Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback
Published by Allen & Unwin on November 1st 2016
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
The saga that began with breakout bestseller Illuminae continues aboard Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station commander'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 crew 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.
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.
Look, I’m going to try and not fangirl too much about Gemina, the second book in Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s The Illuminae Files series, but it’s a bit hard when it’s so flipping good! Jay and Amie have done it again — and I personally think they’ve even upped themselves with the brilliance that is Gemina.
This will remain a spoiler-free review, but if you have yet to start this series, I highly recommend you bookmark this review and only return once you’ve devoured the first book. Seriously, go!
Read my review of Illuminae here.
Gemina is a companion to the first book, Illuminae, following two new characters called Hanna and Nik, who live on board jump station Heimdall, the station that our previous two characters in Illuminae are racing towards in hopes of finding help in their desperate situation.
Like most stories that start out, we have our resident daddy’s girl Hanna, the daughter of Heimdall’s station captain, and we have Nik, a member of the notorious crime group, the House of Knives. Nik and Hanna’s lives cross paths in the most normal way — Nik is Hanna’s Dust dealer…and yes, Dust is what you think it is.
When all hell breaks loose aboard jump station Heimdall as an elite team of secretive BeiTech soldiers sneak on board through the unloading dock, Hanna and Nik find themselves putting their differences aside in order to save the fate of everyone at the station…and the universe as they know it.
As most of you know, The Illuminae Files are told through a dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts and schematics. Despite the different storytelling elements, what shines through are the characters, even though you’d probably expect otherwise as it’s not really a straight up narrative. Hanna and Nik stand out so much for me because they’re not your typical characters — they are well-rounded, and they can truly think on their feet, similar to Kady and Ezra from Illuminae. Even when all hope is lost, these two never lose their heads, and fight for their survival regardless of the odds. And despite the way the story is told, the fight scenes still play out so vividly on the page, which is a testament to great storytelling.
While the odds were stacked up against Kady and Ezra, and I really enjoyed their stories in the first book, I gotta admit that I loved Hanna and Nik more. I’m a sucker for those star-crossed stories, and while Gemina is by no means a romantic tale, it was a nice touch in such dire circumstances.
Let’s talk about that little twist at the end shall we? View Spoiler »After what happened in the first book, it’s safe to say that I totally saw that little ‘stab to the heart’ with Nik coming. Don’t get me wrong, there was still like 5% doubt in my mind, but overall I knew it was never going to end with him on the body count list. Although I do feel bad for Universe 2. They seemed to get the shit end of the stick. « Hide Spoiler
And can we just spare a moment to appreciate Marie Lu’s art?! Wow! The drawings were just insane, and I looked forward to reading Kady’s diary in order to get another dose of Marie’s art and handwriting. So, so lovely.
I honestly couldn’t find any faults with Gemina other than the fact that it needed to be longer. And ironically, this book’s size actually hurt my hand. I’m not kidding you…I was holding Gemina in one hand for such long periods of time that I actually hurt my right hand / wrist. It was throbbing and so swollen, I had to wear a soft cast to work lol. No regrets 😛
If you’ve yet to start this series, do yourself a favour and snap up the books now. You’ll have a brilliant Christmas break reading them, trust me 😉 Safe to say, I’m pumped for book three!