Book Review | Gemina


The capital has fallen.

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 thoughts.

Gemina is the second book in The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The events in this book run both parallel and following on from the events in Illuminae making it both a companion novel and sequel, and a very unique, very fun, action-packed read. It continues to series beautifully, raising the stakes and leaving my waiting eagerly for the next book.

This time the story takes place aboard Jump Station Heimdell, which is a space station platform that allows ships to make jumps between space. It houses a wide array of individuals – from military personnel and their families, to civilians, scientists and more. The bulk of the story is told, as in Illuminae, via a series of chat transcripts, emails, dossier files and more. In this instalment, young adult author, Marie Lu, contributed journal drawings, as one of the main characters, Hanna, loves to journal and draws things that happen throughout the story, which was a wonderful element in addition to the style we’ve come to know and love from this series.

I really enjoyed this book. While I don’t feel like the main characters have the same charisma as Kady and Ezra from the first book, once the action kicks in, I felt like Hanna and Nic truly came into their own. Hanna begins as a pampered princess kind of character, but the events about Heimdell allow her to be who she actually is, rather than who she is perceived to be. Nic is an interesting character because of his background; he initially has more relationship ties than Hanna and I think we see more of his character quicker as a result. I found their relationship to be quite fascinating to read as it developed, because despite the fact that they’re both living aboard a space station in the middle of nowhere, the came from very different worlds and there’s a whole lot of negotiating that needs to take place in order for them to work effectively together in the face of the BeiTech strike team’s arrival on Heimdell.

There were a lot of science-fiction elements that I loved in this story, too. In the first book we were introduced to different types of space craft and artificial intelligences. In this book we’re introduced to wormholes through space and the dangers that come along with such technology in a way I wasn’t truly expecting, but absolutely loved.

Overall, I gave Gemina 4.5 out of 5 stars. It didn’t top Illuminae but it came damn close and I cannot wait to read the next instalment in this story. Kaufman and Kristoff have crafted a truly compelling universe.

title // The Illuminae Files_02: Gemina
author // Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
publisher // Allen & Unwin
genre // Young Adult, Science Fiction
publication date // October 2016
format // Paperback

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