I was initially drawn to Genesis: Atom & Go because it centers around the adventures of a dad and his daughter. Having raised three of my own daughters, I was interested in reading about that type of situation, but in a space western. So I gave it a shot.
Atom Ulvan, Left Fist of the Emperor, lived a life of power until a rival family destroyed the Meriwether Han. Fleeing the death behind him, Atom must use his unique skill-set to survive. However, Margo, his two-year-old daughter, gives him reason to live and keeps him from a suicidal, all-out war on his betrayers.
Genesis — a space-western odyssey across the galaxy that forces a gun-slinging rogue to balance his life between putting coin on the table and coping with fatherhood on the fly. Hop aboard the One Way Ticket with Atom and Margo as they fly the Black in search of redemption, revenge, and a quiet place to take a nap.
Zach Winderl’s book (the first in a series) didn’t disappoint. I quickly picked up on the Firefly-meets-The-Mandalorian vibe and fell in love. But that’s not to say that Genesis: Atom & Go copies those same tropes; it has come up with quite a few of its own.
The book tells the story of a man named Atom Ulvan and his toddler-aged daughter, Margo (Go for short). Atom is a bit of a space pirate, not afraid to do what it takes to make a little coin, but he also has to set a good example for his daughter. In fact, Margo’s well-being molds much of Atom’s decisions, but they’re not always the best decisions.
And that’s what makes Atom such a real, likable character. He’s a swindler, sure, but he also has a heart.
One interesting display of that heart is Atom’s love for his deceased wife, whose mind has been uploaded to his ship’s computer as a bit of a conscience for Atom. Yes, even in death, Atom’s wife can tell him what to do. But it’s a great dynamic that works well for this type of story.
The rest of Atom’s ship’s crew defines the phrase “rag-tag” as they all showcase their individual talents throughout their journey. Each character is either someone we know or someone we want to know.
Earlier I mentioned a Mandalorian vibe and that wasn’t just a reference to the big person/tiny person thing. Margo is a genuine badass who pulls some trickery out of nowhere to surprise you into a wide-eyed chuckle more than a few times in this book.
Overall, the pacing of the story was on point and I was kept entertained throughout the entire story. I can usually judge an author’s writing style by how well I can picture exactly what’s going on in the plot, and I had no problem doing that in Genesis. There were times when I would think about the story throughout my day as if I were in the middle of watching a Netflix series. I couldn’t wait to get back into it!
Genesis: Atom & Go is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle versions. The sequel, Trinity: Atom & Go, continues the story with a new assassin character, and word is that Zach is working on a third part of the series as well.
And for more into the mind of Zach Winderl, check out his sci-fi-centric blog.