Friday, 6 January 2017

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Released: October 20th 2016
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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. (from Goodreads)

I have a lot of thoughts about this book, and those thoughts are why do the authors hate us and when is the next book coming out???

I was initially reluctant to pick up Gemina when I realised that Kady and Ezra would no longer be the main characters. I loved Illuminae so much and thought that it just wouldn’t be the same with new characters taking the lead. Well, I was wrong. This book was excellent. Okay, I didn’t love it quite as much as Illuminae (but I always tend to favour the first books in series), but it was still a great sequel. My notes from reading this book are somewhat of an incoherent mess, with lots of “WHY”s and “WTF?!”s as well as expletives I probably shouldn’t type up in this review.

Our new leads in this book were Hanna and Nik. It did take a while for them to grow on me (especially Nik, I found him super cheesy to begin with). I didn’t take an immediate liking to them the way I did with Kady and Ezra. But by the end of the book, I was invested. It’s funny how attached you get to characters. You don’t realise it until something terrible happens and you think they might die and a big “NOOOOOO” goes through your head and you suddenly wonder why you’re so upset in the first place. There were a lot of those “NO” moments in this book. And I never knew what was going to happen. When this book started off, it was just following the daily lives of Hanna and Nik. I had no idea how they would be thrown into chaos, but thrown into chaos they were and it was awesome. I mean, terrible for them, but great for me to read about. Chronologically, this book took place both after the events of book one, and alongside them. It was so interesting to see how certain events from the first book had an impact in this one, and how a lot of things we didn’t understand to begin with were starting to make sense. I also really liked how, though there was an underlying romantic tension between the two main characters, it didn’t overtake the story. Both Hanna and Nik knew there were more important things to worry about than their relationships.

Ella was another fantastic character (I think she was my favourite). She was Nik’s cousin, and was absolutely hilarious, as well as ridiculously clever. Both Hanna and Nik would have died in the first few pages without her. Her role in the book was such an important one, and I really enjoyed every scene she was in. I also liked getting to see Kady’s dad in this book; he was desperate for news about his daughter, and it was just nice seeing all the connections between book one and two fall into place.

We also have to talk about the format of this book, because I loved it. I had no idea how Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff would pull it off again after Illuminae; surely, I thought, it would be boring the second time around? Nope, once more, I was wrong. The format is my favourite part of this series. So much effort must go into writing all these little extra bits; from linking to articles with funny titles in the Unipedia pages to coming up with usernames and blueprints and plans (not to mention the hilarious briefing notes, I honestly think those were my favourite). It makes each book all the more interesting and engaging, and I really appreciate the time that goes into that. It also lends itself so well to unravelling the story and revealing what has been going on; plot-wise, this book was so full of twists and more twists that were made even more unexpected because of the way the book was written and all the visuals that went along with it. It was also so funny (the lollipop song...I can't, it's making me want to laugh even now). And while perhaps this story was not quite as compelling as Illuminae, (because in my opinion, nothing compares to AIDAN), I enjoyed it and I’m already ridiculously excited for book three (and this time, I’m reading it as soon as its released – whoever the main characters are. The authors have earned my trust).

So overall, this book was great, this series is brilliant, and if you haven't already, you should pick it up.

4 comments:

  1. I really need to read this series but from the way people talk I think I should wait till all the books are out.

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  2. I'm glad to see that you liked this one! It was pretty good. I thought the Lollipop song was hilarious.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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  3. For me it was the opposite, I think. It took me a while to warm up to Kady and Ezra, but I took an immediate liking to Hanna and Nik. Haha, the lollipop song! XD I adore the humour//banter in these books. ;P

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  4. I am so glad you enjoyed Gemini - loved Illumane so much and that format was so detailed and unique - really pleased to hear they've continued to use it. And oh my gosh - AIDAN, nothing can compare to that supercomputer! :)

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