Geminus by Cory Swanson is a novella about two twins and their unique approach to life and the unknown. It also raises questions about how we should face the unknown and perceive our futures.
Cassie and Helen are two identical twins who were conceived when lightning struck, according to their mother. Cassie was born with a nuerological abnormality; she can “remember” the future. Helen, of course, can only remember the past. Because of Cassie’s ability she stands out amongst her peers and Helen has to be her crutch. More accurately, each sister is the other’s crutch. Helen relies (a little too much) on Cassie for her “predictions.” Should she go to this school? Should she date this guy? Etc.
As the story goes on, Cassie’s claims of clairvoyancy become dubious and don’t exactly hold up in the face of science.
In this is the crux of the story: do not rely on anyone for guidance in your life. When I read a story, I always ask myself: “How can I apply this story to my own life?” “How can the average person apply this to their lives?” This criterion is precisely why this story works. The life lesson at its core is invaluable and tells it in a very artistic way.
The title “Geminus” is, as you might’ve guessed, the singular version of the word “Gemini” (the twins in astrology). Should we go through life with a symbiotic relationship to another person (our “twin”)? Or should we be self-reliant and boldly approach the future on our own (become a geminus)? Doing the latter is scary as hell, as a lot of us can attest to.
I will throw this out there for the hell of it: reading Geminus reminded me of Arrival, the Amy Adams movie. Adams played a linguistic expert tasked to decode an alien language. Long story short, she masters their language and gains the unique ability to see the future. For a sci-fi film its message was somewhat fairy-taleish, but that’s okay. In that message, it forces the viewer to ask themselves: does my use of language impact the roads I take in life? Should I go down these roads in spite of the grief and heartache I’ll feel?
In Geminus was something comparable. It seemed that Helen was taking someone else’s word (or language) and unconsciously making the events play out. Our inner dialogue and/or our willingness to listen to others will certainly play a role in our success or failure. Any life coach will tell you that.
Well, anyhow, Geminus is a great read with a great lesson. My only complaints are the occasional orthographic slip ups (who cares about that, really?). Also, I thought the epilogue was a bit rushed. There should’ve been a scene where Helen had to come to terms with what happened and how she needs to approach the rest of her life. Moments like those make for great literary drama, and you don’t want to pass up on the chance. Also, I’m not sure if this novella counts as “time travel.” Just saying.
Personal Rating: 4.5/5
Amazon/Goodreads Rating: 5/5
Buy Geminus on Amazon