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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Simon and Evan are twins with an exceptional gift, they can feel each other's emotions. They have a strong connection that's always present. Simon is a genius, working hard to save Tage, their dying planet. Evan isn't as smart as his brother, but he has other talents. Unfortunately their parents aren't interested in what he can do, they only show their disappointment in their son. Evan is one of the most talented Mindbenders around. Locating memories inside scientists' minds is a piece of cake for him, but his parents aren't impressed. The job isn't without dangers, but Evan loves the thrill of it.

One terrible night Simon disappears. He was in a locked bedroom, no windows were opened, but he went missing anyway. Evan is trying to find out how it happened and why. Their connection was severed and he feels terribly alone. It's tough to deal with the guilt of not saving his brother, but he keeps looking for Simon. After a year he still has no idea where his brother might be. Simon's research was groundbreaking and could have saved their planet. Evan needs to discover what his brother was working on and accept a part of Simon's private life that he rebelled against to find leads. Will he be able to pull this off?

The Gemini Connection is a gripping story. I was intrigued by the bond between Evan and Simon. They're both incredibly gifted and they're working hard to develop their skills. Even though they have this strong connection, Simon managed to keep secrets from his brother and Evan needs to unravel them, so he can find out more about his brother's disappearance. I was intrigued by their bond. They're very different, opposites in many ways even, but their love for each other is strong. Teri Polen combines their unusual ability with interesting science and a fabulous mystery and she kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

 Teri Polen has written a creative and original story and I loved her world building skills. She makes Tage come to life in a great way. The planet is running out of resources and needs scientists, so the people will have a future. I liked that idea and enjoyed reading about their research. The Mindbending fabulously fits in with this concept, something else I loved about the story. Teri Polen balances personal problems, complex conspiracies and relationships in a fantastic manner. The Gemini Connection is a story filled with adventure, beautiful deep connections and fascinating suspense.

Advice

If you love a good YA sci-fi story you should definitely read The Gemini Connection.

About Teri Polen



Several years back, a friend told me I should read the Harry Potter series – I think the third one was out by then. I laughed, saying they were for kids, but she convinced me to give them a try, and for that, I’ll always be thankful. Reading YA opened up a whole new world for me, and I haven’t looked back.

Some of my favorite things in life are books (no romance), music (preferably alt/rock and absolutely no country), movies (rarely chick flicks), red wine (no merlot) and dark chocolate (please don’t add any fruit to what is already perfection). On the flip side of that, I strongly dislike the color pink and loathe shopping – unless it’s in a bookstore or someplace I can buy movies, music, wine, or chocolate. That being said, it’s pretty evident why my female friends think I’m a little strange.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I’m a young adult author of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, a huge Marvel nerd, and devoted Walking Dead fan.

2) How did you fall in love with the YA genre?

Two words: Harry Potter. Even though I said they were children’s books, a friend insisted I read the first one, and I was a goner after the first page. I’m a proud Potterhead and Gryffindor, and since then have read primarily YA novels.

3) The Gemini Connection is a story about twin brothers who can feel each other’s emotions, where does this idea come from?

The original concept was about Evan and his ability to travel into the minds of others and battle nightmares. As he told me his story (I usually interview my characters to get to know them), I learned he had a twin brother. Stories about twin relationships and the bonds they share have always intrigued me, so I did a bit of research before writing the book.

4) What inspired you to write about two gifted twin brothers?

I can’t really say that was my intent – Evan’s Mindbender abilities came first, which were inspired by the movie Inception. Simon being a science prodigy developed from Tage’s struggle for survival.

5) Can you tell a bit more about Tage, how did you get the idea for this planet and what does it look like?

With drought conditions and severe shortages of rain, Evan and Simon grew up with water conservation and rationing - it was just a way of life for them. The protein supply was never plentiful, but when the twins were around 10-years-old, an unidentified virus ran rampant through the livestock on Tage. Every time scientists developed a vaccine, it would mutate, making the vaccine ineffective, and the livestock population was decimated. Tage and Earth, who had troubles of its own, shared resources until it became infeasible, and soon after, Earth fell, its fresh water supply exhausted. Tage is now in a perilous state, and all citizens are expected to contribute in some way to its survival. In my mind, I always knew the twins didn’t live on Earth, but on a similar planet that shared many of the same aspects. And Tage was born.

