Preview Review by Ken Parker
After the tragic death of his father, Ben Carrington's mother teams up with a wealthy entrepreneur to form an elite, top-secret rescue organization - Gemini Force. Ben is determined to become part of the team, but can he prove he has what it takes to face dangerous situations and save lives? Impossible rescues. Maximum risk. This is Gemini Force 1.
At first glance this book appears to be a lot like Gerry Anderson's most famous product, Thunderbirds. You would be right in your observation as there are a lot of similarities. Gerry lost the rights to Thunderbirds years ago and this would appear to be an attempt at re-launching the 'rescue team using high tech equipment and machinery' genre. Gerry wrote this story back in 2008 but it was never completed due to his Alzheimer's which eventually claimed his life in 2012. Gerry's son Jamie breathed new life into the project and recruited author M.G. Harris to write the first book from the notes and material that Gerry had prepared those years earlier. The novel was funded with Kickstarter and is now out in mainstream paperback .
The story certainly has that Thunderbirds vibe to it and the formulas are all too familiar – a hidden base, a secret organization, thrilling rescues and incredible vehicles. A rag tag crew of experts from around the world operate Gemini Force and are equipped with the latest in technology. The primary protagonist is Ben Carrington who is trying to fit in with all the “adults” of the Gemini Force Team. No doubt he will have to learn much but brings forward some excellent skills as do the entire team. The Gemini Force has the kinds of cool equipment and craft you expect to see in a Gerry Anderson story. In addition to Thunderbirds other influences are seen from Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet.
The action sequences of the rescues are riveting to say the least and are well balanced with description, pacing and character interaction. We just don't have descriptions of the rescues, we get a fair amount of emotion, mostly from the perspective from Ben which makes for a good structure in learning of the Gemini Force organization for the reader as well.
Gerry Anderson's various series always captivated me with world wide settings and well paced action and plenty of cool craft and, yes, explosions. M.G. Harris managed to capture many of these elements and I found myself thinking 'cool!' at some of the scenes and described craft. The science in the story is certainly feasible for today or the near future.
The story sets up so many possible avenues to explore with not only the many types of rescues and the technology used in those missions but the various characters and their background stories.