Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Genesis Key” as Want to Read:
The Genesis Key
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Genesis Key

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  266 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Fans of James Rollins, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Steve Berry, David Baldacci, and Raymond Khoury, listen up: James Barney is among us! A remarkable new master bursts upon the scene with The Genesis Key—a gripping debut thriller that combines a breathtaking Da Vinci Code-like historical/religious conspiracy with the science-gone-mad terror of Jurassic Park. A brilliant b ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Harper
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Genesis Key, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Genesis Key

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 06, 2011 Jackleen rated it really liked it
The Genesis Key is an action packed thriller with a very thoughtful insight into the advances of modern science. A mysterious archaeologist dig in Iraq, biblical passages regarding the Nephilim, the hidden secrets of our own human DNA, ancient history of the Mesopotamian region including a great flood as portrayed by Noah in the bible, the covert Washington DARPA agency, a secret conglomerate of billionaires and cutting edge science that may extend human life to two or three hundred years, all i ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.0 out of 5 stars -- If science can do it -- should we use it?

This novel has elements of science, anthropology, religion, archeology, history, mythology, mystery, conspiracy, covert governmental machinations -- and more...whew! And that's part of the problem with this book about the longevity gene (INDY = I'm not dead yet -- a Monty Python reference) and a scientist's experience finding and sequencing it.

Of COURSE everyone wants this new information that sets someone up to make billions of dol
Jun 28, 2011 Yolanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a signed copy through Goodreads giveaways.
Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury is a respected biologist. At her company QLS and her small team are working with fruit flies. They are making progress on the INDY gene when the Dr.'s past comes into play, dangerous play. She learns some nice things about her murdered parents and their important work in Iraq. Involved are the FBI, CIA, local and international ties which make for an action packed adventure. An enjoyable read, I hope to see more from this
Jul 21, 2011 Luanne rated it it was amazing
This is a debut novel that blew me away. It is definitely a page turner.
The prologue starts off more than 30 years ago with the parents of Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury on a archaeology expedition. That day 30 years ago will be brought into Kathleen's current life and her biology work with fruit flies. The doctor will find out what really happened with her parents and cause her to look at her own work in biology.
This is a must read.
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Aug 20, 2011 Meagan Myhren-bennett rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adventure lovers, thrill seekers
Recommended to Meagan by: James Barney

By James Barney

In September of 1979 Daniel and Becky Talbot are on the cusp of discovery. They have given the last 5 years of their life to an archaeological dig at Tell-Fara, Iraq to prove that Tell-Fara is more than a Ziggurat. But on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s rise to power their dreams may be short lived.

Dr Kathleen Sainsbury, a world class biologist, works at Quantum Life Sciences(QLS) trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and other age related dementias. When Washington Po
Glen Stott
Oct 05, 2013 Glen Stott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is one of the best mysteries I have read. It deals with the INDY (I’m Not Dead Yet) gene. A brilliant microbiologist, Kathleen Sainsbury is trying to find the INDY gene, which she hopes will cure her beloved grandfather of Alzheimer’s. The gene not only would cure diseases that are associated with old age, but it would extend human life span to 200 to 400 years. Others who are also searching for the gene are the US Government to control it and a mega rich entrepreneur in Israel to save his ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2011 Hira rated it liked it
I won this book via BookTrib - and in my general opinion, books that are promoted by BookTrib are genuinely of a superior quality. "The Genesis Key" by James Barney is no different. As a riveting thriller, this book is definitely worth a read. However, as riveting, fast-paced and sensational as it may be, it is really nothing special.

The beauty of this book, however, lay in the eclectic mix of subjects that the narrative includes - from mystery, to conspiracy, to government cover-ups, anthropol
Apr 26, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-vine-book
James Barney's debut thriller leads him deep into some controversial but very contemporary issues. Dr. Kathleen Sainsberry's research into the INDY (I'm not dead yet) gene in fruit flies has caught the eye of several agencies that have concerns about human genetic engineering. Just as she is on the verge of loosing her financial backing or major discovery, an interview about her research is published in the newspaper. Kathleen's life takes an interesting turn as the various groups who are watchi ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Bookish rated it really liked it
You know when you want something but you don't quite know what it is that you're wanting? That was how I felt before reading The Genesis Key by James Barney. Only afterwards, when I felt pleasant satisfaction, did I figured out what it was I wanted - Everything. And The Genesis Key delivered.

