Title: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“And now, born from the ashes, she’s a warrior in bloodied black.”
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. 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 – Except by Goodreads
Not sure how I’m going to get over this book hangover. Why can’t the last one be out now!!!
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about focusing on new characters. I didn’t love Kady and Ezra from Illuminae but I had become some attached to them and their journey and I wanted to know more about what happened. Of course, this isn’t focused on those two characters,Gemina focuses on Commander’s daughter Hanna and drug dealer Niklas. I have to say that I loved these characters so much more than Kady and Ezra – they were just more relatable and their banter was so much more fun.
Hanna is basically presents herself as a spoiled little jerk at the start of the book. She wasn’t unpleasant but she wasn’t someone you might gravitate to right away. Whereas, Niklas is the opposite, of course, and his charisma comes off almost immediately. At the very beginning, it appears like we are about to see the trope of bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks wanting to be with the preppy, rich girl. Luckily, even though it hinted at that in the beginning, this story was anything but cliche.
Hanna is badass and continuously surprised me through-out the book. This chick was nuts in the best way possible! Niklas had a lot of tricks up his sleeve as well and I’m glad that both of them held their own. They were both equally important and needed for this story to work.
I also loved Niklas’s little hacker cousin, Ella. She was a complete smart-ass and brilliant. I think that is a pretty great combination. Reading about this little wonder, who happens to also be disabled – putting her in a very vulnerable position was great. I love that they were clear about her limitations due to her disability but they didn’t hold her back – she was inventive and always thinking ahead of everyone. Her disability could have been a huge liability to Ella but she didn’t let it become on. As someone with chronic illness, I love seeing strong, well-written characters with disabilities. I hope we keep seeing and more of this!
The villain, Cerberus was fantastic. No, he wasn’t as cool as Aidan but he certainly was a lot of fun to read about. He was charismatic, humorous and completely lethal and I loved it. His introduction when Cerberus and his crew board the ship is quite the entrance. You knew the second he boarded the ship that shit was about to get real and the story was about to get intense and intense it got!
I know a lot of people are wondering if Kady, Erza and everyone’s favorite psychopath artificial intelligence unit – Aidan. I will give this much away – they may make an appearance because what would be an Illuminae Files book without a little Aidan in our lives. I’m going to keep this review vague on detail because the less you know the more exciting it will be.
The cover is as stunning as the first one and thankfully matches the first one, so it looks awesome for displaying on a bookshelf. I’m still in love with the formatting of these books. Yes, even though I had read Illuminae already so I had encountered the formatting before, I still had to adjust to it for about 50 pages. It’s just so different than the normal reading experience but once you are adjusted the book just flies. I wouldn’t be intimidated by the sheer size of these books because they move really fast. Many pages don’t have tons of words on them so it’s not like reading a normal 600 page novel.
The book wasn’t quite as intense for me as the second one but it was equally well-done and it’s one of my favorite series out there currently. It was another five stars from me. I’m loving what Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff are doing together. Keep writing together and bringing us more of these top-notch YA books. I highly recommend this book – make sure you read the first one before this book because it will not make much sense otherwise.