Genesis: The Rosie Black Chronicles Book One: Lara Morgan

We’re smack bang in the centre of a flare of dystopic fiction at the moment but, lucky for us, it’s a very talented one. Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books and even that most dystopic Australian text, John Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began is getting a second life in its cinematic release.

Entering this fray is Lara Morgan with Genesis, the first in the Rosie Black series, a sharp YA thriller set in an all-too-believable future. The polar ice caps have melted and the cities flooded, wrenching humanity into a society of haves and have-nots. Rosie Black ticks all the boxes as the everyday girl, beset by circumstance, yet flooded with ambition and chafing at her restricted life. Then, one day, Rosie finds a mysterious box and must figure out its secrets before they consume her.

While we do hit somewhat archetypal territory – a virus, a colony on another planet and a bunch of social outcasts to help save the day – it is the eerie familiarity of the urban Australian landscape and the sheer terrifying possibility of this future that makes this one stand out from the increasingly crowded shelves.