Gemini Gambit by D Scott Johnson (ebook review).

January 8, 2019 | By | Reply More

Occasionally and I do mean occasionally, I stumble across a gem of a novel that I missed when it was first published. ‘Gemini Gambit’ by D Scott Johnson is a prime example of this and I’m so glad I came across it. I have found it very hard to put down this novel as the story hooks you in and just won’t let go.

‘Gemini Gambit’ is set in the near future, 2035 to be precise, where the Internet has evolved and is now known as EI. This stands for Evolved Internet which, amongst other things, is used to host virtual realms that are inhabited by people and AI characters. The intelligence of these AI characters varies, depending on who created them and their intended function.

Coming back to the plot, the story starts in the middle of a firefight as two teams try to kill each other. It is, of course, a virtual combat but that doesn’t make it any less real to the participants. Unfortunately for the team and lead character Kim, it all goes horribly wrong when a mysterious character called Mike keeps trying to contact her. The distraction is enough for the other team to wipe them out.

Having been virtually obliterated, Kim is unceremoniously dumped back into real life where her initial rage at the mysterious Mike evaporates. It seems someone has broken through her defences and located her physical location. This isn’t good, as Kim has spent the last 5 years on run trying to avoid quite a lot of people. There had been close scrapes before but nothing as close as this. Grabbing her bugout bag, she took the only option available and made a run for it.

In a previous life or so it seemed, she had been Angle Rage, a member of the infamous Rage + Machine group of ‘hacktivists’ that had plagued the corporate world. They had been hunted by the FBI and lots of other people ever since, even though they all appeared to have disappeared about 5 years ago. Now the Bolivian Quispe drug cartel are after her, as well as the FBI. The Quispe are not nice people. Not nice at all.

What follows is a desperate chase as Kim tries to keep ahead of the pursuers. She is initially hampered when the mysterious character Mike turns up physically with his young sidekick Spencer. While Spencer is a young but talented hacker, Mike is something altogether different. I’m trying not to give too much away here.

Events unfold in both the real world and in the realms of the evolved internet. While the FBI and the Quispe enforcers are an immediate danger, Kim stumbles onto a much bigger threat which is it isn’t stopped will affect everyone connected to the EI. So that’s basically most of the population of Earth. The problem for Kim and company is how to stay ahead of the chasing pack while enlisting help to deal with the big problem and save the world.

Kim or Kimberlin Tyrone to the FBI is an odd character. In the real world a physical touch from another person would send her into what I would describe as anaphylactic shock. In the virtual realms, Kim can interact with the computers and especially the quantum computers in ways the other hackers just can’t. This is what made her so successful and dangerous as a hacktivist. That is until things went just a little too far forcing Kim + Machine to go into hiding.

The story is fast-paced although it does have the odd slow moment. In the main, they are on the run and the action is not far behind. There are several nice plot twists and a good selection of rather interesting characters. Even the bad guys are interesting and have a good side when they want to. It builds to a good and satisfying ending. I didn’t see any loose threads but there is a second book ‘Dragons Ark’.

What more can I say? I enjoyed this book so much I felt compelled to part with some of my hard earned cash and bought the next one. If you have not read ‘Gemini Gambit’, then you are doing yourself a disservice.

Andy Whitaker

January 2019

(pub: Silver Spider Publishing, 2015. 454 page ebook 1428kb. Price: £ 2.42 (UK). ASIN: B00TZABEII)

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Category: Books, MEDIA, Scifi

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About AndyWhitaker

I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties.

My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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