The Titan Strain

Genetics Chronicles 1

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Pub Date 29 May 2018 | Archive Date 9 Jun 2018
Sunbury Press, Inc., Milford House Press

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The city of London is beginning to rebuild from the ashes of the Third World War. Ruled by the fascist Libertas Party, the city is a desolate landscape of crime, corruption, and illegal genetic modification that turn humans into animalistic mods. Ineffectually policed, mods blend into normal society by day and rule the ruins beyond the city limits at night. People frequently go missing in this world, and those who want to survive must close their eyes to the crimes committed on their streets. 

Within the city lives Liane, a girl trained since childhood to be an unfeeling, unthinking killing machine known as an Agent. Beautiful and deadly, Liane exists in a world of constant surveillance and brutality, living only to carry out the orders of the all-powerful Agency. This secret government organization enforces the laws of Libertas, killing anyone who threatens the tenuous peace within the country. Liane’s only human contact comes in the form of her Handler, Damian, who demands perfect obedience from her and desires for them to be far more than Agent and Handler. Chafing under the rules of the Agency, Liane secretly longs for a normal life and steals away to the ruins to spend time with the mods. 

But when mods begin to turn up murdered and mutilated around the city, Liane finds herself wanting to help protect the people who have been her only friends. Working alongside Seth, a young police officer on the Genetic Modification Task Force, Liane defies her Handler in an effort to find the killers. Together, Liane and Seth weave their way through the dark world of cyberpunk London, following whispers of the next genetic advancement known as the Titan Strain.


The city of London is beginning to rebuild from the ashes of the Third World War. Ruled by the fascist Libertas Party, the city is a desolate landscape of crime, corruption...

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The Titan Strain

The name is amusing in itself. The cover of the book is so beautiful that I could not resist myself from requesting the book. I want to thanks the publishers and Net galley for providing me the e-ARC. All the views and thoughts are my own and honest.

World war 3 had occurred and the world is in turmoil. The medicine for cancer has been discovered and there is no further threat from this disease but this doesn't means that the world is at peace. There are more problems now that genetic modification has taken root among the population. These modification are not without price, the price is to lose the traits of human being and being transformed into a human animal.

Just like the highly modified humans, Mods, Lianne is not very fitting into the equation of a normal human but she is not on mods. She can jump more than mods can and she can run at a very fast pace without feeling any exhaustion. She thinks this as her birth power along with the training she received from the agency.

Agency is another mysterious body. Even though Lianne is working in the Agency, she is never allowed to question anyone, just follow orders. These are the strict instructions yet she finds herself in the situation where she can't help but wonder about all the killings she had done. Her conscience which has been made passive by the training starts questioning her blind faith in the agency. From the doubt arises disobedience.

Seth is a normal guy who works in police force to catch up the mods. Even though he knows how powerful and dangerous mobs can be, he loves his job and works with his heart. One day he finds himself surrounded by the mobs who are desperate to kill him. He was saved by a girl with similar alteration in eyes like his. He finds himself attracted towards her but he ignores the warning she gives him about the threat to his life, again and again.

Damian is the handler of Lianne since she was ten and has been her companion, sole companion, throughout the seven years of training to become a full time agent. He was proud of his Agent and wished to see himself on the seats of Administration one day with Lianne as his equal. His dreams receives a shock when he comes to know about Lianne and her betrayal. He is enraged beyond wit but orders to bring her down for brain wash as she is a very precious Agent to be killed.

The one and only lie Damian has told her came to light and Lianne is shocked. Her world seemed to be spinning. Now she just wants Seth to be safe and wreak havoc upon Agency. What is the truth? What happens to Lianne? Is Seth alive or dead? How is Damian doing?
Read the first part of 'The genetic Chronicles' The Titan Strain to know more about this book. I'll recommend to anyone who loves to read Dystopian novel.

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Will be posting on on 5/15!

Novel Thoughts:

If I could only read one genre for the rest of my days, I probably wouldn’t choose “Sci-Fi Futuristic Dystopia”… though I would really miss reading them. This unique niche was born out of novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 and has since exploded with books (and subsequent movies) like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and most recently, Ready Player One. Teenagers like dystopian novels because author speaks in a way that treats the readers as adults—which is both a blessing & a refresher amongst the typical YA section today, overridden with themes of sorcery, high school romance, and the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite…

Adults like dystopias because it takes a LOT to faze us.

The Titan Strain definitely fazed me. I must give credit to the author & mastermind, Virginia Soenksen: it’s becoming more and more difficult to come up with an original idea—let alone publish it—and The Titan Strain does that while maintaining a storyline that makes it impossible to put down.

Our heroine Liane, a semi-human black ops-esque secret agent & certified badass, is impossible to dislike. An orphan whose earliest memories include being ‘adopted’ by the ominous “Agency” and then consequently trained into a high-powered killing machine, the struggles she goes through in her fight for freedom feel incredibly real.

Though Liane is the leading lady, the focus shifts between her, Seth (the do-gooder police officer), and Damian (Liane’s “Handler”, aka a cross between her father/boss/dominant), at a speed that keeps you enthralled until the very end. The details of her past, and how it shaped her into the young professional assassin we meet, are both intriguing and a logical sequence of events… though I fought against rolling my eyes when Seth offers her a pizza, to which she responds “Pizza? I’ve never had it before!”

It is already a quick read, but my inability to put it down made it fly by. The steadily creeping buildup creates undeniable suspense and anticipation that has us begging for the climax, and when it finally happens, the narrator immediately switches to a different character’s perspective, forcing us to trudge through the next chapter to obtain a feeling of closure. A few #novelthoughts below:
1. The premise alone is enthralling. Though I would have liked to hear more about how sh*t went down in WWIII, how could you NOT be interested in the story set in the ruins of London where everyone is doping to get superhuman-like abilities?!
2. Prepare yourself for a love triangle between Katniss Everdeen, Christian Grey, and Jack Dawson. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
3. You won’t be rooting for the nice guy. And this is coming from someone who always cheers for the kind, sensitive, Mr. Right.

