Book Review: Gemini Cell

Gemini Cell by Myke Cole, Shadow Ops #4

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

It should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…
 


A few years back Myke Cole kicked off his Shadow Ops series with Control Point. If  you read my review of it, you know that I really liked the book. The combination of the military element, worked in detail and the supernatural element of magic worked full colors. What you were introduced to was already a well established world with the SOC controlling and operating everything. When I first read the blurb of Gemini Cell I didn't know where I had to place the story, but I soon found out that this is the first in a prequel series. Telling telling the events that led up to  what we read in Control Point. Oh yes!

So as I said, Gemini Cell takes place before the events of the original series. Here you see Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer in full action. He is the best of the best. Jim and his team are send on a mission where he discovers some horrible things from The Body Farm. Due to a mess up by one of his colleagues he and his other teammates just barely gets out alive. On the way back Jim gets a briefing but not a whole lot of explanation about what he witnessed aboard. He has a lot of questions, one of them why his opponents had very advanced gear. Luckily for him there is always someone waiting for him at home, his wife and Sarah and his son Patrick. But when Jim gets home, Sarah does have news for him. He has to make a decision, that of going for his family or that of going for his job. Making the final decision doesn't happen as Jim gets shot down in his own home. But sometimes the dead don't stay dead. Jim get's brought back to live. His superiors are experimenting. Experimenting with Magic... Jim finds himself back alive once more but not alone, there is someone in him, a jinn Ninip. Ninip grants Jim supernatural powers, and makes Jim an even better soldier than he was before. But let me get back to the home invasion, when Jim got shot, he also lost his wife and son who couldn't be awakened like him. He is stricken with grief and doesn't know how to place it, the funny thing is that his superiors hadn't thought that Jim was possible to cling to such memories... With everything Jim does, his thoughts in the end return to Sarah and Patrick. In the end, he uncovers the truth that of that Sarah's and Patrick's death have always been a lie... Time for revenge. With a jinn aiding Jim. Guess the military got more than it bargained for!


The storyline of Gemini Cell is different than the original series in that for starts the action is much more visceral. Granted there is plenty of action in the other books, but that is mostly focused on the uses of elemental magic and such, here Jim still relies on his weapons to give him the edge. What also felt to note was that emotion in the story. The way that Jim thinks even after his death and how Sarah acts. This latter element makes the story resonate much stronger. I don't have any experience with the army and serving in it, but I can quite imagine that the challenges that Jim and Sarah faced must be shared by many. 

The part where Gemini Cell for me got it's real strength from was the emotion that Myke Cole introduced. From the start of the book you can feel it, it becomes notable strong in Jim's character and never really stops. Jim, best of the best Navy SEAL and trying to be the best husband and father that he can be. He has challenges that his SEAL training never prepared him for. I liked Jim a lot, when he get's killed and is revived with Ninip his character only becomes stronger. Naturally he doesn't know what he need to make of it, but over the course of time his starts to grow into using Ninip to his advantage. The internal conversations between Ninip and Jim were also a delight to read, they weren't always on the same page. 

What is of course expected when you read a book from a writer who served in the military is the accurateness of the terminology and this what Myke Cole does really well (I trust his writing!). There is a nice glossary that I had to look up for some of the abbreviations that were often time used. I really liked the parts where Myke Cole wrote the gear description, I don't know what all the weapons were on the first, google helps a lot. I am not a gun-nut but reading about it is sure cool. 

Now one other thing that I have to give Myke Cole credit for was the way that he wrote about Jim being dead and getting reviewed. Here are some things: Glycerol is pumping through Jim's body, he doesn't need to eat, he is being kept in a cold room and in order to speak Jim need to forcefully push air over his vocal cords to produce sounds. This is what I call doing that extra bit to make the story that more detailed. They are small things but it is usually those things that count. 

All in all Gemini Cell is a terrific read. Myke Cole has definitely outdone himself. Gemini Cell had everything from his earlier series in terms of action but he ups the ante with writing a very personal story with Jim in the lead. My mind is still boggling about how the awakening of Jim is in relation to the SOC of Control Point, but I guess there is only one thing to do about it and that is reading Javelin Rain!  

Comments

  1. Good review. I've had the Shadow Ops series on my to-read list, and maybe I need to get to it soon so I can Gemini Cell. The mixture of military and the occult sounds like it makes for a fun read.

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