The Genesis Key has a little bit of everything to keep the reader riveted and actively engaged: cutting edge science and its ethical dilemmas, mythology, archeology, history, Biblical legends, and action, a
Suspense Magazine
Oct 12, 2011 Suspense Magazine rated it really liked it
What if you could live for an extra forty, fifty, maybe even one hundred years? What if science could manipulate your DNA to allow you an extended life? That’s the premise of “The Genesis Key.” Chock full of science, conspiracy, and ethical dilemma, Barney’s novel takes you back to the beginning of history and explores man’s desire for immortality.
Back in 1979, two archaeologists in Iraq are killed during the government takeover by Saddam Hussein. However, Hakeem Sargon, a museum curator fleein
May 30, 2012 Victoria rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, I found this book to be rather disappointing. It started off simply, but with a rather intriguing premise revolving around our main character, a geneticist studying he longevity gene discovers that her parents were murdered in an archaeological dig in Iraq. A friend of the family passed down not the only the important information, but also an artifact that she uses in her own research to make a startling discovery. This early half of the novel, with its flashbacks and more genuine ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it
James Barney's debut novel was of particular interest to me. As an anthropology student who has also worked in the life sciences industry, I was interested to see how these two disciplines crossed over in his tale.

The book starts in 1970s Iraq, before Saddam Hussein's rise to power, with Daniel and Rebecca Talbot excavating a ziggurat. The two archaeologists are convinced that there is more to this particular mound than has previously been believed -- a suspicion confirmed for the reader when t
L. Silvey
Aug 24, 2011 L. Silvey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2011 Joseph rated it it was ok
The idea for this book is a very interesting one and when I saw this book in the store, I immediately knew I had to read it. After having done so, however, I find that this book did not meet my expectations. The plot was decent, but in the end, nothing special. It was pretty straightforward and extremely predictable. There was absolutely no character development. They go through the whole story never changing, never uncovering more about themselves or their adversaries. And the repetition. Every ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the premise, biblical history, and explanation of the science! However, I made the mistake of researching the Tell-Fara temple on Wikipedia early on and basically figured out the whole plot in 10 minutes. Then, I had to wade through a couple hundred pages while the characters caught up with me. The main character went out of her way to do her research the hard way and to ignore any and all references to religion (that were obviously the backstory to what was going on).

When the sto
Paula Howard
Dec 19, 2014 Paula Howard rated it really liked it
I almost.. almost... gave up on the Genesis Key. So glad that I persisted and continued to read the book. It started rather slowly at first but then the action began.
Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury is a genetic researcher specializing in finding the INDY (I'm Not Dead Yet) gene sequence. Her interest in this gene is specifically to aid in the cure for Alzheimer, which her grandfather has. She was adopted and raised by her maternal grandparent's following the death of her parents.
Kathleen's parents were
Aug 03, 2011 Melissa rated it liked it
I received a signed copy via a Good Reads giveaway.

This was more like 3.5 stars and honestly I would have given it four if not for the part of the story where the main character, a successful scientist, decides she is book smart/ man dumb and spills her guts regarding her breakthrough research to a newspaper reporter. I read a lot of fantasy, I read a lot of stories where smart women do stupid things because of a hot guy, but no way can I be convinced that this woman scientist filled this report
May 28, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
I won this book as an ARC.

I was very, very impressed with James Barney's first novel. It was fast-paced, exciting, an original storyline, with many good twists and turns.

Kathleen Sainsbury, a scientist, has discovered the gene in fruit flies, which when activated extends life up to twice or three times as long. So, the search for the equivalent gene in humans begins. There are many players, from the scientist who simply wish to investigate, to corrupt and wealthy businessmen, to government cons
Thanks Firstreads! Very interesting idea! I really liked the combination of the science, the archeology and the religious concepts. I've always been fascinated by genetics and think that since we have just scratched the surface anything is possible. The book really picked up after the first few chapters of set-up. Her parents sounded like they would have made for a great story all by themselves. The only issue I had with the story was the ending. It was a good ending, it just felt a little rushe ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Lee rated it liked it
What if you found DNA in something that was hundred's of years old, that could extend human life for many years? This freshman effort raised a lot of questions, from are you messing with or playing God, to try to give people a longer life span. What started out as research from Dr. Sainsbury and her small crew, to help her grandfather with alzheimer's, to a group of ruthless multi-millionaire's, that will stop at nothing to have that sample, for their own greed. Some good action takes place as t ...more
Nov 26, 2011 Chandler rated it really liked it
Did you ever wonder how people lived for long when you read the Bible? Does extending human life work against organized religion and contradict the Bible?

Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury's parents were murdered decades ago in ancient Iran. She is now researching INDY (I'm Not Dead Yet) genes in fruit flies. Is there a relationship? If there is a relationship then what is it and why is Kathleen now being targeted?

Yes this is a bit of what I call pulp fiction, but I like this book. Why? I loved genetic clas
Aug 08, 2011 Kristi rated it really liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.
This is not usually my genre, but my background in archeology sparked my attention. It did not disappoint. This story was not black and white, but showed realistic shades of gray as it dealt with difficult ethical dilemmas relating to scientific and technological advances. The romance of archeology was well blended with modern science and research, with a bit of religion stirred in. The ending was satisfying without ultimately choosing a right or wron
Jun 28, 2011 Debbie rated it really liked it
I received this book thru the Goodreads giveaway program and want to say thank you for introducing me to this new author. I was hooked from the very first page and the story held my interest for the most part. There were a few slow points where the story seemed to drag but with a great blend of science, political conspiracy, religion and mythology my interest wasn't lost for long. As a debut novel this was a good read and I can't wait to see the progress made in his next novel.
The Genesis Key - James Barney

Dr. Kathleen Sansbury hit upon a new discovery, the longevity gene. Her discovery could help improve peoples lives and reverse deadly diseases. However her discovery could very well get her killed just like her parents were murdered thirty years ago. Who or what wants to do her harm?

This novel was fantastic! Kept me engaged and not wanting to put this book down. The author had a way of keeping the reader's interest after every chapter.
Aug 31, 2013 Stephen rated it liked it
A young doctor searching for a cure to Alzheimers and possibly a way to extend human life is drawn into the repercussions of her parents murder. This book is a medical mystery as opposed to an Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider genre. The backstory is very cool and I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the book or more.
Aug 16, 2013 MB rated it it was amazing
I won this awesome book on first reads giveaway!! James Barney produced an amazing book that keeps the reader on edge throughout the entire 470 pages! I thoroughly enjoyed the many twists and turns that we're worked into the storyline. I enjoy a read that I am not able to figure really held my attention from start to finish!
Aubrie Mabe
Dec 12, 2011 Aubrie Mabe rated it liked it
I picked this book up on the cruiseship I was on recently because I had failed to pack adequate reading material (gasp!). I picked the best looking book among all the cheesy mystery thrillers and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. It had a very interesting concept and made me think about how far we should take our scientific discoveries.
Diana Melendez
Apr 29, 2011 Diana Melendez rated it really liked it
This books is all about genetics and also of political safety in the community of the whole world. The characters are so imaginable in it's own prospect in finding the truth of the unknown genetic Human DNA. This book not only has science in it but also has religious belief in it. I would really recommend this to people that are interested in the genetic field.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Genesis Plague
  • The Babylonian Codex (Jax Alexander Mystery #3)
  • The Scroll
  • The Guardian
  • The Thirteenth Apostle
  • The Constantine Covenant
  • The Fragment
  • Den 13. disippel (Bjørn Beltø, #5)
  • The Pope's Assassin
  • The Marks Of Cain
  • The Lost Angel
  • The Illumination
  • The Paradise Prophecy
  • The Eden Legacy (Daniel Knox, #4)
  • The Nosferatu Scroll (Chris Bronson, #4)
  • The Peacock Throne
  • Song of the Ovulum (Children of the Bard, #1)
  • The Gift of Illusion
James Barney is a trial lawyer in Washington, DC and a former submarine officer. His debut novel, THE GENESIS KEY, was nominated for the Best First Novel Award by the International Thriller Writers Association. His second novel, THE JOSHUA STONE, will be released by HarperCollins on October 8, 2013. More information can be found at Facebook:
More about James Barney...

Share This Book