If you have not read Illuminae (the first book in this series) then this review may contain spoilers for Illuminae. However, I will not spoil the content of Gemina.
Series: The Illuminae Files, #2
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA SciFi
My rating: ★★★★
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
I’ll be honest here. I couldn’t decide whether to rate Gemina 3 or 4 stars. On one hand, I found some bits and pieces that annoyed me throughout the book; on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.
Gemina picks up right after the cliffhanger in Illuminae. But instead of following Kady and Ezra, we follow a new set of characters on Jump Station Heimdall. BeiTech wants to cover their tracks, and now they’re using any force and means necessary. On top of that, there is some other illegal activity going on in the dark depths of the Heimdall, which causes a huge problem of its own.
Immediately I felt major Die Hard vibes mixed with Alien. There are so many layers to the plot which kept me up late at night binging until my eyeballs got dry. It was such an entertaining ride!
The new main cast of characters:
Hanna – Sarcastic, quick thinking, and a badass fighter. Hanna is the daughter of the Heimdall’s commander, Charles Donnelly. She has the reputation for being a spoiled rich kid.
Nik – Nik is our bad boy. His family belongs to the House of Knives, which is known for their shady business and illegal activities. Oh, and did I mention Nik is Hanna’s drug dealer?
Ella – Nik’s 15-year-old hacker cousin. Ella’s computer hacking skills reminds me so much of Kady. She is sharp-tongued, badass, and basically a genius.
Jackson – Hanna’s handsome boyfriend who works for the Heimdall Security Division.
As usual, I’ll break down the good and the bad:
- Ella. I loved her attitude and how she didn’t take crap from anybody.
- The format of the book. I love the mixed media format of Illuminae, so naturally it carried over to Gemina. The case files, illustrations, blueprints, IMs, radio transcripts. All awesome. My one gripe is that I had some trouble seeing the dark grey ink overlaid on black paper. But thankfully those types of transcripts didn’t show up too often.
- Hanna’s journal and her illustrations. They were so fun and well drawn (mad props to Marie Lu.)
- Fast paced and so much action. There was no rest reading this book. You will want to binge the entire series.
- The dialogue. I will probably get a lot of hate for this, and I am really not trying to sound like I’m a million years old. But the sarcastic dialogue between the teens became a bit much. I totally get it. I am a sarcastic person, too. I just think the authors may have tried a bit too hard to make the teenagers sound like what they think teens sound like? It didn’t come off as realistic or genuine. I was getting a headache reading Nik and Ella’s dialogue. I don’t know, guys, maybe I AM old. Haha!
- Similarities to Illuminae. While I was very entertained by everything in Gemina, I couldn’t help but notice how the plot and characters paralleled Illuminae a bit too much.
- The lead terrorist. He gave me major Hans Gruber vibes (hence why I mentioned Die Hard earlier). This isn’t actually a bad thing, but he really did fit the typical ‘Hollywood terrorist’ stereotype, so his character didn’t feel original to me.
- Insta-love. Eh… I might be the only person who wasn’t a fan of the romance. It was just way too convenient.
- Predictable twists. I was able to predict them all. Again, not a bad thing, but I could see them coming from a mile away.
I think this is one of those books where you read it purely for amusement. Don’t overthink the science or the character development. I don’t watch action movies for the feels; sometimes I just like to see the big bad monster smash things, which will entertain me just fine. That’s my takeaway with Gemina. I can’t wait to start Obsidio!