About Gemini Cell
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…
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.
That 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…
About the Author
As a security contractor, government civilian and military officer, Myke Cole's career has run the gamut from Counterterrorism to Cyber Warfare to Federal Law Enforcement. He's done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
All that conflict can wear a guy out. Thank goodness for fantasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dungeons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.
[Note: I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher via NetGalley for review.]
Myke Cole is an author that's been on my watch-list for a few years now. He first caught my attention with his debut, Shadow Ops: Control Point, which immediately garnered the quick pitch of X-Men Meets Black Hawk Down. Color me intrigued. But, for whatever reason, I never got around to reading the damn thing and it has sat in my TBR pile for going on three years. In that time, Cole has completed the Shadow Ops trilogy and is now working on expanding the world he created there.
So, imagine my surprise when I learned about Gemini Cell, the start of a prequel series to the Shadow Ops stuff. I had a perfectly good entry point now, without further adding to the backlog of a series already in progress, that was custom-built for a Cole newbie like myself. And let me tell you, this book is a terrific way to get in on the ground floor of Cole's expanding story. There's no learning curve required, and no knowledge needed of his previous works. It is the perfect entry point.
By the time I hit the 30% mark on this book, I was kicking myself for not having experienced any of Cole's earlier work, because it was just that damn good. And the X-Men comparison? It may be less applicable to this particular story, but I will say fans of other comic book properties like Venom (particularly Rick Rememder's recent run) or Spawn, with maybe a smidge of Robocop tossed in for good flavor, will be in for treat.
As a military vet, Cole is able to imbue a hearty dose of realism to the ops conducted by the book's Navy SEALs and the going-ons of the Gemini Cell. But what he really nails are the little things, those deft touches that help this book shine, such as Schweitzer learning how to talk post-mortem. His body is dead, he has no pulse, no need for air, and no way to make his vocal chords vibrate to produce sound, unless he puts an incredible amount of will into it. It's a terrific and thoughtful aspect that helps enrich the supernatural proceedings.
I also appreciated the stark contrasts between Schweitzer and the jinn he shares his corpse with - these two are polar opposites in everything from ego to combat styles. Cole plays this part of the story straight-up and avoids any worryingly hokey, mismatched buddy-cop hijinks, which would be an enormous disservice to the material. Rather, it's dark and edgy and appropriately grim. It's serious, dangerous business and readers who underestimate how well it works could be in for a vicious reprimand.
Gemini Cell was a terrific and brisk read, a real fun page turner. Think Vince Flynn plus a whole lot of magic mixed in and baked in hellfire, and you've got the gist of how awesome Myke Cole's new series is shaping up to be. This book just has so many genre elements that I love, and Cole lovingly blends them together, that it makes for an easy recommendation. I haven't read any of this author's past works, but I aim to catch up fast. He's just earned a new loyal reader in me.