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Summary

If you want to try a different sci-fi or you're tired of the same superheroes with the amazing weapons, then try a story about real aliens. How they live, love, and survive. They start as a naïve society that has everything, and when they ask a simple question, they are attacked and learn to defend themselves.

©2016 Raymond Perreault (P)2017 Raymond Perreault

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    4 out of 5 stars

May your soil always bear Jarbon.

Ray Jay Perreault is a classic style writer of science fiction, his work building on character and ideas, challenging thought. This seemingly simple story is, in fact, a challenging tale of change, coexistence and love for others. In order to establish the original way of life on Varo, a planet seemingly circling a sun alone in a distant galaxy, considerable time is spent world building, establishing the society and politics, agriculture and daily life. The inhabitants are a peaceful people, living in harmony with each other and their sacred soil, to which they will one day return, and which provides everything they need for life. Without personal ambition to rule over others, leaders emerge naturally chosen as needed, but, although respected, they are not higher in the social system, there is no divide between rich and poor and all are fed and housed and comfortable. Life is good.

Then into this world comes a different, invading culture, threatening everything held dear. To survive they must face this new intrusion. To survive, they have to change. After the book's leisurely beginning, the pace increases as the people try to save their place on the planet that has been their home and comfort back into the depths of time. Narration by Ed Waldorph is well executed, with a clear reading of the text, good intonation and interpretation of the text and some definition of individual character voices.

With a very brief introductory comment by the author, this is a book well worth reading. I have read and enjoyed many of the author's earlier works, such as SIMPOC, and the other associated Virus stories. This one is different but continues to explores the nature of humanity - even amongst aliens.

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  • MANI
  • 21-09-17

Gemini

Any additional comments?

The discovery of a new planet or life isn't always worth taking a chance to make contact. This was an awesome listen. A very entertaining scfi audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rabid Reader
  • 24-09-17

Clash of cultures

This is the unusual story of two alien races and the battle for survival between the peaceful Raug and the bloodthirsty race of Ora. Somewhat slow in the beginning, the story improves as it progresses with some great battle scenes and twists. In the audiobook I did find the narrators pace a bit sluggish and his voice was somewhat sleepy and flat, which compounded the slowness at the start of the book. This is not just a simple tale of good vs evil, rather a complex story of a cultural clash and the need to be able to adapt.

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  • Vickie
  • 21-09-17

I am really torn on my review of this book

I found the narration to be doll and droning and the book to be slow pace and repetitive at times. It sounds like I didn't like the book, but actually I like it very much. My best advice would be to purchase the book if you don't like it you can always return it. I think that most fans of science fiction will enjoy it a Great deal. I was gifted this book by the author, all opinions in this review our my own

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  • Gary H
  • 14-09-17

Overall Solid Sci-Fi Book

As other reviewers have stated, the book does start off a little slow and the narrator takes some getting used to. However, at some point, I actually enjoyed listening to his reading. The story is actually very riveting and I felt drawn into the battles and story. This is one of those stories that one must really be patient with as the plot and narration do get better and better. Honestly, this is a pretty good book if you have the patience and it is reasonably priced.

I was given a free review copy in exchange for a review, but I hope my true thoughts come out in this review. It's not perfect but it is pretty good.

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  • Quella
  • 11-09-17

A utopia disrupted

If you like detailed science fiction that drops you into a new and exciting world, I believe you will enjoy “Gemini” which is written by Ray Jay Perreault and narrated by Ed Waldorph. The author is known for his saying, “A good science fiction author shows you an alien world; a great one takes you there.” Even though there were a few slower parts to the story, I cannot deny the author actually took me to this new and wonderful world called Gemini. The story is packed with action, emotion, and love. From the book, you really get a sense of who and what the native people are along their culture. The story is quite different from his other books such as SIMPOC and Virus, this one takes the reader to a whole new world. I enjoyed the book and even though it may have seemed slower at times allowing the author to help us understand this world, by the end, it seemed to all fit together and it made for quite a story. If you are looking for a science fiction tale of a distant world, pick up Gemini and give it a listen.

