Authors: Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files, #2
Released: October 20th 2016
Publisher: Knopf BfYR
Length: 608 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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.
Gemina, the sequel to last year’s hugely successful Illuminae, follows in the footsteps of its predecessor well enough to satisfy even the most demanding reader. Just like Illuminae, Gemina combines texts, images, various fonts and different storytelling strategies. They all come together to form a narrative unlike any other, a constant source of surprise and awe, not to mention entertainment.
Gemina picks up more or less where Illuminae left off, albeit on the other side of the wormhole. We traveled aboard Hypatia and Alexander with Kady and Ezra, but now we find ourselves on Jump Station Heimdall awaiting their return. We are led through the story by Hanna, the station captain’s daughter, and Nik, drug dealer and member of a crime family. Hanna admittedly takes some getting used to and her skills differ from Kady’s, but she proves her value and her moxie over and over during the course of the story.
Romance fans should know that it takes some time to develop and even then takes up very little page time, but it serves as glue that holds everything else together. It’s virtually impossible not to get invested in the story, and why on earth would you try? Gemina has so much to offer that reading it once might not be enough.
Violent and often cruel, the enemy in Gemina shows very little mercy to our crew. The action sequences are carefully planned and therefore exhilarating, with plenty of tension to keep us on the edge of our seats. As the daughter of the station captain, Hanna is highly trained and capable of defending herself when needed, but sometimes there are just too many of them to fight. Still, her intelligent solutions are practically symphony and her bravely something to behold.
Visually, even the printed advanced copy of Gemina is a feast, and it doesn’t include illustrations by the amazing Marie Lu. It’s difficult to imagine how much better it becomes with those added, but even without them, Gemina is something special. Every detail is thought through, and by the end, when things really start heating up, one can’t help but be impressed with such careful planning and flawless execution.
As a true celebration of multimodality, Gemina is probably the most interesting book you’ll hold in your hands this year. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff deserve a whole lot of credit for this project, which was likely a challenge on every turn. The end result is more than worth it, though, and their third book is something to look forward to.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.