Slight spoilers for Illuminae below. You have been warned.
AMIE KAUFMAN AND JAY KRISTOF WHY DON’T YOU JUST STAB ME IN THE HEART???? CERTAINLY THAT WOULD BE MROE MERCIFUL THAN KILLING ME SLOWLY WITH EACH PAGE OF THESE BOOKS.
I swear these will be the end of me. SO MUCH PAIN every time I read them. I read Gemina in a day. ONE DAY. It’s like 600 pages!!!! And you’re thinking sure Sydney, but it’s like text messages and radio transmissions. Not 600 pages of straight text. But it’s still 600 freaking pages and I flew through them. That is how freaking good this series is.
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 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.
Okay, I’m sure some people’s thoughts when they read this was: WHATTT???? WHERE DID KADY AND EZRA GO???? But I was pre-pared because this is how Amie Kaufman always does her series. They focus on new characters each time and it’s like one big unraveling plot line with a common enemy. And obviously the main enemy is the evil BeiTech. So we get a completely new cast of characters (all the heart eyes) as they take on their own BeiTech assault and then you just know they’re gonna join forces and it’ll be amazing and mind blowing because IT’S LIKE THOSE FAVORITE MASHUP TV SHOWS FROM WHEN YOU WERE A KID EXCEPT BOOK FORM*.
*Come on, you know which ones I am talking about. Like the Wizards of Waverly Place and Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana mashups that would make your ENTIRE childhood.
So from the first page of the novel you get the suggestion that BeiTech is trying to hide what happened on Kerenza. They are deleting incoming transmissions from Hypatia in an attempt to cover up their crimes. And we all know that can’t go horribly wrong, right??? (insert sarcastic tone here).
When it all goes down, Hanna and Nik and Nik’s cousin Ella must team up to save the whole jump station. Similar to Illuminae, there are basically impossible odds and you have to watch these sweet innocent characters accept the inevitability of their own death. Thank gosh, there are less deaths in Gemina than Illuminae. I’m not sure my heart could handle much more.
And in typical Amie Kaufman fashion (maybe Jay Kristof too but this is the first series I’ve read by him so I’m not sure), there’s some mind-blowing sciency explanations that lead to some pretty mind blowing plot twists. A lot of it goes over my head but I just kinda accept that it happened.
Some might say the plot is pretty similar to Illuminae, but to me the only similarity is it takes place in space with some awesome teenagers trying to basically save the universe. Sure, it has the same suspense and action paced feel of Illuminae, and the plot is similar enough that it continues one large story, but it isn’t the exact same story. Its like Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets.
While Amie Kaufman makes amazing plots, I always come back for her characters. They are so freaking good. Always.
One thing I love is she always has super strong female characters. Damsel in distress isn’t even in Amie Kaufman’s dictionary. And Hanna is no exception. She is clever, knows krav maga and other martial arts, plays strategy games with her father. Not to mention she is strong willed, loyal, and independent. She has no trouble breaking a boy’s wrist (or is it arm?) for a badly timed hit on line. And when it all depends on her, she can keep a straight head. In many ways, I liked her better than Kady (not that I don’t love Kady please don’t hate me).
And then, she has the super witty, clever, perfect complement to Hanna: Nik. Nik comes from a troubled past and is much more than he seems, in so many ways. You could tell from the beginning he cared for Hanna, and you also could tell he is sweeter and kinder than a typical drug dealer from a notorious crime family would be. His conversations with his cousin Ella are such typical teenage boy and so perfectly sweet and caring. It adds a nice lightness to a pretty heavy book.
I also admire how SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION can be created with just one kiss. How is that even possible????? But let me tell you you really just cannot help rooting for Hanna and Nik. Sure, they are fighting for the existence of hundreds of people. But you also are secretly waiting on the edge of your seat for their private, personal moments.
Again, Gemina is told in a unique format. It isn’t typical narrative, but a compilation of files. I found it much easier to get into the story in Gemina than in Illuminae. Maybe it is because I’m getting used to reading the story that way? Maybe Nik and Hanna are just more expressive over their chats? Maybe it was the abundance of Sassy Camera Guy (not that I’m complaining)? I can say, with certainty, it did not detract from my attachment to the characters whatsoever to have it told by files. And I would also 100% suggest you get this book in physical form, not e-book. There are illustrations and times where you want to look at the full spread, and the experience will be lessened if it is on an e-reader or audiobook, I believe.
My favorite format, I have to say, was Hanna’s journal. That was a new addition and I think really why I felt more connected to her than Kady. They were all drawings and told unique stories and THEY WERE DRAWN BY MARIE LU SO WHAT A STAR SQUAD.
So I have no other advice or rants or raves except READ THIS BOOK. The end.
Have you read this book? What do you think of it? How do you think it compares to Illuminae? What do you think of books told in different formats?