For a debut novelist, Chuck Grossart tells a tale with surprisingly little fat, and the book’s breakneck pace was a big part of why it won the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror. But it’s not only fast. The awards committee and I also loved the book’s “good guys,” particularly two admirable women—biowarfare specialist Carolyn Ridenour and US vice president Allison Perez—whose unerringly noble motivations provide the few moral beacons in Chuck’s apocalyptic world, where everyone faces imminent risk.
What I love best about this story, though, is its commitment to upping the ante, again and again, chapter after chapter. I lost track of how many times I paused to ask no one in particular, “Wait, there’s more?” And until the very end, there’s always more: more stunning plot twists, more cliff-hangers, and more at stake in how it all plays out. As the conspiracy unfolds and the death toll mounts, we’re driven toward a surprise that forces us to stare into the mirror and face the often violent lengths we’ll go to to preserve our way of life.
Yet The Gemini Effect is still a hefty dose of screaming fun. So buckle up and settle in for a wild, white-knuckled ride.
- Jason Kirk, Editor