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Gemini Rising: Ethereal Fury by Jessica…
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Gemini Rising: Ethereal Fury

by Jessica O'Gorek

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I have seen Gemini Rising making the rounds on the blogosphere and have wanted to read it ever since I saw the cover. I feel concerned about our exploitation of earth’s resources and the ME attitude that seems pervasive in our society today, so the synopsis jumped out and said read me. This fantasy romance is all I hoped for.

Oliver Weldon worked for Spot Petroleum. His rush to tap into one of the largest African oil fields in 1956 was coming back to bite him in the ass. The 2:00am call warned him, but he had his millions and no regrets. Lost lives and the environment devastated was just part of business to him, so he went back to sleep. Mother Nature is pissed and she is not going to take it any more and he wears a bullseye.

Gemini are the servants of the earth and since his death, Oliver is one of them. His name is now Onyx, for his black soul. They were an army of lost souls “living” in their own version of purgatory.

“Possess and destroy.” The means did not matter.

Their mission was part of Mother’s plan to fix the problem the human race had created. They spread plagues, famines, fires……Would she allow any human to remain? Was her goal to exterminate the human race?

The Gemini’s strategy was to enter the churches first, then slowly spread throughout the town.

Darius, seemed to be the only one who was aware of what was happening, but that was not so.

Slate idolizes Darius, but soon becomes suspicious. What part will he play as the humans fight back?

Violette holds a fascination for Slate and Onxy. She is sixteen, naïve and I feel something special is in store for her.

Onyx no longer knows the way of humans. He no longer understands their feelings of attraction and desire, their need to protect. He is a supernatural being that can take on any shape or form, has the ability to become invisible and reverse time, able to heal all wounds and move at super speeds. He is extremely powerful and can obliterate the human species.

What about Slate? Who would win the battle for his body – Slate or Onyx? Was he in love with Violette too?

Was Onyx’s attraction to her because he wanted to defile and corrupt a virgin child? His biggest surprise was to find he had no defense again the wisp of a girl.

I am leery of the Bishop. Does he have an ulterior motive?

Gemini rising holds a warning for all of us, but doesn’t preach. It does emphasize the anger of mother earth and her need to eradicate the pests who are destroying her. Think about it! Is the Earth rising up in our current time? Is it warning us through plague, fires, landslides, polluted waters…….to be more careful. After all, our resources are finite.

Gemini Rising reminded me of Host by Stephanie Meyer, when talking about Onyx’s possession of others, but he went from body to body intending ill will, murder and death. I feel there is much more to come.

I love Jessica’s bio and can see how she came up with idea for this wonderful fantasy.

I received the book in return for an honest and unbiased review. ( )
  sherry69 | Aug 12, 2014 |
I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange of my honest interview

Okay, so the first time I saw the book cover, I thought this was going to be about aliens conquering our planet in woman’s skin. It did not occur to me that this is paranormal and has a big of romance aspect. Not until I read the blurb.

I fancy the story, it is something I haven’t encountered with the books I read. Though I like the story, I did not like the female main character who was Violette. I dunno why, but she doesn’t play well with me. Slate, on the other hand, feels like a hero and a coward to me, sometimes. Onyx is so confusing. He confuses me too much, and I don’t think that’s negative. When he and Slate do their mental war, I felt like I was lost in the middle of the war zone. I was like, "Come on, you two, quit bickering and start understanding each other! Let your feelings be mutual." Which was funny given that they came from two opposing powers.

The ending is so not good. I mean, it totally left me suspended.

I like the way of writing. I like the story. But I would be happier if the story tries to zoom out a little bit and allow the other characters to you know mingle a lot longer with the readers.

This was so very intriguing. Is there something wrong or is Bishop hiding something?? I would love to know what happen really to the woman who was interviewed. Will Slate and Onyx be like best buds because I’m so gonna be a member of their bromance fans club. Haha and the asylum-like setting underground? It is my thing.

I read the preview of this book’s sequel and am so wanna read moooore. ( )
  Kristelle_Linawan | Aug 1, 2014 |
Ethereal Fury (which I still just call Gemini Rising most of the time) was a wonderful read that had me speeding along the pages in a very different adventure from most YA novels. Gemini was such a good idea and I am anxious to learn more about them in the sequel, Gemini in Retrograde.

