Michael A. Hereld's Imperial Odyssey Efflorescence Part III: Rebel Gemini is a tale of two twin Tylods, alien race with super powers. This short science fiction work features aliens with motivations that were relatable. It is very focused on the characters, whose struggles are in the forefront of a larger story. After the death of their parents, they create a place for themselves in the criminal underworld. As they run up against a newcomer named Nervarn, another alien from a species known as Zintoniean, they easily defeat his ploy to dispatch of them,and learn about a secret organization with plans to bring down the government. Liera is a seductive young teen with mind-reading abilities. She is reluctant to take chances and expect when it comes to her own well-being. Her brother, Zaddick, is the opposite. He is a fighter and a risk-taker, but very protective of his twin, to the detriment of their schemes.
Liera turned her eyes back to the Zintoniean, leaning one arm on the railing as she casually spoke to her brother. “The Zintoniean is angry...irate even. He's hiding it well enough but you can see it in his posture and his eyes, even if his face shows nothing. Something got under his skin…” Zaddick noticed the details as she pointed them out, his eyes widening in surprise. He idly scratched at his chin as he considered the two. He didn't know how his sister could read even the most subtle indications so quickly. It was her talent, not his, and he didn't mind. He could read others too, just not half as fast or as deeply as his sister could.
The teens get pulled into the organization’s struggle for justice, remembering their own plight as young orphans, and hoping for a better chance for children who are in similar circumstances.Hereld creates a portrait of a struggle for religious ideals justice, for revenge, and for agency that fuels the rebellion and criminals alike. In the end, Zaddick decides to support the opposition to the government, but feels uneasy about the outcome, as does the reader. The vivid descriptions paint a world that feels familiar yet foreign. It is set far in the future. Herald also clearly notes the location and passage of time, making it simple for the reader to follow the twins around the city. The plot moves along quickly and doesn't dwell on one set of circumstances very long.
“The Millione stood taller than most every species in the galaxy, much like the B Crune, their twin species. This one had purple skin, his eyes a glowing solid white. He looked like what humans once imagined aliens to be; an elongated skull, no proper nose, a triangular ridge on their head. His legs were backward hinged and had two large digits.”
I look forward to other reading other parts of the tale and the outcome of both the rebellion and the twins’ fate.