Disclaimer: I received this book as a beta copy and in exchange for a fair, critical, and slightly abusive (think jalapeno-sandpaper) review
The following book will also be free on Amazon from July 21st-24th, so go give the author some love and pick up a copy: https://amzn.to/2TsjnaR
What could possibly be more befitting my rogueish style of Irish goodbyes and unexpected reappearances (that make Gandalf look like a member of the frequent buyer club) in my own blogposts to come before you this day and deliver you something totally out of left field? BAM! I need to rent a confetti cannon and dancing girls for these kinds of visitations.
Oh yes; today we are talking a pulp-fantasy, laser-spitting science fiction indie novel that was self-published.
Now if you know me I normally am very hesitant to endorse science fiction or indie novels out of experience. One part preference, the other being too accustomed to the smell of the dumpster-alley (aka the dregs of self-published novels which occasionally produce a diamond now and again). My nostrils haven’t quite recovered from the last time an author threatened to loose a deluge of unhinged followers (all his family, lol) on me if I didn’t review his transcient tome on “Sexy Magicians Bereft of Personality Who Divulge Plot Exposition By Talking to Their Familiars” you might think I’m kidding but let me tell ya; the world of self-publishing is a weird, lawless land. It’s the Wild West for Autism and half-assed pipe dreams. And sci-fi has always been…well sci-fi to me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy laser-swords or space marines; it’s that’s all sci-fi has been for me, short of Dune and Enders Game (bookmark this, I will return to the comparison later)!
Straight up shooting from the hip here, I would have never discovered this book had it not been through mutual acquaintances and maybe the mystique of the summary.
But let me tell ya folks; I was delighted to read this one.
Stirring the pot before I even get to the recipe, let me get some objective criticisms out of the way to prepare yonder butts for what to expect. I did have a few contentions (mainly preferences) with the novel, so I’ll just rapid-fire them;
Not dissimilar from Gardens of the Moon, the story drops you into this plot without even the fibrous hair off a frog’s nipple on what this world is and how it works. There was a lot of charm to the ‘show and only tell in weird descriptions’ but to the uninitiated, the magic/technology really just doesn’t explain anything to you and you’re just going to have to accept that. Next up we have the etymology and plain made-up words; some of them were real neat, some were just damned nutty; parapadon, necropolithic, omnlith, vamprydact, and horizantic to name a few. Somebody has a fetish for Gene Wolfe! While imaginative and unique, I can see how some people might scratch their heads like I did; again, not a hard-hitting sledge of a critique but it warranted attention. Lastly we have lore/worldbuilding. I’m becoming somewhat of a connoisseur of the Lore Lite these days and so I enjoyed how the exposition and descriptions really filled the shoes of an Glenn Cook more than a Tolkien; a tasty appetizer that makes you either invent a main course in your head or paints just a few vibrant details to stand out (days being called cycles, moonseasons reflecting an erratic period of time, swords being called cycladii). Again this leave large gaps in the ‘whothefuck’ category because a random civilization is name-dropped and you feel like you missed something when it might just turn out to be flavor text.
Interjecting before I jump into the juicy core of this sucker, these nitpicks of mine may turn out to be false alarms or smoke in the wildfire; Gemini leaves many questions and the reader hanging on for more, which very well could be answered in the following book (which we look forward to) which have been confirmed, as this is the first book of a series.