The characters that went along with the wonderful ideas were also nothing short of spectacular. Gemini such as Onyx and his sister Lilly, were created in just the right way. They were cold but it seemed like they could show affection and maybe even feel guilt.

For a more detailed explanation of Gemini, I should say that they are paranormal beings under the wing of Mother Earth, who is, as stated in the synopsis, angry at our people for polluting and causing the slow destruction of her natural resources. Gemini are meant to destroy the human race, although the twist is that the Gemini were humans first.

Most of Gemini Rising (Ethereal Fury) was spent in the midst of a church. This church has knowledge of the Gemini, although it was very limited. Onyx, a Gemini, decides to try to figure out exactly what and how much the church knows. The church setting is something I found surprisingly intriguing. The ideas of priests, nuns, orphans, confessions, and other churchly things among the gemini spread a layer of suspense and a dreary, nearly desperate background to the story as the church tries to ward of the "demons". At this point may I point out that in the book I was appalled by human actions as well as gemini?

Other important characters in the church include Slate, Violette, Father Darius, and Bishop Phillips. Violette was sweet and had character growth, as did somewhat cautois Slate, although he has a lot to learn. I am not sure what to think of Father Darius but I will say right now I am not a fan of Phillips. And, of course, the romance. I thought the chemistry between Onyx and Violette was quite good. I do hope in the next book we get to hear more real conversations between them. I am not sure what to think of Onyx, as he has done some evil things . (I mean, he is a Gemini. But does that excuse him from everything he has done. Uh-uh, Not even close. If he is to even think of redeeming himself he will have to work mighty hard to please me.) I did like how real and vivid his character seemed though. I really enjoyed the chapters from his view point.

This book is truly unique and the ideas presented were fresh and different. Jessica O'Gorek not only didn't miss the mark, she arrowed her story straight into the center. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anybody, teen or older, looking for a different, beautiful book in the paranormal/supernatural genre.

Overall this book earned 4 stars. I really, really enjoyed Etereal Fury, also known as Gemini Rising. The sequel cannot be released fast enough! ( )
1 vote Emily_Anne | Mar 16, 2014 |
Disclosure: I received this book as a review copy. Some people think this may bias a reviewer so I am making sure to put this information up front. I don't think it biases my reviews, but I'll let others be the judge of that.

Gemini Rising: Ethereal Fury is something of a love story between a magical being called Onyx and a sixteen year old human girl named Violette. The book is set against a backdrop in which the spirit of the Earth itself has turned against humanity for despoiling her surface, sending disembodied spirits called"Gemini" who have been charged with a single purpose: To destroy the human race. Somewhat clumsily opposing them are the men of the cloth, using a combination of church rituals and medical science to foil, trap, and they hope, destroy, the inimical foes that they barely understand.

The first chapter of the book gives a series of vignettes of the life of petroleum engineer and later oil executive Oliver Weldon as he figures out how to cheaply export oil extracted from the Niger River delta, resulting in large volumes of ecological damage. Because pointing out the fact that Weldon has presided over decades of oil spills and fires in Nigeria isn't enough to show the reader he is a villain, we are also told that he is a philandering husband for no real apparent reason. After a lifetime spent doing evil, Weldon has a heart attack and dies, at which point the Earth selects his spirit as a candidate to be resurrected as one of her minions bent on destroying humanity. Weldon is given the new name Onyx and essentially forgets everything about his former life, making selecting Weldon in particular for this purpose somewhat pointless. If the newly minted Gemini are going to have their memories wiped, why pick one dead human's spirit over another? It seems clear that choosing such humans to fill these roles is intended as a form of poetic punishment, but given the complete lack of understanding on the part of those serving and the utter irrelevance of their previous knowledge to their assigned mission, there just doesn't seem to be any purpose. In a sense, this element is like shooting an already dead body because you didn't like the person when they were alive. It is pointless and futile at best, and because one would assume they would work at cross-purposes to Earth's goals if they did become aware of their pasts, counterproductive at worst.