Let me say up from that the first chapter of the book spends a large amount of time getting the listener up to speed on who these people are, how they live, and the planet in general. In a world where we are expected to be dropped right into action and adventure, this book instead takes its time to simmer and allow the reader to come to know its inhabitants; and for me that was a good thing. The author takes time to tell us about the seasons and what they are called, the food the people eat, and their love of life in general. You are presented with a utopian society where roles are shared across the genders and also assigned to those most capable of accomplishing them which brings the greatest good to the culture as a whole. We see their intelligence, enjoyment of music, a focus on religion, and their embracing of technology. Again, all of this is done so the civilization can become stronger. Unlike our society, wealth is not a sign of success in this world. We are given a view into this quite unique creature along with some love and romance along the way. This people are mostly an agricultural society that grows and consumes the one crop necessary for sustaining life. We are also given a glimpse into some ancient writings which are believed to foretell of a specific event which appears to be unfolding. One thing that seemed to catch my eye while listening was the author’s use of different names for objects, yet when describing their star, he used Sun, which is specific to our solar system’s star. Not a big deal, but something that stood out for me while listening.

What can or does a society do when a discovery turns their peaceful existence into one that forces some of them to abandon their morals and beliefs to endure? And that is exactly what you will learn from this book. There seemed to always be a sense of tension along with new discoveries keeping the listener wondering what could these inhabitants do when required to turn from their life of farming to a life of war. Many were required to turn their plows into weapons if they hope to survive. Much of their research into growing crops needed to be turned towards better knowing their enemy and how to best defend against them. No matter the outcome, the people always attempted to do what was right for the society. You felt the tight bond when they would always greet one another by saying, “May your soil always bare jobalm (sp?)” and a reply of “And yours also.”. One really gets a sense of how close-fitting this society is, and at other times how naive they can be. When one’s enemy know much more about you then you do of them, it may feel overwhelming. The author did a good job of putting this feeling into the story. The characters were complex, likable, and multidimensional.

Let me turn to the book’s narration. Even though this book appears to be Ed Waldorph’s second narration released on Audible, at the time of this review, I thought he did a decent job. I would have liked to have had a few more distinct voices for the characters, but it was not required to enjoy the book. The book’s audio volume was consistent and lacked any major audio artifacts. The two things that I will mention are the audio compression which could be heard during times of long pauses. It seemed to have a computer hiss sound, but these were infrequent. The second was a slight background bell ringing sound that did not seem to be a part of the book or significant to a specific character. Again, this bell noise was very quiet, but noticeable when you listen for it. It was not there constantly nor did it appear only when a given event or character appeared. So, to me, it seemed like some artifact that was not edited out prior to production. Neither of these would prevent me from recommending the book to others.

In summary, I felt that Mr. Perreault did a great job of telling us a story while at the same time immersing us within the world. It did have points where it seemed to be slower than others, but for me, it gave me the opportunity to learn more about the world, the people, and their enemy. I like to have some periods of rest from all the tension, mystery and action. Thank you Mr. Perreault and Mr. Waldorph for taking me to this new and wonderful world called Gemini, and for giving us a stand-alone book that is complete and entertaining.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

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  • Jayde
  • 07-09-17

A pain to start… but worth it!!

I like good science. I like good fiction. I really enjoy good science fiction. For me good science fiction tells a story that I can relate to but is in a setting that is somewhere outside of normal. That could be in the future. Travelling to the past, present or future. Or even set in our present time but with some fundamental change occurring that brings in the science fiction aspect.
This story fills many of the above. It tells the story of an alien race facing problems that I can relate to. They are on an alien world that is different than mine. They look at science, politics, and even food in fundamentally different ways and this fact makes the real difference for a true science fiction story.

Ray Jay Perreault has written several stories. I find problems in all of them and this one is no exception. As many other reviewers have mentioned this story has a major stumbling block. It is called Chapter 1. Chapter 1 is a major information dump. Way more than most will be able to handle in the way it is delivered. If he was to rewrite chapter one into a cohesive part of this story then this would be one of the better novels I have read.

After chapter 1 this book starts to improve by leaps and bounds. The story is interesting and engaging and will have you wanting to know what comes next.

There are a couple of issues throughout the story that I will mention.
First, the author describes at great length in chapter 1 how the time and seasons are different on this world. He then makes up words for these new periods and uses them throughout chapter 1. There is only a couple other mentions of them throughout the book. Days, weeks, months, years. These are terms we know and relate to and as sci-fi readers we know that they can have different meanings on different worlds. This would make for a much better story if I did not have to translate it to English.
The second issue is similar. The Raog are a naïve people and do not know what guns are. During this story they develop “tools” to defend themselves and also adapt the invaders “tools” for their own use. In the story they use these “tools” like guns and they even make the same noises as guns and use “projectiles” that they modify to fly farther and straighter. A gun is a gun is a gun. Just because you are on an alien world does not mean that we need to translate all your terms. You can call a gun a gun.

