Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps Review
Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps by J. Gregory Keyes is the first novel in the Psi Corps trilogy from Del Rey. The story spans 65 years from 2115 to 2189 and tells of the discovery of telepathy and the formation of the Psi Corps.
You can read a sample chapter of Dark Genesis at Del Rey's Web site. Mr. Keyes based his story on an outline by J. Michael Straczynski.
Since the story spans 65 years, different characters take turns as the main focus. The early part of the book follows Senator Lee Crawford, a man savvy to both politics and technology. He immediately realizes the significance of the discovery of telepathy and maneuvers himself into the position of directing the Metasensory Regulation Authority. This part of the book focuses on the chaos generated by the sudden announcement that telepathy exists and the resulting storm of violence against suspected telepaths.
Kevin Vacit succeeds Crawford and becomes the first director of the Psi Corps when it is formed. Vacit searches for the origin of Human telepathy, and his quest ties in nicely with the fifth season of Babylon 5.
The end of the book focuses on the underground telepath resistance against the Psi Corps. The resistance is led by Fiona Temple - who doesn't know she is the daughter of Kevin Vacit - and Matthew Dexter. They are joined by Stephen Walters, an undercover Psi Corps agent. We see that the business of moving rogue telepaths was begun long before Dr. Franklin and Byron were born.
Due to the scope of the book, the reading can be a bit dry at times - portraying history more than characterization. But when the history is so interesting, it comes off well. There are times when interesting characters - like Crawford's wife - disappear with only a brief explanation, but this is easily forgiven when the action suddenly jumps straight to the next conflict five years in the future.
Dark Genesis is strongly recommended to any Babylon 5 fan who is interested in telepaths and the Psi Corps. The next two books in the series, Deadly Relations and Final Reckoning, are also written by Mr. Keyes.