Gemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay KristoffThe Illuminae Files #2
Published on October 18, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
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It’s back into the vast expanse of the universe as Gemina picks up where the first installment, Illuminae, left off. This time we’re on the jump station Heimdall with the captain’s daughter Hanna and the drug dealing Nik. As we learned in the last book, the ship Hypatia is on its way with the remaining survivors of the BeiTech attack on Kerenza but they’re not the only ones in trouble.
Of the two, so far, I think I enjoyed Gemina more. One of the biggest issues I had with Illuminae is that I struggled to connect to the main characters in the way that the story is told. I’m not sure if it’s the personality of these two new ones or something I just can’t pinpoint but they seemed to work better with the message-style conversations, journal entries, etc. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to see all the illustrations yet in the final copy but I’m expecting them to be spectacular.
Hanna is the artist of the two and I think having that added connection to her character made her more relatable and I could better get inside her head. I liked her, but I can’t say she’s my favorite heroine when compared to Illuminae‘s Kady. Hanna’s strong and keeps her cool in a fight but there’s something about a hacker chick kicking butt that appeals to me more than your regular BAMF. In contrast, I’d pick Nik over Ezra any day. He’s a total flirt but when it comes down to it, cares about family (especially his cousin) and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.
Now I know this is one of those books people are raving about but, like book 1, I struggled to get into this one. It was easier than the first book as I’d already experienced the unique style once before and knew what to expect. But the story moved a bit slower. Though the plot twists were literally out of this world and I was excited to see the return of Kady (and Ezra, kind of) even just briefly.
So…those plot twists. I knew coming into Gemina to be wary of page 505. That’s all I knew. 505. And I got there expecting something major — which it was — but I didn’t feel it.
Likely the biggest plot twist in the book had next to no effect on me.
Thinking back I believe it comes down to the parallels between Illuminae and Gemina. Having read both in a short time-span (I re-read the first book prior to Gemina), I saw SO MANY similarities in the plots and twists that I almost expected it all to happen over again. Sure, there were differences as well but not enough to make the book a total surprise. It’s funny that the first book spoiled the second one, in a way.
Though I wouldn’t call Gemina the best book ever it’s definitely worth buying and these authors are spectacular so don’t miss out. Now… to wait for the final Illuminae Files book… *taps fingers on desk* Any time now? I have a mighty need!