by Justin Newland
GENRE: Mythological Fiction / Fantasy
Akasha is a precocious young woman who lives in a world where 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 left humanity on the brink of extinction and spawned a race of monstrous hybrids.
Horque is a Solarii, another tribe of angels, sent to Earth to rescue the genetic mix-up and release the Surge.
When Akasha has a premonition that a great flood is imminent and falls in love with Horque, her life becomes an instrument for apocalyptic change. But will it save the three races - humans, hybrids and Solarii – from the killing waters?
The moonlight flooded through the window but Issa was still awake. Once the street cats grew tired of fighting and the hyenas and foxes stopped scavenging, she roused herself and began her descent. Clutching a glow lamp in one hand and Fryme's package in the other, she crept downstairs and stopped in the middle of a corridor, beside a section of wall that would have appeared unremarkable to anyone else. She knew otherwise.
A few words, an arcane utterance, followed by a shimmer of light and the astral curtain disappeared, revealing the secret door. She stepped through it, into the corridor beyond. She was going to the God Crucible, an occult chamber beneath her house. Its astral protections were such that no one, not even Cheiron, suspected its existence. Her breathing was shallow. This was the first point of no return.
Her glow-lamp threw long shadows down the narrow, sloping tunnel. Divided in two, it had steps on one side and a slanting ramp on the other. In front of her on the ground was a piece of white bandage, accidentally torn off the mummified body of her son, which she'd dragged down the ramp before Cheiron had arrived. How heavy he had been. They didn't call it a dead weight for nothing. She could still smell the musty odour of the dust particles she'd dislodged.
At the bottom of the ramp, the tunnel gave way to a dome-shaped chamber, the God Crucible. Her son’s cadaver lay on a bench, and she ran her hand over the embalming bandages. Beside it was a second, vacant bench. There, she would lie during the ritual she was about to perform.
The Anubis embalmers had washed Horque’s body, encased it in natron salt, and mummified it according to all but one of the traditions of the Jackal-headed God - the exception being that they had not removed any of his organs. On his chest, she laid out a scarab pectoral and into his mouth, she placed a length of straw.
A Word With the Author
1. For those interested in exploring the theme of your book, where should they start?
The short answer is - at the beginning. Because my story is about the beginnings, the origins, the genesis of things. ‘Genes of Isis’ is a glyph or shorthand for the word genesis.
Genesis is the first book in the Old Testament, and that’s where I got the theme or subject from. Basically, the story of my novel, The Genes of Isis, is a modern re-telling, or re-interpretation, of the story of the Fallen Angels and the Flood from the Book of Genesis.
2. How did you become involved with the theme of your book?
I became interested in Ancient Egypt because I wanted answers to questions such as: Where did we come from? How did we get to where we are today? Why are things as they are?
I wanted to conceive a story that offered the discerning reader a different entry point to these age-old questions. Inevitably, it led me to Ancient Egypt, the world’s earliest recorded historical culture.
Just as a child’s upbringing influences his or her growth and development, as the oldest civilisation, Egypt influenced everything in World History that followed. For this reason, Egypt is known as the ‘Mother and Father of all Things’.
The Ancient Egyptians imagined their origins through creation myths, such as the myth of Isis and Osiris. In it, Osiris, her husband, is murdered and has his dismembered body parts distributed all over Egypt. Isis gathers them together and miraculously brings him back to life. This is a story of life and death, procreation, rebirth and the struggle for power, all archetypal themes.
3. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goal was to explore the Ancient Egyptian creation myth and suggest an alternative genesis for the human race.
I mean, there are anomalies in the historical trace, there are always small gaps, understated assumptions, and even unintentional exaggerations, and it was these I wanted to explore in my novel.
The Bible suggests that the human race is 7-9,000 years old. But how can that be? Because archaeologists have found skulls buried in the earth that are upwards of a million years old.
It’s a contradiction.
Or is it?
Could it be that the Bible is right after all, in so far as what is 7-9,000 years old is our present human genetic, and that the human genetic before that was so different that it was not worth considering?
I elaborated on this theme very well in the novel, and hopefully will leave the discerning reader with more questions than answers.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Genes of Isis?
The Genes of Isis has several point-of-view characters. The main character or MC is a young woman named Akasha, and the novel features her journey from maiden to mother, and from apprentice to priestess.
Shamira is a priestess, and mentor to Akasha.
Horque is another character in the story. He’s an Ancient Egyptian, and is Protector to the Pharaoh. His mother is Issa, a healer and expert in the esoteric arts.
Cheiron is the Ancient Egyptian Head Priest, who tries in vain to control Issa.
Lasec is a nasty piece of work, who is the executioner.
5. If you could spend the day with one of the characters from The Genes of Isis, who would it be? Why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do?
I’d spend it with Issa, the Ancient Egyptian priestess, and I’d ask her to show me around the temples, courts, and pyramids of Egypt, and reveal to me the mysteries therein. I’d walk by the river Nile with her, and we’d contemplate the passing of time, and how days become ages, and the evening becomes an epoch. We’d listen to the soft waters, eat dates and walk in the shade of the palm trees.
Then, I’d sit with her, and ask her about the true origins of Ancient Egypt, how the civilization seemed to arise full-formed out of nothing, from nowhere, as if it was an implant from elsewhere. Finally, I’d ask her how much of the novel is true.
22nd June 2022
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.
“The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldn’t ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.
The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. ISBN 9781789015829.
‘The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society.
Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.
“The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war… filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.” – A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.
His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.
“In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.”
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Genes-Isis-Justin-Newland-ebook/dp/B07D7FMDZG/
Justin Newland will be awarding one signed copy of the paperback (US or International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway