Book Review: Gemina

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.gemina

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.

When I heard Gemina would be released October 18th, I called my local Half Price Books to make sure it would be in stock that day so I could have it in my hands IMMEDIATELY. I was a very big fan of Illuminae, and couldn’t wait to read the sequel. Trust me when I say that it did not disappoint.

The Good

I wasn’t aware of the fact that Gemina would be focusing on two new characters until one of my Bookstagram friends told me, and when I first heard that news I was apprehensive. I really liked Kady, Ezra and AIDAN, and wasn’t sure I wanted to get to know other main characters (especially when my feelings about AIDAN were still so complex). But with the way Illuminae ended, it really did make sense for the story to focus on the Heimdall next. Plus, the original characters do still make an appearance. As for the new characters, I ended up loving them way more than I thought I would. Hanna is badass, and Nik is even more lovable than Ezra, I think because he’s more complex (and has tattoos *swoons*). But who really stole the show, in my opinion, was Nik’s cousin. She was smart, skilled and absolutely HILARIOUS. The banter between the three of them gave me life.

I also loved the drawings included throughout the story as part of Hanna’s journal; they helped connect me to Hanna, as well as other characters by association. And I appreciated the “photos” of the BeiTech strike team, because without them I would probably have just confused all of the characters’ names and code names. All in all, the graphics in Gemina elevated the story and proved majorly useful, whereas in Illuminae they were just nice to have.

As for Gemina’s plot, my mind is thoroughly blown. This book touches on space and science themes that I’ve previously only seen vaguely in comic books. And there were so many sneaky parts about the characters—especially when AIDAN was narrating—that many times I was like, WAIT WHAT. And then had to flip back and make sure I was reading correctly. And I’m pretty sure my heart stopped more than once toward the end.

The Bad

Similarly to Illuminae, there were times when I skipped pages that had text written too loopy on the pages, because I didn’t feel like putting that much effort into reading by turning the book around or straining my neck. Some of the pages were also REALLY dark and had grey text, so I could barely read it unless there was light shining directly on me (a book light came in handy, let me just say).

I also felt like AIDAN wasn’t quite as awesome in this book, but I think that’s because he and Kady have the best connection with each other, so his conversations with Hanna and Nik were more shallow.

The Verdict

The plot, characters and overall writing in Gemina are so complex and build really nicely on what happened in Illuminae. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen in the next book, but that just makes me more excited. In other words, go out and buy this book! Like, yesterday. And if you haven’t read Illuminae, get on that ASAP so you can have your mind blown and your emotions rollercoastered by Gemina afterward. You need this story and these characters in your life!

Rating: ★★★★★




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