Monday, 7 November 2016

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Pages: 672
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

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.
As expected, Gemina blew my mind. Good Lord.

Where to begin? Gemina is predominantly set upon jump station Heimdall and we get to meet a whole new cast of characters. Firstly there is privileged princess, Hanna, who is the only daughter of the station captain; Hanna's boyfriend, heartthrob Jackson, a charismatic young member of the Heimdall security division; there is Nik, a tattooed bad boy who is part of a notorious crime family; then there is Ella, a talented hacker and Nik's cousin. Every main character in this book felt so real and absolutely jumped from the page, it took no time at all for me to quickly become emotionally invested in all of their stories.

The main question at the end of Illuminae is explored in Gemina, the question being - after all of the distress calls that the Hypatia transmitted to jump station Heimdall, why didn't the station respond? Deep down, I was a teeny bit disappointed that Kady and Ezra were absent for much of the book but I loved the new characters so much that I couldn't dwell on it.

My absolute favourite thing about this series is the mixed media and it does not disappoint in Gemina. There is the beautiful addition of Hanna's journal which showcases Marie Lu's illustrations. I think being able to view graphically Hanna's thoughts about Heimdall and the people in her life really made her personality come to life for me. Not to mention the diagrams of jump station Heimdall really assisted me in accurately imagining what it looked like, cause I would have NEVER imagined it properly.

Gemina messes with your mind, it's surprisingly twisty and EXTREMELY fast paced. I felt overwhelmed at times because the pace was so fast, I would blink and something else would happen, it was tense y'all. The last third of the book in particular was my favourite and the ending is just phenomenal.

I have only a few teeny tiny grumbles. In my opinion nothing could be as terrifying as the Phobos virus in Illuminae and so the seldom appearing alien predators in Gemina paled in comparison. I also felt like there was too many surveillance footage analyses, which was my least favourite format to read. To be honest, I loved Illuminae just that little bit more but Gemina is still a highly enjoyable sequel and well worth the read.

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