Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

by - April 08, 2018

Series: Illuminae #2
Genres: Sci-Fi, Horror
Pages: 659
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books
Release Date: 18/10/2016
Find The Author (AK): (Website/Twitter)
Find The Author (JK): (Website/Twitter)
Find The Book: Book Depository/AbeBooks UK/US

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.

Is it actually possible to write a review of this series without screaming in ALL CAPS for several paragraphs because I'M TRYING REALLY HARD NOT TO. I'll throw out a couple of potential negatives that aren't really negatives before I babble for 5 paragraphs BUT BASICALLY I was disappointed by the POV switch initially (but Hana and Nik are best humans and I love them so that worked fine) and this book is so long it took me, a voracious reader, 6 BLOODY DAYS to read ALL 600 PAGES.

 I love that all the characters in The Illuminae Files are these complex human beings, like how Hana seemed like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club when I first meet her but then she turned into some sort of fighting ninja and was actually really intelligent too and I love girls WHO CAN BE ALL OF THESE THINGS UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Nik's almost the opposite, a drug dealing kid raised in a gang but can't stomach animal cruelty and probably has a special blanket at home that no-one is allowed to know about.

This tiny moment. In between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time death arrives. There's just you and it and everything you're about to take away. It's too big. It goes forever.” 

 All the side characters are memorable, which is great because I can barely remember main characters most of the time (I wrote the entirety of my review of Illuminae thinking Ezra had a completely different name). The stand out character was Ella, I would love a standalone book featuring her because she's wonderful and smart and flawed but sassy and bitchy and just all round awesome. Jax on the other hand (Hanna's boyfriend) I never liked, he seemed to be little more than an english pretty boy.

 There's a seamless combination of sci-fi and horror which I love because Amie and Jay ARE JUST SO GOOD AT IT, last time we had what was basically a zombie virus and how do you top that? Let's get some WORMS WITH TEETH and have them SLIVER ALL OVER THE SHIP IN SEARCH OF BRAAAINS. Plus we have the introduction of the Bei-Tech squad, sent to basically kill everyone on the ship and the whole book went Battle Royale In Space for a few hundreds pages which was FREAKING AWESOME.

“But faced with the choice of living one breath longer or crashing in right now, most folks would take the extra moment. That single extra breath. Even when your world stops spinning and gravity dies and the blood glitters in the air like a galaxy of warm red suns all around you. A lot can happen between breaths, after all.” 

 Yeah there's a good deal of romance but who cares it's a YA book and I think it helps increase the tension especially when they DO THAT THING AT THE END AND THEN THEY DO THAT OTHER THING AND YOU'RE LIKE WAIT WHAT AND THEN THAT THING HAPPENS AND YOU HAVE TO TURN THE BOOK SEVERAL DIRECTIONS?! I really want to talk about THE THING because it's full on sci-fi gloriousness and explains the title too AND I CAN'T BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SO SPOILERY.

 Without TOO MUCH YELLING, what's great about this series and in particular this book is that it's a full idea before being written down. A lot of YA books feel like they have a starting point and a finishing point and we end up with a second book that just feels like filler. This didn't feel like that even once and I didn't even think of the word filler until I went to review it and realised that this is book 2. It's clear that before even book 1 was released that the authors had a complete idea of the story each book would tell.

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  1. I love this series and will miss it immensely, though I am excited about their next project. Kaufman and Kristoff talked about their writing process with this series and it was so intricate and complicated. I was in awe of how much was involved when they were telling us about it.


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