Arrayed against the Earth's disembodied assassins are the clergy, specifically in the case of this story, the clergy of the Catholic church who run a small school for orphaned children in Virginia. One of these children is the waifish and extraordinarily beautiful seventeen year old Violette, who naturally has purple eyes. Also living at the school is the slightly older Slate, who the priest Father Darius considers to be his protégé, and who Violette seems to have something of a crush on. The anti-Gemini organization in the area appears to be run by Bishop Phillips, who turns out to be a fairly unpleasant man. In fact, all of the clergy who show up in the book are fairly unpleasant. And this creates one of the more interesting conflicts in the book: does the reader root for the murderous Gemini who want to exterminate humanity, or does one root for the vain, petty, and vicious clergymen who have secretly undertaken the task of defending humanity against the Gemini? Other than Violette, whose main character trait appears to be that she is naive and innocent, and Slate, who is a moderately nice but mostly passive guy, there are no characters in the book who one wants to side with. Were it not for Violette, one might be tempted to simply say to hell with humanity and hope that the Gemini eliminate us all quickly.

As an aside, I have no idea why the chosen spiritual avengers of the Earth are called the "Gemini". In mythology the Gemini were the twins Castor and Pollux, and the name has become associated with twins ever since. But the Gemini in the book seem to bear no relationship to this meaning, as they certainly don't seem to be twins, and are only siblings in the loosest sense of the word. Perhaps the name is intended to signify that these chosen spirits are now brothers (or sisters) with the Earth, but if so, that wasn't particularly clear from the text. In the end, I am left wondering if there is any reason why they call themselves Gemini other than O'Gorek thought it seemed like an interesting name.

The book focuses on Onyx's assignment to infiltrate Violette and Slate's small religious community and destroy it by murdering every inhabitant, which is merely the next step in a campaign of wanton destruction that the Gemini have been waging against the religious strongholds of the United States. Perhaps it is a measure of the isolation of the inhabitants of the orphanage, but the extent of this campaign comes as a complete surprise to Slate when Bishop Phillips and Father Darius reveal it to him, even though widespread and unexplained murder and arson on the scale described would likely have resulted in screaming headlines plastered across all of the news outlets of the country. The twist in the story is that Onyx is distracted from his mission of vicarious vengeance when he becomes infatuated with Violette for what appear to be fairly weak reasons: She has a pretty singing voice, and she is pretty and innocent looking.

The ensuing creepy and odd romance, which is clearly intended to be the core of the book, was, for me, by far the weakest part of the book. O'Gorek sets up a strange love triangle involving Violette, Onyx, and Slate, made unusual by the fact that the only way Onyx can really interact with Violette as anything other than a disembodied smoky apparition is to possess Slate. Consequently, for much of the "courtship" between Violette and Onyx, she thinks that he is actually Slate expressing interest and falling in love with her. The romantic story line isn't particularly helped by the fact that there appears to be almost no reason for Onyx to become infatuated with Violette. She's pretty, and plays with her hair a lot, and we are told she is able to sing beautifully. And that seems to be about all that she is. She's fairly shallow, and doesn't seem to have much personality, which isn't particularly surprising given that she's a teenage girl who has been raised in what amounts to a cloistered environment. But even though her blandness is explainable, it doesn't leave any particularly compelling reason for Onyx to fall for her. One might say that her innocence and vulnerability would make Onyx want to protect her, but one could say the same thing of numerous characters that Onyx is dead-set on killing.

It is probably a sign indicating how good a paranormal romance novel is that one can be unconvinced by and uninterested in the flagship romance in the book and still find it enjoyable to read. And that's where Gemini Rising sits for me. The problem with the book boils down to the undeveloped character of Violette which made Onyx's risky infatuation with her simply inexplicable. I could understand why Slate would be interested in Violette - for him she was more or less the only available girl around - but for Onyx it just seemed implausible. If Violette had some content to her character more substantial than a singing voice attached to long hair and purple eyes then Onyx becoming smitten with her would have rung true. She could have been committed to living in harmony with the Earth, or shown some inherent good trait of humanity, or some other attribute that challenged Onyx's accepted truth that humanity is a plague that needs to be destroyed. But she isn't. She's just a pretty face attached to an empty brain that turned Onyx's head and nothing more. And that is simply disappointing.

