28 March 2020

Series Review || Gemini by Hailey Edwards





Dead in the Water Blurb:

Camille Ellis is the Earthen Conclave’s golden girl. Her peculiar talent solves cases with a touch. She isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, but every bright star casts a shadow, and her deepest scars lurk just beneath the skin.

A routine consultation goes sideways when a victim’s brother gets involved in the investigation. Riding the edge of grief, the warg will go to any lengths to avenge his sister’s death. Even if it means ensuring Cam’s cooperation at the jaws of his wolf.

When the killer strikes again, Cam is caught between a warg and a hard place. To save the next victim, she must embrace her past. Even if it means dragging her darkest secrets into the light of day.




     

Police procedurals and urban fantasy go hand in hand. It's probably one of the most common tropes for urban fantasy and one of my favorites. If you think about it, it makes complete sense—these strange new creatures have crawled out into the light of day, and someone needs to be able to make sure they are following the rules. It's a way of evening out the inequality that supernatural abilities bring to the table. 

Camille Ellis is an agent for the Earthen Conclave, an organization helping to keep the Fae in line. There are portals that allow the Fae to come over to Earth but the ones that use it are usually killers without a conscience. Camillie is also Fae, which puts her in the perfect position. She's a Gemini, with a heartbreaking back story. Geminis, like the sign, are twins. Their ability is fundamentally to shapeshift with the help of a donor and some of their blood. Simply put, she can mirror that being and their abilities for a short time. In Camille's case, her twin drowned when she was 7 or 8. Geminis have a base form that they shift back to occasionally, with hers being that of her little sister. She can also tell what flavor species someone is simply by touch, making her a Conclave asset. 

Camille is on the hunt for a serial killer, one that has been tracked all over the country. Unfortunately, Cord Graeson, the brother of one of the victims and alpha male of the local warg pack, wants his sister's killer found and brought to justice. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. He forces Camille to team up to solve the murders. 

The world-building is what really shines in the Gemini series. Camille's abilities and back story are doled out bit by bit as is that of the killer. Add in a Kraken and a mermaid and let the good times roll. The downside to, at least the first book, is that Graeson is not very likable. They have remarkable chemistry but you have to wonder why when he's such a jerk. Definitely puts the A in alpha. Yes, his sister was killed and he's out for blood, but he's willing to step on anyone and everyone to get there, which is extremely frustrating. He gets better, eventually and the alpha jerk turns into well, still an alpha but slightly less of a jerk. While there's not much romance in Dead in the Water, there is in the later books (and no, I'm not giving it away. It's in the blurbs.) For my paranormal romance-loving fans, this is a sloooow burn so you have to be in it for the long haul.

The Gemini works are fairly short books: Dead in the Water, 188 pages; Head Above Water, 243; Hell or High Water, 230. For the sake of this review, I'm only including these three books. There are additional books that are more or less a continuation of the story, but the protagonist changes so I'm considering them separately. The Gemini series is also built in essentially the same world as the Black Dog series. While you don't need to read the Black Dog series (which focuses more on the Fae side of the portals), it will deepen your understanding of the world-building. Be prepared to read the series though. This is one where every book ends with a big ol' "To Be Continued..."