genesis of Change is not the type of story you come to for some fun light escapism, but a story you come to if you want to be challenged and confronted. At its core, it’s a quietly powerful and deeply introspective narrative that examines knowledge, bias, progress, prejudice, morality, identity, humanity, and raw emotions in the most nuanced ways. And then add to that an incredibly inventive magic system that combines alchemy and philosophy, resulting in an extremely rich and multi-layered novella that just demands to be pondered on and revisited time and time again.

If this is what Elliot can accomplish in a novella, then I am truly beyond excited to see her sheer brilliance on full display in the upcoming full-length novels in the Records of the Orders series. Though this is truly unlike anything I have ever read, I think fans of Vita Nostra or The Book That Wouldn’t Burn would find much to love in the settings, vibes, and themes that Elliot offers here. So, if you are looking for a short yet unforgettable fantasy novella that is equal parts mind-bending, soul-stirring, and deeply thought-provoking, then I can’t recommend The Genesis of Change highly enough!

The Genesis of Change will be available to download for free by signing up to the author’s newsletter.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Genesis of Change is scheduled for release on July 16th, 2024. 

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

The Genesis of Change

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

Leave a Reply