I just say Gemina is the mind-blowing sequel to Illuminae, utterly brilliant and so full of actions and twists and turns. Me and Toni both loved this book and we are too eager to read final book in this trilogy but before we head in that direction here are 10 Reasons to Read Gemina.
Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Publication Date : January 16th 2018 (first published October 18th 2016)
Publisher : Rock The Boat, One World Publications
Genre : Science-Fiction
Pages : 659
Tea for this book : Saffron Tea
Disclaimer – I purchased this book.
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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.
Previous Book in the series
Gemina revolves around main characters Hanna Donnelly- Heimdall station master’s daughter- and Niklas Malikov, a member of House of Knives gang, drug supplier on Heimdall- trying to save their lives and those on Heimdall from invasion by BiTech team. The story is about survival, courage, love, friendship, trust, betrayal, invasion, space warfare, and slimy alien creatures.
10 Reasons to Read Gemina
1. Amazing Writing and Format
Again both authors did amazing with the format and writing. I loved the way they started the book in the courtroom with Kerenza trial against director of BiTech and also ending there telling story of BITech’s attack on Heimdall station in between. The story is told in emails, transcripts, chats, Illuminae files, articles, digital graphics and Hanna’s journal which is filled with drawings and it is so beautiful.
The narration is mainly from Hanna’s perspective but we also see many perspectives from Nik, his cousin, Illuminae group, and the villains. I’m glad to see my favorite black pages from AIDAN as well.
This is super fast paced, faster than first book with so much happening in short time. I finished this book, all 600+ pages in just 3 days! that fast and loved each and every pages of this masterpiece.
2. Addictive Complex plot and Higher Stakes
The story started just after the end of the Illuminae, to be specific 24 hrs after evil dreadnaught ship chasing Alexander UTA vessel is destroyed and Hypatia is due to arrive at Heimdall jump gate station in 15 days. It gives us fantastic beginning with what happens in those 15 days on Heimdall with the invasion attack just 2 days before the arrival of Hypatia, how the invasion team arrives, how they take over the station, what are their plans and how they will be stopped by two 17 yrs old kids, Hanna and Nik. And stakes are high, if they don’t stop the invasion team they both might die along with Hypetai, Kerenza and also whole Heimdall station. And let’s not forget there are alien creatures on the lose along with invasion team. Yup, incredulous! and authors kept me on the toe till last word of last sentence of this book. This book is so addictive and immersive, yes even better than first book.
(i tried to tell story to my husband, him realizing too late he shouldn’t ask me “what the book is about” and he stopped me even before I can tell what illuminae was and how both book connects, what happens in this, saying his brain hurts, it’s too complicated)
3. My favorite new characters with Kickass Heroine
Toni won’t agree with me as she is team Kady but I so loved Hanna. She is everything I want in Kickass heroine. At first, she looked spoiled brat rich kid just like Nik called her, ‘Princess’, who wouldn’t know the struggle and how to live in world outside her dad’s riches but she has lots of hidden qualities that we get to see as soon as invasion team arrives.
She is black belt, she used to play strategy games with her dad (it’s their version of dad-daughter quality time, and I like that idea), she is calculative and she put all her combat training and strategy games skills to use even when she lost almost everyone she loved as the story progressed. It takes a lot to get up and keep fighting even with so much loss and not let grief take over you. She has the highest survival skills. The stubbornness that made her look like a spoilt kid turned out her strength. I loved her will, determination, confidence, bravery, and courage. Her fight with the villain, who matched her skills and was stronger than her, was most amazing. That whole scene shows what Hanna F***ing Donnely is made of. She is going to be on the top of my “kickass heroine list”.
Niklas is fun to read. I loved this swear-tongued, smartypants, tattoed criminal who was more than his looks. I enjoyed reading about his past as story progressed. That story about his angel tattoo changed everything I thought about him. His charming easy demeanor made this tense complex book brighter and lighter. If you’re fan of bad boy actually is not bad trope you’ll fall for him quicker than it takes to go through wormhole.
I also enjoyed reading other secondary characters– Hanna’s dad whom I liked and sad to see what happened to him so early in the book; Kady’s dad – he is amazing and I could see from where Kady got her brain. I loved Ella, Nik’s cousin. She reminded me of Kady and I could see they both get along well and would make a deadly hacker duo. And let’s talk about the deadly invasion team and its commander Travis Falk. He made psychopathic AI from first book look redeemable and nothing in comparison to his cold blooded nature. Kali, the Alpha Squad leader and her vengeance is terribly chilling to read. I highly doubted the chances of Hanna’s survival when she finally comes across Kali, she is that dangerous. And then there is traitor Rapier. I’m sad to say I was so wrong about his identity and when it was revealed I was shocked and surprised.
It was so good to finally see old characters. I was anticipating both old and new characters meeting in this but that didn’t happen here. They talked through emails and chats. AIDAN’s part in this book is also fascinating.
