Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files) by Marie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted October 24, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Books, Entertainment / 2 Comments

Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files) by Marie Kaufman and Jay KristoffGemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Random House Children's Books on October 18th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 672
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780553499179
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

Brace yourself for GEMINA—the highly anticipated sequel to the book critics called “out-of-this-world awesome,”featuring journal illustrations by bestselling author Marie Lu!

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.

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.

Gemina is the second book in The Illuminae Files, and is just as good (maybe better) than the first novel. In this story we are aboard the Heimdall with two new characters, Nik Malikov and Hanna Donnelly, as they are hijacked by mercenaries for BeiTech as part of the coverup from the first novel. Meanwhile, Katy and Ezra are aboard the Hypatria heading towards the Heimdall. Readers are in for another fun-filled adventure with loads of intrigue, action, and romance.

Hanna Donnelly is the Heimdall commander’s daughter, and pretty much a pampered princess with a drug habit. Bored out of her gourd with her father’s current assignment, Hanna has found relief in the arms of Jackson, the hot you guy under her father’s command. Nik Malikov is her drug dealer and the reluctant member of a crime family. These two wacky kids get thrown together when they are forced to defend their home from the hijackers, and battle aliens in the process. Not only are they fighting for their survival, but they’re also fighting for the survival of the crew of the Hypatia, who carries news of the Kerenza attack.

“Her eyes shining with the light of it.
Beneath, between, beyond.
Along the endless circle.
Down the ceaseless spiral.
And waiting for her on the other side?
Just like he promised.

“A whole sky of different stars.”

What I liked about this book was the relationship between Hanna and Nik. At the beginning of the novel, Nik is harboring an obvious crush on Hanna, which is not reciprocated. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop over time, and seeing it evolve into something more. I also loved the hijacked ship element, which made this novel seem like a space thriller. Throw in some man-eating aliens, and it almost read like… well, Aliens. This book was very fun, and of course has the fantastic illustrations that made the first novel so unique.

Another aspect of the novel I loved was the bits of Norse mythology thrown in. The ship Nik and Hanna were aboard is called the Heimdall, who is the guardian of the Bifrost in Norse mythology. In Gemina, the Heimdall was the guardian of the wormhole other ships used to jump through space. This technology plays an important role in the novel, and was very important. The other bit of mythology I caught was the allusion to the Bifrost itself. Towards the end of the novel, Nik feels like a rainbow went right through him as a major event takes place. The Bifrost in Norse mythology is a rainbow bridge that connects the world of the Gods with that of man. This bridge is very fragile, and only glimpsed briefly. There might be more Norse references I may have missed, so if you note them, I’d love if you share.

Overall, this was a great read that I found difficult to put down. The characters were well-developed, the plot was amazing, and the world building really added to what we knew from the first novel. Not only that, but there’s a little bit of mystery added to the story, and I found it fun trying to guess who the bad guy was behind the curtain. If you loved Illuminae, then there’s no way you can miss its sequel.

About Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is a winner of the Aurealis Award, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named in the Kirkus Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty countries, most of which he has never visited. Being the holder of an arts degree, he has no education to speak of. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.


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