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The Gemini Letters

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Loved it! 😍

A thought-provoking glimpse into a near-future America plagued with social inequality and injustice...perfect breeding ground for a revolt.

The Gemini Letters by Madison Klophaus’s offers a provocative look into a futuristic America still wrestling with the scourge of segregation and social hierarchy. However, in the scenario presented by Klophaus, separation doesn’t appear along the racial or ethnic lines we have witnessed historically. This version of society operates under a slightly different caste system. The Beau Mondes are the highest status. They inhabit a world of wealth, privilege, and relative safety. The Bourgeoisie, although only featured briefly in this novel, seem to occupy a middle class status. They are allowed some association with Beau Monde, but it appears to be mostly in subservient roles. And lastly, there are the Palores, pejoratively referred to as “baseborns.” They are considered the lowest class. They live and work in the shadows, where danger lurks around every corner. And what can happen if a Palore dares to make eye contact with a Beau Monde? Their actions may be met with swift and deadly force from law enforcement officers patrolling the streets. There isn’t much explanation given as to how individuals are sorted into their groups. It seems to be based on a strange adoption lottery. See, in order to avoid the complications that come with traditional sexual intercourse and conception, this society has decided to suppress those desires in their inhabitants, via a mysterious substance called Serum V. Eggs and sperm are harvested and placed in an artificial womb, where new individuals are produced. Children are then adopted either by Beau Monde or Bourgeoisie. Those who aren’t adopted default to Palore. 


The Gemini Letters follows the course taken by other YA dystopian novels. The aspiration of shattering societal constructs, and bringing an end to the reign of darkness, is at the heart of this novel. The story is told from the perspective of the two protagonists: Amelia Vanderbilt (a Beau Monde who’s last name screams privilege) and Dallas Summers (a Palore). Having never met before, a college assignment results in them being paired up as partners. In time, they will discover that their pairing is no coincidence. A rogue scientist on a mission to destroy the system from the inside, has chosen Amelia and Dallas specifically as a means to that end. What follows is a whole lot of questions and even more drama.


My opinion of the main characters is complicated. Of the two, Dallas warrants more sympathy. He’s had a tough life, and he has the scars to show it. I had a harder time with Amelia. She’s clearly different from other Beau Mondes, but the elitist imprint is still there. And when it reveals itself, it’s hard as a reader not to be put-off. That critique aside, I really did enjoy the story. It speaks to issues that are particularly relevant at this time, as the United States faces social unrest and calls for racial equality.


The Gemini Letters is Part One in a trilogy. I hope that as the series continues, these characters grow and take on added dimensions. I want to feel like I’m on the journey with them. Looking forward to Part Two.


~G



Reviewed by

I've always enjoyed reading and discussing books. It's my favorite past-time. Fun Fact: I never leave the house without a book. If you were to search my bag you'd find one or two selections in there at any given time. But please don't do that. It's highly invasive. Or at least ask beforehand.

Amelia

About the author

Madison Klophaus was born and raised in Texas. She studies Drawing at the University of Texas at Arlington. She began writing her debut series, The Gemini Letters, after taking a human sexuality class. When she's not writing, she's usually at a coffee shop or crafting some new art project. view profile

Published on September 16, 2020

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

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