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Crystal and the Underlings: The future of humanity by Jack Kelley

Intricate, intriguing, and wonderfully engaging…

Kelley’s epic dystopian tale brims with vivid characters and subplots. Part of the seventh generation of Elite humans, Crystal is considered the best warrior and strategist. When her twin brother goes missing in the Mojave Desert, she is assigned to bring him back and gather military information about the Underlings’ operation there. To do that, she must seduce the infamous leader of the Underlings. But losing her heart to him wasn’t something she had foreseen. Kelley’s dystopian setting, in which regular humans are considered inferior to genetically enhanced species, is a strength. There’s nothing new about enemy-to-lovers romance, but Kelley’s novel is complicated and particularly human, involving real emotions and feelings. The fast-paced, absorbing narrative elegantly transitions between the gripping descriptions of ordinary humans trying to survive amid a host of menacing enemies and Crystal and Brownstone’s love story. The cast is gleefully complex, and their interpersonal dynamic is rooted in reality. The story takes readers through Crystal’s journey of reconciling both her desire and faith, imbuing the determined heroine with purpose. Brownstone remains consistently appealing. His sensitivity combined with his irresistible charm makes him a memorable protagonist. While the couple’s burning chemistry drives the story, the futuristic technology and the tense, adrenaline-filled action scenes keep readers turning the pages fast.  Questions about religion, faith, autonomy, personal freedom, individualism, and identity are skillfully woven into the story. Throughout, Kelley deftly educates readers on both the aspects of moral implications of discoveries in the field of genetic technology and the devastating effects of genetic modifications on the human population. Addictively readable, tense, and action-packed.

Crystal and the Underlings

The future of humanity 

Jack Kelley

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Torchflame Books

Pub date February 21, 2023

ISBN 978-1611534948

Price $18.99 (USD) Paperback, $6.49 Kindle

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