*This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read Illuminae.*
“And blood and tears and screams did not matter anymore, because at least they are together.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Illuminaecontinues 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 theHypatia 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.
Feelings: I really like Illuminae. I read it a second time to prepare for this book and loved it even more. I was wondering how Gemina would accomplish the same things without it just being a repeat and was pleasantly surprised. There were new types of documents for us to read and dig through and a new cast of characters to get to know. Kaufman and Kristoff once again do an incredible job of allowing readers to understand characters without just reading paragraph after paragraph of description. We know who these people are, we feel what they feel, and can (sometimes) anticipate their actions.
Issues: We went from a zombie-making killer virus to drug-inducing slugs. Not quite as thrilling and creepy! The Phobos virus in Illuminae was legit nightmareish. I couldn’t really picture these worm things with 4 heads. And they just didn’t have the same scary tone.
While I find the formatting of these books to be really engaging and thrilling, Gemina felt a little more detached. We had more scenes from an outsider’s perspective (the camera records) rather than really living the story with our main characters.
The ending. It felt somewhat similar to Illuminae in the sense that what we thought had happened…didn’t. Without spoiling anything, in this book…things happened then it wasn’t true…like 5 times in a row.
Characters: What was so compelling about Illuminae was the way we were able to connect with Kady and Ezra. We were in their heads, understood their motivations, and were constantly in fear for their lives. In Gemina, it’s similar, but not quite as intense. I like Nik from the beginning. He’s charming and witty. And honest. Very, very honest. Hanna was a good character. I didn’t find her to be absolutely amazing and I was sad when things didn’t go her way, but not devastated. Finally, Ella. I liked that she was so different from the other characters in the sense that she was physically limited while Hanna and Nik were out there kicking butt. She added a different dynamic, in the way that AIDAN did in the first book. (Not comparing them…just saying they were both 3rd wheel POV characters.) Overall, interesting people to go on this journey with.
Final thoughts: I love a good plot twist. If you do, too, then you should absolutely pick up this series. They’re both thrilling and complex and make you want to go to space like…yesterday. Even with the issues I had, they weren’t enough to make me not enjoy this book from cover to cover.
Pick this up if you liked:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Goodreads rating: 4.62/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5
My rating: 4.75/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn