BOOK REVIEW: GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORCE ONE: BLACK HORIZON / AUTHOR: M.G. HARRIS / PUBLISHER: GOLLANCZ / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 2ND
There’s a distinct lack of Young Adult fiction that serves as a mix of action adventure and inspiration to work in the emergency services. Gerry Anderson’s Gemini Force One: Black Horizon does exactly that, being a tale of a secretive international rescue agency, told from the perspective of a young boy growing into adulthood.
Gemini Force One was the brainchild of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson, and he was working on the project shortly before his death in 2012. Gerry’s son, Jamie, raised the cash via crowdfunding to have the project realised and Black Horizon is the first book in the series and truly feels like a classic Anderson project in the making.
The story begins with a funeral for a great and well-regarded man; the father of the main character, Ben Carrington. A freak accident leads Ben and his mother to conduct a thrilling rescue on the top of a skyscraper, and after this point the action doesn’t stop. Events conspire to lead this sixteen-year-old boy to become a member of the elite Gemini Force One rescue agency. Ben is an interesting choice of protagonist; as the son of a millionaire he’s hardly the typical teenager. This works quite well, making him an obvious fish-out-of-water and an easy way for the reader to access the world of Gemini Force One.
As you might expect, this organisation not only has a hidden floating base, it also has a fleet of highly specialised rescue vehicles and an elite team of lifesaving experts. There’s even a sinister bad guy and a glamorous spy. Thirty pages in and you may well be humming the Thunderbirds theme tune under your breath.
M.G. Harris is a very skilled storyteller, weaving together narrative strands into one compelling experience. Black Horizon is a fantastic thriller for adrenaline junkies of all ages. It does suffer from being the first book in the series; there’s a lot of set-up here and we really don’t get to the main plot until half way through. Harris produces a cinematic experience throughout, keeping the reader on edge. The supporting cast is also very well portrayed, though it’s clear early on that the character of Rigel is going to be the fan favourite.
Overall, Gerry Anderson’s Gemini Force One: Black Horizon is a fine start to what we hope will be an ongoing and highly popular series of novels.
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