Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Published: October 18th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 659 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #2 in the Illuminae Files Trilogy
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 saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s 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 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 may 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. (goodreads.com)
"It may comfort you to know that your death,
while astonishingly violent,
will likely be mercifully swift."
Ever since I finished reading Illuminae (find my review here) last year, I waited with anticipation and great expectations for Gemina. As with all sequels, the second book fear was real, but Gemina exceeded all my hopes and expectations in amazing ways with brilliant and unexpected twists and turns.
Just like Illuminae, Gemina is told through files, instant messages, video transcripts and alike, which is still the coolest book format I've ever encountered. We also meet another crucial character from Illuminae again who turns out to be an even worse person than we've so far thought. The hate is real and only turns realer. That part is told through a court room transcript which in itself was really interesting.
In Gemina we follow Hanna and Nik. Hanna is the daughter of the Heimdall's captain, rich, spoiled but still a total badass with a black belt and loads of tactical knowledge which most definitely comes in handy through the story. I really liked her, even though she seemed a bit naive and very spoiled throughout the first few pages, but my opinion of her quick changed. She was a really interesting character and I couldn't wait to see what her role in the story would end up being. I didn't quite expect her to be that much of a badass, but I loved every second of it.
On the other hand we have Nik who belongs to the House of Knives, a Russian criminal cartel on board of the Heimdall station, as well as New Petersburg. Since characters like him belong to my favorites, I knew I'd like him the moment we first meet him. Throughout the story I only fell more in love with him and found myself rooting for him. When a very emotional moment came up, that I won't spoil, I was on the verge of tears, not going to lie. He was a great and really interesting character, especially thanks to all the details about the cartel and the tattoos he and the others had.
Another thing that blew my mind in Gemina was the whole aspect of the wormhole within the Heimdall station which was later on explained in a more scientific way, along with other hardcore science, which honestly was one of my favorite parts of the story. I love sci-fi books that have a solid dose of science in them, even if most of it is way too complicated for me to understand. Gemina definitely did that part right and in a marvelously interesting way.
In the second half of the story we also meet our beloved characters from Illuminae again. Their role in the story isn't necessarily the biggest one in terms of page count, but it's still very much crucial and done in an amazing way. I was curious how Jay and Amie would tie them into the story and I am more than happy with the way they've done it.
Also we need to take a moment and truly appreciate Marie Lu's (author of the Legend trilogy as well as The Young Elites trilogy) illustrations for Gemina. She isn't only a incredible author, no, she's also amazing at drawing. I was really curious to see all of it after I first heard about it, and boy did I love it!
Just like Illuminae, Gemina has a lot of aces up its sleeve in form of amazing plot twists that you most definitely won't see coming and aliens that creeped the hell out of me, especially the way they were "created". Now that was awful in more ways than one. But their role in the story was fascinating, even though, as I mentioned before, they were really creepy. But, at the end of the day, the Phobos virus people in Illuminae were still scarier than the aliens, but that was to be expected, I mean that virus was off the charts.
Gemina is am amazing action packed sequel with unexpected twists and turns, smart moves and tactical planning, and even some crazy science. I didn't think it could one up Illuminae, but somehow it managed to do it anyways. I cannot wait until we'll finally get the finale next year, especially after that ending. I am excited!
I give Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 5 out of 5 stars!