Ray Jay Perreault has a saying that he likes to use – “A good Science Fiction author shows you an alien world; A great one takes you there.” Well I have this to say - You can take me there easier if I am familiar and comfortable with the terminology.

This is by far the best story I have heard from Mr. Perreault. After the difficulty in chapter 1, this story truly “took me there.”

The narrator of this story has a slow monotone voice. In chapter 1 (again – chapter 1) this voice is one of the many annoyances. I really thought I was going to hate this narrator. The voice did not change later in the book. However my feelings for it did. Ed Waldorph actually does an excellent job bringing a slow plodding race of people to life. He has good variance for different characters and generally was well fit to the story. You have to remember that this is not a story about humans. It is a story about the Raog who are simple people who are very religious and have a deep relationship with all of their world from the person next door to the soil they come from and will return to. The entire world is family and family is everything. Crime is not only unthinkable it just plain does not exist. Bottom line... I think that this narrator was a perfect fit for this story.

I was offered a free copy of this book in audio format by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Sgary0001
  • 27-05-21

Alien Bugs Invade!!!!

I really enjoyed this book. I have read/listened to a small selection of mr. Perreault's Earth series. so this was a refreshing look at what else he has created. alot more simple and easier to follow than the Earth series. well done would recommend giving it a listen .

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 03-02-20

Two interesting alien societies in conflict

In a solar system with twin planets orbiting in the same orbit on opposite sides of the star, we meet two alien species, the Raog and the Ora.

The Raog are peaceful, cooperative, with a society that shares out jobs and roles based on ability, not gender or other divisions of society, with the goal being families that grow and thrive. Individual or family wealth isn't a thing they work for. The focus is growing their food crop, jabon. Beyond raising jabon, there are Raog who ask questions about the world and the space beyond it. The main function of their space program is maintaining weather satellites to help in the cultivation of jabon, but Dr. Wong, his son Ornage, and others are asking questions about the wider universe. Dr. Wong thinks he's discovered another planet, on the other side of their sun, and wants to send an uncrewed ship to investigate.

The Raog don't look like humans, but they're bipedal and apparently mammalian.

The Ora are insects.

They have a far more structured, disciplined society than the Ora, and a world that's less bountiful for their needs. They too have figured out that there's another planet, in the same orbit, on the other side of their sun, and they're not engaging in intellectual inquiry. The Ora want to know if the other planet might offer the resources they lack. Their expedition is already set to launch when the Raog satellite shows up. And they're not interested in sharing, or trade.

The Raog are in for some major challenges, that will change their worldview, force them to invent "defensive tools" and fight, and expand their understanding of the universe. Starting with, of course, the fact that they are not alone.

I like the Raog. They're interesting characters, more complex than a brief overview would suggest. They start out naive, but they don't stay that way. At the same time, while their beliefs need to change, they don't let go of their values. The Ora, also, are not just bloodthirsty villains. Some of them, certainly, are not good guys. Yet there are others, all through their society, who aren't happy with the current leaders, and weren't even before the invasion of the Raog's planet, Varo. They want change, and change may be possible for their society.

I listened to the audiobook, and I'm sorry to say that Ed Waldorph is not a terrible narrator, but not a particularly good one, either. It's sometimes difficult to be sure who is intended to be speaking, and there are some Raog words that even by the end I wasn't sure what the intended pronunciation was. I've heard Perreault narrate his own books, and I really would have preferred that he do this one, but obviously that may not have been convenient for him.

Overall, though, Perreault's books are interesting and fun, with the clean, sharp storytelling of the Golden Age of science fiction, without the unfortunate social attitudes of the Golden Age. Strongly recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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  • Oscar W 2
  • 06-01-20

not his best story

While I like most of Ray Jay Perrault's books, I had a hard time getting into the story. Once I was through about 1/4 of the way through, I was able to listen for more than 30 minutes at a time. Part of the problem was the narrator. At first, I needed coffee while listening.

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  • Bob
  • 25-06-19

Everything changes

What happens when everything you believe in, everything you've based your life on, changes in a moment? Interesting alien-based story of a clash of cultures and the possibility of a bigger world than you believed existed. Very good performance by Ed Waldorf.