Recommendation: A steadily captivating read for sci-fi fantasy fans any reader who is down with a post-apocalyptic-set story, complete with advanced genetic mutations, a corrupt government, and a dash of love & betrayal.

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I chose this one because the cover really caught my eye and the description also sounded like something I would enjoy reading.
It takes place in a dystopian society that started like our own but because of technological advances that granted people genetic modification and because of countless acts of war the world as we know it is quite a changed place. In their dystopian London, the main character, a woman called Liane, works of for a mysterious agency that follows the orders of leading party by killing those who get in the way. Liane is the perfect assassin, the perfect agent. She’s lead a troubled life until the Agency got to her, but ending up as their pawn doesn’t seem to suit her any better. She is caught in a web of lies while her Handler, Damian, follows his own goal and a mysterious stranger named Seth means more than he should for Liane. Rumours about the baffling Titan Strains, the perfect modification, are all around while Liane tries to figure out how far she’s willing to go for the Agency and what kind of person she really wants to be.

Right from the start I really enjoyed Liane. She’s not your typical heroine, she’s very rational and analytical but at the same time the inner questions she keep addressing all the time are very realistic and well placed. She’s not the whiny type or one who can be swayed easily. The fact that she is constantly portrayed as a killing machine through her abilities probably helps, but at the same time she is not an intimidating character, but one you actually end up liking a lot. Her whole decision-making process was very nicely described and the connections she had with the other characters felt genuine.

As for the male characters I would say they were both intriguing. Damian, her Handler (basically the guy who fills her in about the missions and who supervised all her training and guides her), has a very peculiar relationship with her, obviously a toxic one (especially from his point of view). He is very cold and calculated, quite Slytherin-like, but also he gave me the feeling that maybe sometime in the past he used to be a good guy (or as close as he can get to one) but the lust for power and greater things turned him into a cold-blooded person. His morals are obviously questionable but I could understand some of his planning and scheming and what drove him. Liane is very important for him and in a way he makes it seem like he is spoiling her and protecting her (which I guess he is), but through the book we discover that he’s actually doing it for his own selfish reasons and goals. He wants to be the puppeteer in this game.

Seth, the police officer who barges unexpectedly in Liane’s life, is the good-guy-next-door type. He does normal things with his friends like eating pizza and drinking beers on a casual evening while trying to ignore a little bit the messed up world he’s living in. He’s a very compassionate character, the one who tries to do the right thing, and at the end he even musters up his courage and ends up being brave. It’s quite an interesting contrast between him and Liane, how she’s much stronger physically than him but also mentally they are quite different; I enjoyed how they managed to learn from each other, build bridges and meet halfway.

The plot was fairly simple, though there were some interesting plot twists. The writing is not to embellished, it’s actually quite straightforward. The idea of the book is gripping and the reason for which this didn’t actually get 5 stars was because I felt that maybe more could be achieved from that idea than it was. All in all, it was an enjoyable debut book, reading it goes smoothly, not too many technical details about the modifications of anything else, predictable in some ways but quite entertaining. Recommended to the dystopia/sci-fi fans out there.

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I like reading dystopian sci-fi stories. The story is great and has a strong female character. I like the world building. I enjoyed a lot.

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The Titan Strain is the first book in Virginia Soenksen's Genetics Chronicles. It takes place in London in the future -- the world has been devastated by World War III, and the politics of London has changed. It is now ruled by the fascist Libertas party. The world is laxly policed, and people have started to illegally genetically manipulate themselves to gain superhuman powers to run faster, jump higher, or be stronger. The people that genetically manipulate themselves are known as "mods". Modding often comes with negative side effects; the genetic material that they use comes from animals, and as they manipulate themselves this way, they become more like the animals themselves.

Liane, our heroine, is far stronger and far faster than any of these mods. Her sole purpose in life is to carry out the wishes of the Agency through her handler, Damian. She's not allowed to speak to anybody outside of the Agency, and she has to obey all orders that Damian gives her. It's a little creepy, because if, as an example, Damian wants to go to the theater with her, he even tells her what she has to wear.

Over the course of the book, Liane meets Seth, a normal person who is a police officer working on a serial killer case, and she ends up rebelling against Damian. All of the murder victims are mods, and as she (and Seth) try to figure out what is going on, they end up discovering a new modification that has been developed, known as the Titan Strain. Over the course of the book, her entire outlook on life changes, and her world will never be the same.

It's an interesting concept, and the plot is pretty good. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will probably end up reading the next installment of The Genetic Chronicles when it comes out, as I am interested in finding out what happens next. It's definitely a book worth checking out.

However --

This is a good book, but it is not a GREAT book. It's not a book where I will fall asleep dreaming about the characters, or write hundreds of pages of fanfiction about because I'm in love with these people. I'm not going to ruminate about this book while I'm at work. Some of my favorite books do that to me.

There are things that could have made this book better. describes the world as one where "People frequently go missing in this world, and those who want to survive must close their eyes to the crimes committed on their streets." Ooh, dangerous. For some reason, I really don't feel the danger of this world, however. The same holds true for the characters. They don't have the life that some of my favorite characters have. As I thought about this, I thought that maybe it was because it wasn't written in first person point of view, like some of my favorite authors, like Veronica Roth and Marie Lu, tend to write in; but then I realized that Flame in the Mist, a book that I recently finished and loved, doesn't have that problem and is written from a third person point of view.

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