Review: Gemina

Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman



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 Illuminaecontinues 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.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless

Read: Nov 2 – 19, 2016

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

For me it was a long, hard wait for Gemina. As someone who read Illuminae in a fairly short amount of time, and absolutely adored it, I couldn’t wait for the sequel. Actually, I couldn’t even get Illuminae out of my head for a month. 

Gemina surpassed my expectations, if I’m being honest and even though I love it, I have more issues with it than I had with Illuminae, which still remains as my favorite of the two books.

I liked the main characters of this book very much, they were so well-built and surprising in various ways. I really liked meeting Isaac Grant and I loved his sense of humor and his relationship with Hanna’s father. 

  • Nik Malikov (who I loved before I met thanks to one of Jay Kristoff’s post on his blog) is the surprisingly kind, funny and brave son of a mafia boss. I got the profound feeling that he was someone who had given up on his future prospects, someone who had resigned himself to follow the ‘family  path’ with all its perks and consequences. Despite not ‘enjoying’ the family business that much though, Nik is definitely a family man! He cares a lot about his family and will do anything for them! 
  • Hanna Donnelly on the other hand, was a little harder for me to like at first. I liked that she’s a strong, intelligent female character, obviously, but I felt like it was a bit forced. She grew up a daddy’s girl with all the perks that come with that, vain and arrogant but also a sort of military strategy expert who knew Sun-Tsu and martial arts. The point is, it didn’t correspond to how vain daddy’s girls are usually portrayed and that is probably the reason why it felt weird to me. And I realized this at some point – which was what made me start to like her. So what if she’s not a stereotypical character? That’s actually a good thing! – I said to myself. Though I also didn’t like her because of who she was dating…

The main characters of Illuminae also make an appearance in the last 200 pages of this book.  It was invigorating to see Kady, I actually hadn’t realized how much I had missed her. AIDAN was a bit different in this book – less grand, I’d say. The reason why will be explained in the book so read it if you want to find out! 

Now, regarding my issues issues with this book:  Firstly, I wish this book’s format was more similar to its prequel. Gemina’s pages were in general dark, with less white/lighter pages (which I think gave it a more somber look) – though this is more of a wish of mine than an issue. Also, I wish there were more journal illustrations. Secondly – although I understand the need for such a large BeiTech squad, all the physical and personality descriptions and the photos, plus the code names was a bit too much for me. It was distracting, confusing and a tad bit unnecessary. Thirdly, were the lanima really relevant to the story? It just feels like they were some device to eliminate you know who and that’s it. 

I think the sheer size of this book was the only reason why it took me so long to read it. November was a busy month for me and I had classes I had to go to every day so it was almost impossible for me to carry it with me anywhere. 

I certainly wasn’t expecting the finale, neither the *[—] effect* nor the actual way it ended. It made me so mad! It was hard to believe it had ended like that for a minute or two, like I actually looked at it very confused. But honestly, it was such an amazing book! It made me cry and laugh out loud (sometimes at the same time!) and it just made me very emotional in general. So, of course, I highly recommend it to everyone who’s read Illuminae and loved it because it will meet your expectations and punch them in the face. 



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