My original novel The Gathering: Book One Of The Project Genesis is has a new release. Additional Chapter and revisions so you now get the same great story as Project Genesis The Gathering of Superheroes. Get the revised edition now on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Jane Watkins, a reporter for the Seattle Gazette newspaper, goes to meet a source with information about a serial killer known as the Slasher—only to find herself facing not an informant but the killer. She nearly meets her death but is miraculously saved by a glowing figure. He calls himself the Advocate, and Jane’s encounter with them both is about to change her life and theirs forever.
It seems the Advocate—whose real name is John Tomar—is one of several people who have developed superhuman powers through a substance known as the Genesis Factor. On the estate of his father, Nathan, and with his guidance and protection, John works to gather and train those with special abilities in service of a mission for the greater good—a task that draws the eyes of enemies. Meanwhile, Jane feels driven to discover the truth about the mysterious man—even more so when she sees a picture of him flying away from the scene of a midair explosion.
In this first book of the Genesis Project series, the paths of the hero and the reporter converge in an exploration of good, evil, human, and superhuman, considering who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.
Pacific Book Review
Reviewed by: Susan Milam
Project Genesis: The Gathering of Superheroes lays the foundation for a fantasy franchise with strong Christian overtones. Author W. B. Stiles imbues his cast of superheroes with the abilities expected in the genre. However, he makes it clear that their leader believes in and, at times calls on, the support of a higher power. Still, fans of traditional secular superhero epics will find that there is plenty of “super” action in this opening volume of the Project Genesis: The Gathering of Superheroes saga.
Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a meteor falls to earth and buries itself deep within a mountain on the west coast of what will become the United States. In present-day Seattle, investigative reporter Jane Watkins makes the unwise decision to meet with a person who promises to give her information about the Slasher. She finds herself alone with a man who either suffers from multiple personality disorder or who is possessed by an evil spirit. Jane falls victim to a vicious knife attack but is saved by the arrival of the Advocate. Elsewhere in the city, Jacob Starr rendezvous with shape-shifting Master Rafar and receives a mission: Free Rafar’s “brothers” from their underworld prison in Tartarus. Somewhere on an estate outside of Seattle, Nathan Tomar enlists Professor Albert Hughes to research Tomar’s discovery of the “water of life.” On Mount Rainier, David Spencer and Steven Ricker study mysterious seismic activity.
W.B. Stiles weaves numerous storylines together as he builds the world in which his band of champions will operate. Against a background of increasingly worrisome volcanic activity, Mr. Stiles introduces an array of novice superheroes who are becoming accustomed to their powers. As is customary in this genre, the diverse group lives and trains in the home of a wealthy benefactor, Nathan Tomar, who has powers of his own. The Advocate, also known as John, is Nathan Tomar’s adopted son, and he stands above the others both in his skills and in his mission. Mr. Stiles quickly sets John up in opposition to malevolent Jacob Starr. Although the battles between John and Jacob fall into the classic struggle between good and evil, John is clearly more than just another superhero; although exactly who and what is not made clear in the franchise’s first installment.
While John is preeminent amongst the superheroes, all of them receive distinctive characteristics and voices. Jane Watkins provides a strong female presence, and it is evident that her relationship with John will move to the fore in later episodes. Albert Hughes serves as an expository character who helps the reader understand the origin and development of the world Mr. Stiles is building.
Mr. Stiles makes the Christian bent of the saga evident in the book’s opening confrontation between the Advocate and the evil spirit inhabiting the body of the man Jane Watkins interviews. However, he is careful to keep the story balanced and set firmly in the world of superheroes he is creating. Mr. Stiles is not proselytizing, he is offering a multifaceted worldview that happens to be God-centered.
The first volume of Project Genesis: The Gathering of Superheroes is filled with world-building and character development. Still, Mr. Stiles has not neglected the action that readers of science fiction fantasies expect. The use of Christian symbolism and John’s strong relationship with a higher power shouldn’t dissuade fans of secular sagas as these elements of character and plot only add to the book’s depth and power.