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I loved Cole's newest story in his magical universe. The characters were compelling and the love story was honest and heartbreaking. In a world where magic meets military, the horrors of war are even more terrible and the costs are much higher. The story has a complete arc while leaving us knowing that there is more to tell. Korey Jackson's performance is amazing - giving us an "everyman" voice that evokes all of the fear, frustration and love that Cole has written in this novel.
This was a fast listen because the story was so compelling. Highly recommended!
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Its 4 a.m. and I cant sleep because this is rolling over and over in my head, so I am updating my review. Its because this book is different and important and there are very specific reasons why:
I had a friend named Mike. We hung out in college because we had all the same history classes and together we sponsored study groups and essay rewrites for students that were struggling. We both came from military backgrounds, I was enlisted in the reserves at the time and he was in ROTC. When he graduated we kept in touch. The guy was HILARIOUS. We weren’t best friends or anything but we were decent penpals. We geeked out about the same things, we were über nerds in the military and there just aren’t a ton of those, and we both had crazy plans for sleeve tattoos (he actually got his). Initially he had wanted to be a chaplain but decided to become a military police officer instead, did a few tours, pinned O3 and was home for a spell.
They found him when he didn’t show up for work. When we first found out that Mike was dead there were rumors that it had been an accident cleaning his gun. In the middle of work, I just started crying, I knew that no one that had grown up hunting, that was a military officer, hell, a military *police* officer would make that mistake. It was ruled a suicide a few days later.
Its been years. I still choke up. I see these hilarious mashups of lord of the rings and ghostbusters or dune and I know he would love it. Sometimes I still send him facebook messages because its how I cope. Mostly I am still angry. Im angry that I missed something. That his unit missed something. How many fucking systems had to fail for him.
He isnt my only friend Ive lost to suicide but its the one that hurts the most, the one that shocked me the most. I always expect nerds to be more hopeful. We grew up on story after story about heroes slaying the monsters, overcoming, and then so often receiving their happily ever after. In real life, things have a price. When you see that monster in yourself, when you convince yourself that you are the monster? Well, there are a lot less stories about that. There are less stories about living with yourself afterwards. You don’t hear how the heroes duck at loud noises, get painful adrenaline rushes from a smell, have to take entirely different routes home because they saw a weird box on the side of the road and they just couldnt.drive.past.it.
And thats why Gemini Cell is important. It isnt just a paranormal fantasy book (although its really good at that too). Its a real story about the costs that people pay. Its about PTSD. Its about trying to come home and live again in a world that continued to spin while you were away. Its about losing the story you tell about yourself, what you think makes you “you”, and having to build a new one. Cole wrote a world that is raw with the reality of trauma-survivors... but its also hopeful, it tells a story that so many people need.
Original Review below
My audible life really revolves around escapism right now, thank god I've been saving up all these scifi/fantasy books for when the mood struck.
TBF I have not yet read the first trilogy set in this world where magic is waking back up. I started listening to this near Halloween and the plot just seemed more seasonally appropriate. I love this so much that I am definitely going to have to go back and listen to the original trilogy after I finish this one.
Cole brings the best military realism of any fiction work I've read while still managing to give it an update to fit the setting for the novel. The action is fast-paced with a clarity of movement that is hard to find in other books. You never get lost in the combat, which has an interesting symmetry to the concurrent story of Sarah and her grief. Also, the writing surrounding Sarah, her PTSD, and grief is astounding. Its real and its raw and I've seen it and Cole perfectly encapsulates it. Really Jim's story is another level of the story of PTSD- a world moving on without you, how much of your rage you choose/learn to live with when you return home, how you process your emotions and information.
A great book! Cant wait for my next audible credit to continue the series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful