Gemini Force 1 is a rather nifty series of books invented by Gerry Anderson. The Thunderbirds creator only outlined the original project before his death in 2012, but the project was picked up by his son Jamie and the novels have been developed by M.G. Harris, who is rather good at creating action-adventure stories for young people.The first book, Black Horizon, introduced us to the concept of Gemini Force 1. They’re an international rescue agency funded by a reclusive billionaire and former astronaut. The team features a diverse cast of talented specialists from across the globe, but the stories tend to focus on its youngest member; the young but very well educated Ben Carrington, who joined Gemini Force 1 nder tragic circumstances. This latest instalment, Ghost Mine, is very much Ben’s story as he changes from an eager and quick-to-anger boy to an increasingly professional and competent agent. He’s still an impetuous youth, however, and the Zodiac-themed rescue squad give him the rather apt codename of Taurus.
This time round, the main disaster is South African gold mine. The local politics of the region, coupled with an increasingly suspicious and wary team of miners, make this particular rescue quite the challenge for Ben and his team. The author mostly focuses on developing Ben in this one, though we do learn a little bit more about the people behind Gemini Force One and what motivates them.
Ghost Mine does feel very much like a middle book; character development hangs at points and it does feel like we still have secrets to uncover and surprises to come. The main ‘rescue’ sequence is appropriately thrilling and the various people in need of rescue don’t simply stand around; they make up for crucial parts of the action.
Gemini Force 1 is great fun for adults and motivational for younger types, though we reckon you will find yourself humming the Thunderbirds tune whilst reading it.
GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORCE 1: GHOST MINE / AUTHOR: M.G. HARRIS / PUBLISHER: ORION CHILDREN'S BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW