Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review: GEMINA | The Illuminae Files_02 by Kaufman & Kristoff

GEMINAMoving 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 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.

5 stars

Science Fiction | Young Adult Fiction

Well tickle my pickle if that wasn’t the best damn sequel read ever in the history of sequels. Holy shit – I am still reeling from this book. Kristoff and Kaufman have me being held hostage by their writing depths, seriously I cannot get enough of these two. Surprisingly too, I enjoyed Gemina more than I did Illuminae. And not because I did not care for book one, I had my slight pet peeves in terms of the characters but that did not happen here with Gemina, which I will dive into more in a bit. Plus, I feel like since Illuminae was more the AIDAN vs Society while Gemina was Society vs Virus; so both plots where just on a hugely different spectrum that I enjoyed reading as they developed.

Obviously that is overload in one paragraph, so lets jump into this and really wiggle around my thoughts? Sounds like a plan to me.

Firstly, I loved the romance fun triangle aspect in Gemina. I will just be the first to admit it, I am sorry, but not really sorry about it. Nik and Hanna’s friendship relationship was adorable, fun, hilarious, easy flowing with the plot – it was downright perfection. Their connection and their growth between them blended, at least in my opinion, with the progression of the drama surrounding them. Nik was just one of my favorite characters at this point, I absolutely loved his personality throughout. He was head first fearless, prideful and charismatic with sweet cuddle worthy moments all wrapped into this bundle of amazingness. 

Hanna was also a really big hitter for me, aside from my previous pet peeves with the Kady in the previous book, I really connected with Gemina’s female lead. Everything from her personality, emotions, and mindset; it was just an overall well rounded character to imagine. Plus sticking with the Illuminae tradition, Hanna’s comic artwork, diagrams, Network Chatlogs, surveillance footage, interviews, death counts was just full of gooey eye-gasm goodies for the imagination. Really, who knew a book (or series rather) in this type of format would be so goryhell brilliant! 

More importantly I cannot get enough of the twist in the plot for how Gemina is set up verses how Illuminae was presented. AIDAN was a huge aspect in book one, and though he was my biggest, most enjoyable aspect of the book, he was not as present this go around for a good chunk of Gemina. Surprisingly enough, as much as I would have liked to see him a little bit more, I was OK with the absence – let me explain why. Gemina was more about (in my opinion) the disease and alien creatures attacking the crew plus the reaction of society to the breakout thus creating human against human. I liked this evolution between the books. Book one was the aspect where we received the AI vs Society to counter the disease while the second was more Society vs Virus while still hurdled around the same baddie that is creating this problem. 

There is just so much depth, so much emotional rollercoaster to each twist and turn that it was phenomenal. I cannot get enough of how unique and beautifully paced this series is thus so far. I am completely captivated by it. I can honestly say that once you get started, if you are able to put this down without reading in one sitting I must admit you are dead inside because holy shit this is a great read, could not recommend this series to any reader enough! 

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