Sunday, April 30, 2017

Scifi/Fantasy Book Review: Gemini Cell by Myke Cole

Long Review after the Jump:

Gemini Cell is the first of a new series in a magic-filled but Military SciFi universe (MilFantasy?) by Myke Coke.  Apparently it shares a universe with Coke's previous Shadow Ops trilogy, but I have not read that trilogy and didn't have a problem as a result - the amazon summary of Gemini Cell suggests that Gemini Cell is essentially a prequel, so that makes sense.

The Plot:  Jim Schweitzer is an incredibly skilled Navy SEAL who is torn between his job/duty and the love of his life, his wife Sarah.  After a strange mission that nearly goes bad, Jim is surprised at his home by the enemy, who shoots up his house, injures and maybe kills his wife and son, and definitely kills Jim.

But Jim isn't done yet.  He finds himself resurrected by a military agency, the Gemini Cell, as a frankenstein-ish undead, a Jinn, with a bloodthirsty thousand year old mind sharing his new body. He struggles to keep that second self in check while going on missions and while trying to find out and destroy those who killed his family.  But the people who he's working for now are not being totally honest with him and his family is still alive....searching for him and possibly in danger.

A quick disclaimer:  I like MilSci, but I don't LOVE MilSci.  That said, there are a few series in the genre I enjoy a good deal - one in particularly is Marko Kloos' Frontlines series.  So maybe some of the negativity in this review is my own personal bias.

That said, Gemini Cell, while fun at times and decently written, has a "first book in a planned series" problem.  To not spoil it, this is another book that teases something happening essentially throughout and then has it happen at the very end, without dealing with the implications of that thing happening.  It makes this feel like an incomplete story - especially because the substance of events that occur up to that point isn't very deep.  I'd be interested to see where this goes, and the sequel, Javelin Rain is out right now, but it's not very satisfying and the sequel will not be too high on my list.

Basically this book doesn't truly feel like anything particularly special for the genre, and doesn't even feel like a complete story, so hence the 6 out of 10.  It's not bad....just not satisfying either.

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