BOOK REVIEW: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files #2

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Published: October 18th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

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“And blood and tears and screams did not matter anymore, because at least they are together.”

SYNOPSIS:

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.

MY REVIEW:

5 of 5 stars to Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

★★★★★

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Another 5 star for the second installment of The Illuminae Files, Gemina.

The second book in the series is even better than the first one!

When I bought this, I started reading that same night. I stayed up so late because I didn’t want to put the book down. There were so much intense events in the story that kept unfolding one after another that I just kept saying to myself.. “one more chapter.. just one more” until 4 AM when fatigue finally forced me to shut my eyes. Still, I woke up as early as I could a few hours later and flew right through the last few chapters.

I didn’t think I’d find anything new to this second installment. I thought the experience would be just like Illuminae but boy was I wrong. While the two books certainly had similarities in the format, the multiple threats in different forms (computer, human, and this time around, creepy alien predators thrown in the mix) and the heroines being their kickass selves, Gemina was different in that it was more exciting, more personal, more action packed. The biggest difference of Gemina from Illuminae is that the battles were more on the traditional physical combat style rather than internal computer wars or whatever it was called (I suck at this sciency terms). Illuminae’s battles were completely all about who knew more of the web and programming and IT and all that stuff while Gemina not only had this element but also combined it with military style of combat all thanks to our heroine, Hannah.

Hannah is badass. Hannah isn’t all just perfect looks and rich lifestyle, she is independent and has useful skills (different from the usual computer geniuses in this story setting) that enabled her to save thousands of lives. She knows martial arts and tactical battle stategies, quotes Sun Tzu and is just basically the coolest girl ever. She wears this slim fit space suit that looks amazing on her (visuals provided in the book so imagination not needed). You’d think all these physical training would be useless in space and at a time when computers manipulate everything but that’s what makes Gemina awesome. It fused new and traditional story concepts into one book. Result? Absolute perfection!

Now our hero, Nik. Nik wasn’t just a supporting character/love interest like Ezra in book one. Nik played a big role and was also good in fighting his way through the hijackers. Him and Hannah make a perfect duo in battling out the antagonists (with the help of some friends) and even though they spent very little amount of time together (physically), it didn’t lessen the chemistry at all.

This book’s pacing is a lot faster than Illuminae so it was definitely more gripping and intense. While my emotions weren’t really gutted (because the characters I’ve invested emotions into were all saved) like what the first book did to me, Gemina gave me chills in the theories about the universe it presented me with. Reading about these said theories was fascinating. It made me pause and really think of the vast possibilities this universe holds secret.

Lastly, I feel that much like AIDAN from book one, this particular character also deserves a separate paragraph. He probably gets the award for the Most Redeeming Antagonist ever, right beside AIDAN. Jackson Merrick also known as Sam Wheaton, callsign Rapier, was an asshole for the most part but like I said in the beginning, what he sacrificed in the end redeemed him of all his faults. Sadly, said redemption caused him his life. I still feel conflicted about that particular part but then.. better him than Nik or Hannah. Kudos to the authors for masterfully playing on readers’ emotions and making us feel for the antagonists.

This book reads like a movie. I can totally picture the scenes playing in my head which is easy enough thanks to the diagrams and visuals added in the book itself. By now, I’ve been used to the weird writing style and have come to love it. The graphics and illustrations here were very artistic and even though it’s in black and white, the effect is just as strong if it would be in color.

Just a bit of warning, you might want to wait for the last book to be released before you start on the series otherwise you’ll suffer the worst cliffhanger-over ever (did that make sense?!) Cannot wait to get my hands on the final book. That question at the end really got me good!

**Cover art: 5/5 stars! Original. Creative. The hardcover edition has the same plastic jacket just like the first installment.


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