Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

29236298Gemina

By: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Published: October 18, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 659
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★☆

Amazon | Book Depository

Summary:
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.


My Thoughts

Warning: My review contains spoilers for Illuminae.

When I read Illuminae earlier this year, it was completely unlike anything I had read before. It wasn’t just straight narrative, but a compilation of chat logs, descriptions of surveillance footage, diary entries, etc. that made reading the book such a unique experience. Since then, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Gemina to see what the future held in store for Kady and Ezra.

However, Gemina follows two new protagonists: Hanna, the daughter of the jump station Heimdall’s captain, and Nik, a gang member. It was kind of jarring to start a sequel with a completely new cast of characters, but I did warm up to them eventually.

I had a bit of a tough time getting through the beginning of the book. Illuminae jumped right into the action with the Kerenza invasion, but the beginning of Gemina was very sedate, dealing only with the mundane lives of the characters. Due to this, the characters came off a bit immature. For instance, Hanna was an incredibly selfish, shallow, and spoiled daddy’s girl. Conversely, in Illuminae Kady and Ezra were forced to grow up pretty quickly in order to deal with the challenges they faced. However, I will say that because of the way Gemina started, I was able to observe and appreciate Hanna’s growth as a character. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by how competent she was when faced with danger.

As I said, the first part of the book was a bit slow and hard to get into, but the last 100 pages were so intense; I pretty much flew through them! I thought that some of the plot points were fairly predictable, but I wasn’t too bothered by that.

My main complaint is the lack of Kady and Ezra. I spent all of Illuminae rooting for them and growing attached to them, so the fact that they had such minor roles in Gemina was pretty disappointing. I really hope that the third book doesn’t introduce another male/female pair, because I’d much rather see more of Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik. The introduction of another male/female pair would most likely mean that I could expect to read that same old, very predictable story arc that’s found in most books with dual protagonists.

Overall, I had a great time reading Gemina, but I do hope the authors come up with something slightly different, and not as formulaic, for the finally book in the trilogy.

My Rating

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