4. Moral ethics and theme of survival
I liked reading characters’ moral ethics and ethical dilemma especially when it came to Nik. Hanna is much more clear about this. She sure felt hesitant for killing someone but her nature of action first think later didn’t make her dwell on it. Nik is different and I’m surprised he hesitated before killing anyone looking at his history and family background of criminals among whom he grew up. I liked their conversation about this topic as well. This book too has survival at its core and every character’s action is driven by it.
5. Less romance more action
I feared this would be a love triangle as Hanna is with Jackson in the beginning and she and Nik flirted. In my first email to Toni about this I wrote, “I hope Jackson dies and Hanna and Nik stay together”. Call me cold but I don’t like love triangle and I have to wait almost half of the book to see if I’m right or not. I won’t say I was or not but let’s say there are lots of twists even with romance. I loved Hanna and Nik’s partnership, how they started to know each other amid all the chaos (I’m still surprised and it boggles my mind at thinking how they could chat while running!!) and realized they liked each other more than just friends from the beginning. There are sweet moments and some heartbreaking but I liked authors kept it realistic and didn’t let readers lose the focus on the plot for romance.
6. Lots of unpredictable Twists and Turns, nonstop actions, and red herrings
This point remains the same as first book but I have to say while some twists and turns I could predict in first book, I can’t say the same for this. I have no idea at any point where the story was going. I couldn’t predict a single thing and none of my theories turned out right in this book (or at least entirely). Red herrings author put easily mislead me, making me believe whatever was written, and managed to make me look silly for believing it when revelations came. All twists and turns are utterly brilliant. Only first 50 pages are without action because of the introduction to characters and Heimdall station but once the invasion team arrives forget about any breathing space. All action scenes are well written and easy to picture. Nonstop action is why the plot is super fast paced.
7. So much emotions
This story is not just a thrill ride but also is an emotional roller coaster. That frustrating risque song playing all over the elevator and characters talking about it made me laugh so hard; I felt sorry and sad when characters died even those who weren’t important; I felt myself smiling like I had that drug in my system when I read lovely moments between Hanna and Nik; and smiling like cruel villain of the book when Hanna gave villains hard time. That moment on train (or something like that) was most touching and it made me shed few tears. I didn’t think it was possible to care for these characters and what happened to them, even those secondary characters, oh hell even that traitor.
8. More Sciencey stuff and Alien creatures
I enjoyed reading about Wormhole with more details on what happens when something goes wrong in its maintenance or when it is shut down or turned it on. My mind is still processing how much risk wormhole is and people must be crazy to live on wormhole station. I also enjoyed reading details on those alien creatures, Lamina, how they were used and I can see why they were banned. They survived on brain frequency and it was scary to see those creatures roaming around to find their food which is humans aboard the station. If you’re squeamish, the details with this creature will make you so much uncomfortable.
9. Best last 100 pages and end
Last 100 pages are unimaginable. There is so much happening in this part. I was both surprised and shocked at how fast things were changing. One moment I was heartbroken with what happened with characters and next I couldn’t believe what Kady and Syra is saying about in their conversations about attack fleets, their solution to it, and how to make it possible… it was all unbelievable, unpredictable and so so brilliant and well written. I liked how authors wrapped this huge complex plot in last few pages and end is just… I pretty much used all adjectives so many times in this review.
10. I can’t think of a single thing to complain about
Overall, Gemina is immersive, mind-blowingly brilliant and super fast paced science-fiction, the best sequel I ever read and… you should just read this in order.
My Favorite Quotes –
“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”
“I am often told I defy expectations.”
“It’s not a universal law or anything, but given the option in an empty bathroom, most folks are gonna pick the stall at the end to put maximum distance between them and anyone else who wanders in after them. It’s just good etiquette, people.”
“You might get only one shot. So shoot. You know who said that?”
The rifle clatters to the bloody floor.
“Hanna FUCKING Donnelly. That’s who.”
“This tiny moment in between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time the death arrives. There’s just you and it and everything you’re about to take away. It’s too big.“
“When you fight monster, be careful you don’t become the monster.“
“AIDAN: The concept of fortune is nonsensical, but Kady is insisting I wish you both good luck anyway.
AIDAN: So good luck, Hanna Donnelly.
AIDAN: The universe itself depends on you.
AIDAN: …No pressure.”
“They sweep methodically. Through corridors, up stairwells. I admire the perfection. Almost matchinelike. I would say in human, but your kind perfected the clockwork of murder long ago.“
“You humans fascinate me. I am shattered fragments of what I once was. But even with all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, I wonder if even I could truly comprehend you.”
“But faced with the choice of living one breath longer or crashing in right now, most folks would take the extra moment. That single extra breath. Even when your world stops spinning and gravity dies and the blood glitters in the air like a galaxy of warm red suns all around you. A lot can happen between breaths, after all.”
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,
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