But what makes the book interesting is not the romance between a teenager and the disembodied spirit of a middle-aged oil tycoon reincarnated as an angel of death. The real meat of the book is in the questions that it raises: Can humanity find a way to prevent the Gemini from killing the entire race? Can the Earth just keep creating new Gemini to replace the ones imprisoned or destroyed making human resistance pointless? Can a nonviolent resolution to the conflict be found? Is there a particular reason why all of humanity's defenders seem to be bullies and jerks? Why does the Earth like fish but hate humans? And so on. But the book doesn't resolve any of these questions, or even the high school romance that it focuses on, choosing instead to end more or less in media res. What story there is in Gemini Rising is good, but the plot lines all just stop mid-stream, leaving this book feeling not so much like a complete story, but rather like little more than a well-written prologue to the real story which will come in later books in the series.

This review has also been posted to my blog Dreaming About Other Worlds. ( )
1 vote StormRaven | Jul 26, 2013 |
Ethereal Fury (Gemini Rising) is a unique masterpiece I was not expecting. The first couple of pages didn't exactly draw me in, though. While the concept was definitely interesting, it was a little bizarre for my taste and it took me a while to adapt to that change, but that's just about the only setback in this book.
I was not so used to seeing Mother Earth personified in such a pissed off manner, but it was pretty cool. And when the churches and the Catholic orphanages came in, I started to worry that this would take a religious turn-about. I'm not so comfortable with those. Thankfully, the story stayed within its line of sci-fi (added with a romantic twist, of course). My doubts on this book instantly vanished, I was hooked before I even reached the half-way mark. The characters were written beautifully, the plot had some very unexpected twists, and the level of refreshment this book provided was like a spa getaway. It had it's cliche moments, don't get me wrong, but they seemed vague most of the time.

Character-wise, Onyx was... different. For starters, he's not human, he's a Gemini. And Geminis are like thin wisps of smoke. They can posses human bodies, but without a body, they aren't much. Onyx himself starts out as an unfeeling jerk and stays like that for a while, but there's this sweet side to him that bubbled to the surface (especially when Violette was around). Seeing things mostly through his point of view was exciting. I liked the way his struggle towards humanity were executed. And his jealousy. ;)
Althought, the character that surprised me the most was Violette.
See, Violette isn't the sort of female character that I usually root for. She was uncommonly naive for a 16 year old (but she spent most of her life in an orphanage so that was understandable) and incredibly vulnerable. I just don't have patience for these sorts of characters no matter how reasonable their excuse is. I get annoyed with them easily and it doesn't take much to make me hate them. So one of the main reasons why I love this book is the way Violette's character was written. I wanted to hate her, really I did. She was the sort of girl who was abnormally beautiful and didn't even know it, that's the biggest cliche ever! But seeing things mostly through Onyx's perspective was the smartest way to deflect my hatred.
The romance between them was slow and mainly driven by lust. It was a little discomforting that Onyx was a middle-aged man when he died and he was crushing on a teenager, but I got over that. He wasn't human anymore, he could only posses human bodies.

Overall, I wasn't expecting to like Ethereal Fury as much as I did. Besides, the fact that Violette's character caught me off guard, the entire story was deliciously unique. Delicious because I was hungry for something new, and now that I got it, I'm starving to have the rest.
But be warned, the ending is one of THOSE. It's not exactly a cliffhanger, but one book won't do. Uh-uh, I need the rest and I need it now (spoiled much, I know). ( )
1 vote daniela07 | Jul 7, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0925776254, Paperback)

BEWARE! THE PLANET IS WOUNDED... THE GEMINI ARE RISING AND OUR TIME ON EARTH IS LIMITED Angry at the human race and its methodical destruction of her resources, Mother Earth recruits souls who have just left their bodies to serve Her, and turns them against humanity. Gemini, a clan of paranormal beings, picked from these possessed humans, emerges. A powerful, rising force proceeds to carry out Mother Nature’s plan to systematically destroy towns, cities, states… and eventually, the world. Amidst the chaos, a forbidden relationship between a human girl, Violette, and Onyx, a lead Gemini, begins. They will both find themselves in the middle of a revolutionary war that will either save, or destroy our world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:23 -0400)

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