Review: Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

November 4, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review: Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffGemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Allen & Unwin on November 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 672
Source: My copy
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld

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.

angelyas_reviewThe second book in the Illuminae files series, Gemina, is finally here! This excellent sci-fi series continues, told in epistolary format via official documents and chat logs.

Gemina is a parallel story to Illuminae, showing what was happening at Jump Station Heimdall immediately after the incident at Kerenza. A task force is sent to the Jump Station by BeiTech to secure the wormhole and clear up any witnesses to the unfolding situation. They don’t count on meeting resistance from inside the station, though.

We are introduced to all new characters, but don’t be put off – we get to know them pretty quickly and they are awesome, so that is not a problem. AIDAN also makes a comeback, which is perfect because he’s my favourite.

After having seen both Jay and Amie at the recent Brisbane Writers Festival, I was absolutely hyped for this second book. Even though I didn’t really enjoy Illuminae as much as others did, I was still blown away by the format and the way the chat logs and video transcripts were woven into a nail-biting story.

Gemina was different, though. I loved every minute of this one, and I suspect it might be down to more likeable characters. I especially loved Nik. He’s the most unlikely hero, like some kind of scumbag criminal with a heart of gold. His chat logs with Hanna and Ella made me laugh out loud quite a few times. Actually, there were a lot of hilarious moments, mostly involving the Lollypop Song…

There were still plenty of fast-paced action and mind-bending twists, but there was an extra spark in Gemina that left me unable to put it down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as obsessed with this book as Jeann is, for example, but I did enjoy this second part more than the first.

This series really lends itself to a visual style, so most of the story is told through transcripts of video surveillance and the dialog is handled with chat logs when not in person. There are still some amazing graphical pages, but not quite as many ship schematics as in Illuminae.

What it does have, though, is journal pages with fabulous drawings by another YA author, Marie Lu. Yep, you really need to get a hard copy of these books, asap.

As usual, there are plenty of grisly deaths, as well as a large list of casualties dying in the dark vacuum of space (including a long list of YA authors, might I add). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you haven’t read Illuminae yet, don’t be put off by the size of the books! They may be large, but the formatting means there’s a lot of white space. Read them!

The Illuminae files

illuminae gemina Book 3: 2017

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