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

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.

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.

Rating: 4/5

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one, and the day it finally arrived, I dropped everything else when I got home from work and delved in. Then resurfaced a few hours later, having completed this thing in one sitting. So that should really tell you all you need to know.

But it would be a terrible review if I left it at that, so I suppose some extra detail is necessary, yes?

-I will admit that the novelty of the format has worn off a bit, as novelty does with the second in a line of shiny new things. However, I still really admire the way they make it work, how it all integrates to tell a story that is fairly easy to follow. The illustrations were a particularly cute touch.

-Illustrations and diagrams are also handy when trying to explain concepts such as wormholes and parallel universes. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I still don’t understand them. I didn’t say the diagrams worked, just that they were handy. 😛

-As I mentioned in my previous review, this sci-fi definitely fits squarely in the YA category. I don’t think it has wide crossover appeal. But that’s not a criticism. It’s a book written for teens and aimed at teens. Just a warning for adults (like me) who might read it, the teenagers and their lingo and txtspk might grate on you a little.

-The story picks up right after the events of Illuminae, and we leap straight back into the action. Indeed, the action sequences are definitely the strength of this novel. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled, pulse-pounding adventure from start to finish. You’ll need to go read something relaxing afterwards.

-They don’t hesitate to kill off people. And somehow, they still manage to make you feel it, even if you haven’t known them for very long. And there’s no prevaricating around it – death isn’t just used as a threat – it really happens.

-The entire story takes place over two days or so. Which means that upon reflection, the dissolving and development of the relationships seems rather rushed.

-The character of Hanna is hard to like, initially. She comes across as a fairly spoiled socialite. She is revealed to have more depth, of course, but I did prefer the protagonists of the first book to the ones in Gemina. Also, I probably have an unrealistic grudge against her because people always spell my name without an ‘H’ on the end and it annoys me.

Overall, a worthy sequel despite my complaints. I’m already chomping at the bit for the next one, and wondering who the next set of featured characters is going to be.



8 thoughts on “Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

    1. Ooh, I still haven’t delved into the world of audiobooks. I tend to drift when I’m supposed to be concentrating, which means I’d miss out on half the plot. I’m curious to see how this kind of format would be narrated though!


  1. SO GOOD, RIGHT? I am so glad you liked this as much as I did and that you felt it lived up to your expectations. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤


  2. I’m reading this right now and loving it! I like that there are new characters, although I hear some of the characters from the first book come back, and I really love the character of Nik, and especially his cousin Ella. And you’re right, even though it’s almost 700 pages, it’s quite a quick read.


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