Book Review - 'Gemina' by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review by Fay Clark

Well, I think I've kept you all in suspense for long enough. I cannot believe I wrote the review for the first book in this series FOUR YEARS AGO. That's my bad, I got distracted by other books! I've now read Gemina a couple of times, so am finally ready to review it. So, strap into your spaceships, the crazy is about to return, in this thrilling sequel.

Gemina is the second book in the Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Although this is a follow-up, it doesn't feature the same main characters, but we do still follow the same timeline and witness the fallout of the events from Illuminae.

Please refer to the below synopsis, which I'm sure will help make sense of this awesome Space Opera!

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. We follow Hanna, who is the station captain’s pampered daughter, and Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. 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, but the fate of everyone on the Hypatia (and possibly the known universe) is in their hands. Relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

As you can tell, Gemina continues the awesome and totally crazed plotline of Illuminae. We follow two main characters again, plus a cast of super funny and interesting secondary personalities. Let me give you a quick rundown, because if you don't fall in love with them... I'm not doing it right!

Just read the book, Amie and Jay do it better.

Hanna Donnelly; what we would consider a military brat. She's called Princess by another character, which tells you a lot. However, on the flip side, she's sarcastic and violent. Very good at war games and strategy (thanks to her dad). She is beauty, and she is grace... she will definitely punch you in the face.

Nik Malikov; acts like an angry boi, but is in fact a soft-hearted sunshine boi. That's not a spoiler, you find that out in the first 5 pages! He loves his family, even though they're all dirty criminals! He's a very funny, sarcastic chap who thinks that he's SUPER charming, but is just slightly awkward.

Ella Malikova; just happens to be the cousin of Nik... though that's not the reason she's here. Ella's awesome. Hacking's the game, and Ella's the boss. She's very acerbic in nature and doesn't allow her cousin to get away with anything, she takes the piss like an artist.


Other secondary characters; much fun. Very smart. Sad face. COWS IN SPACE, yes you read that correctly. Love seeing some old familiar faces/programs...

Once again we get the beautiful multi-media format of this book. I loved this so much in Illuminae. This style just adds so much more interest to the book, instead of just words on a page. (Don't get me wrong, I like that format too!) There are several pages in Gemina that are just spectacular and something that only a genius could have thought up, so... props to that person!!

I actually love that there are no chapters, yet you can tell where the natural breaks in the book are due to the multi-media format. If you need a place to stop (WHY ARE YOU STOPPING?!) you'll normally be able to find a natural place if you turn the page a couple of times.

So... the writing... ALL OF THE YES. I do not know how else to tell you, Amie and Jay just work so well together. I honestly have no idea who wrote what, and that's what makes this duo so fantastic. There's no change in style or rhythm, everything's funny, sharp, interesting, and flows really well.

The plot in general is just insane. I never knew I needed space bugs to screw with strike teams, with a healthy dash of space mumbo jumbo on the side. The very first time I read this book, I had to stop for a week afterward, just to get my head around what happened... that's how FANTASTIC it was.

Honestly at this point, if you don't want to pick up this series, we can't be friends. These books just seem to be getting better and better each time. Always with a cast of colorful and awesome characters, plus an insane space plot!

I always highly recommend these books, but trust me, Gemina will knock your socks off. I haven't been able to find mine since I first read it! I've been sockless for AGES.

Book Queen Out!


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