6) You clearly know what you like and dislike, how does that help you when you write a story?

It doesn’t, in most ways. On one hand, I don’t read many romance novels – it’s just not a genre that grabs my attention, so I’d never write a romance. On the other, my likes and dislikes generally don’t spill over into my characters’ lives. We may have some things in common, but they have their own distinct personalities. While writing Evan’s character in The Gemini Connection, I listened to rock/alt rock songs. That’s what he preferred, and it’s also music I listen to regularly. For Simon, his choice was classical music – something I never listen to. But that was his choice.

7) You write fantasy, sci-fi and horror, what do you like the most about transporting yourself and your readers to a different world?

I live in the real world every day, but it’s the unusual, supernatural, and otherworldly that capture my interest and get me asking the ‘What if?’ questions. When I read, I love experiencing new things vicariously through the characters, and I hope that’s what I give my readers, whether it’s Evan traveling into the minds of his clients, or Cain (from my first book) being terrorized by a ghost.

8) What kind of monster scares you the most?

It’s not really a monster to most people, but for me, it’s snakes. Hate them, can’t stand seeing them on TV, and if I ever come across one in my house, I’m out the door (after I grab my Kindle and Nook). Rats, mice, spiders, and insects – no problem whatsoever. Horror movies don’t bother me either – I love watching them (unless snakes are involved), but have to wait until Hubby is out of town. He’s not a fan.

9) How can you put yourself so well into the shoes of teenagers, especially boys?

I’m the mother of two sons, and I’ve spent years listening to them and their friends discuss video games, superheroes, sports, friends, relationships, and life in general. I’ve witnessed their disputes and disagreements, and their vehement defense of each other when challenged. When the characters in my head began talking, I wasn’t at all surprised they were teenage boys. It’s what I’m most familiar with. A close friend swears I was a teenage boy in a previous life, so maybe that’s what I’m channeling.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I’m currently working on my third novel, another YA sci-fi/thriller. An idea for a YA horror book has been floating around in the background, so maybe that will be my fourth book. I’ll continue writing as long as the characters keep talking.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

30 comments:

  1. Suze, I'm thrilled you loved Evan and Simon as much as I do! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog - always a pleasure to be here.

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    1. Thanks, Mary - and thanks or stopping by!

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  3. The Gemini Connection sounds like an exhilarating, fast paced, edge-of-your seat sci-fi.

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    1. Thanks, Solange! Have to admit, the first chapter jumps right into the action with Evan's job.

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  4. Fab interview, the book looks right up my alley!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth! I've always been a fan of sci-fi also.

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  5. Great review and interview.Thanks for sharing it, it looks like my kind of read!

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    1. Thanks, Judy! I loved getting to know these twins, and already miss them.

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  6. Congrats to Teri on such a fabulous review. I',m looking forward to reading this bool. I've always had a fondness for stories about brothers. I also had to laugh at the "snakes" question. I'm the total opposite--insects have me shrieking, but I don't mind snakes at all, LOL.

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    1. Thanks, Mae! I'll make a deal with you - I'll call you when I see a snake, and you give me a shout about the insects.

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  7. Apologies to everyone for the late replies - I've been out of town since last Thursday morning and still trying to catch up!

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  8. A fabulous review of Teri's new book. I must say that I also love Harry Potter and am not a huge fan of romance.

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  9. Harry Potter is what started my love affair with YA books!

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  11. Sounds interesting. Connection and bond between twins are fascinating idea for a story. Sometimes I wonder my self how would it feel like to have a twin sibling. Goodluck with the book. Thank you for the review, interview and giveaway.

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    1. Thanks, chachamisu! I've always wondered what it would be like to have a twin and have always been intrigued by their bond - which was an incentive for this story.

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  12. I love Marvel and the Walking Dead, too! My daughter and I love sci-fi.

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    1. I've always been a big fan of sci-fi also - it probably started with Planet of the Apes when I was young. I credit my dad for my love of sci-fi.

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  13. Sounds amazing! My dad, mom and my sister are all gemini, lol. That alone makes me want to read your story.

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    1. Wow - all three! That's a coincidence. I have a friend who's a gemini and she jokingly asked if this book was based on her.

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  14. I agree with Teri: We spend every day in the real world, books allow us to escape!

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    1. Thanks, Angela! It's nice to get out of the real world for a while.

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  15. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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