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I Belong


Early Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

geminaTitle: Gemina

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illustrations: Marie Lu

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Illuminae Files (Book #2)

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 672 Pages

ISBN-10: 0553499157 (Random House)

ISBN-13: 978-0553499155 (Random House)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

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 theHypatia 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.

Quick & Dirty: Another solid installment in the Illuminae Files! Dark, a bit terrifying and quite a few plot twists kept me hooked throughout this book.

Opening Sentence: UTA Tribunal Excerpt—Kerenza Trials Day 82

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Last year, I got to review the awesome book Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. There was so much about that book that still amazes me today when I think about it so I was extremely excited when I was able to get a review copy of Gemina. These books are told after the “situations” contained have happened by way of files, Instant Messages, Video footage *colorfully recounted*, computer images and so much more. If you are not a fan of stories like this you should still check it out anyways because I hope it will change your mind. *Do not start with Gemina. You MUST read Illuminae first! Go buy it now, if you haven’t already.* :D

Gemina is the second story in a trilogy. This story focuses on the Heimdall and the residents within. If you don’t remember the end of Illuminae, the ship Kady and Ezra are on is headed to the Heimdall but the evil Bei Tech company knows where they are going and are hoping to cover the tracks of the war that was begun in book one, hence the new characters and the new location for book two.

Hanna Donnelly is a spoiled rich girl who has no problem getting what she wants or who she wants. Her daddy is the captain on Heimdall so she pretty much has free range over the ship. Hanna also likes to dabble in the drugs… Her supplier Nik Malikov is a member of the House of Knives, a group reminiscent of the Russian mob. If it wasn’t for her drug use, these two characters would probably have never met before the events of the Heimdall disaster.

Gemina started off a bit slow because taking over a ship full of people does take a bit of setup, especially when trying to set up the main characters. Bei Tech’s hired “Mercenaries” are smuggled onto the ship and it doesn’t take long for the bodies to start adding up. Hanna and Nik are separated in the takeover and must use the technology they have at hand to stay in contact and try to get the ship back from the bad guys. Piece by piece the story begins to unravel with plot twists and secrets that kept me on my toes.

Hanna really isn’t the spoiled little rich girl like everyone thinks. She is devoted to her father and she diligently trains in martial arts. She even has awesome knowledge of war strategies and philosophers. I liked Hanna but I didn’t really connect with her like I did with Kady. Nik is your typical bad boy with a golden heart. I wanted to like him more but at times I felt he wasn’t in the book enough for me to really get to love his character. But the real grounded character was Ella. Her banter with Hanna and Nik was enough to buy me over. She was the one character that I was really terrified for throughout the book.

Overall, I think Gemina wasn’t quite as good as Illuminae because it didn’t quite punch me in the gut like that one did. (And let me tell you, Illuminae punched me several times.) I wasn’t as scared in this book. The evil alien goop wasn’t as scary even though they were still quite deadly while they didn’t really effect anyone like the Phobos virus did. But the ending though… holy crap… that ending was awesome and now I can’t wait for next year when the final novel is published. It will definitely be a must buy for me. Illuminae is a five star read, Gemina is a 4.5 star read!

Notable Scene:

MERCURY: Gabriel. I’m calling abort. I want to get back to the airlock ASAP. Your biosig is all over the chart. Are you reading me?

BALLPARK: You’re really pretty, Bi . . .

MERCURY: Private Moreno, this is a direct order. Abort refuel op now and return to Airlock 31 for immediate debrief, over.

BALLPARK: Oh . . . look. It’s an angel.

MERCURY: Ballpark, copy, goddammit. I’m calling abort! Do you read me?

BALLPARK: A little angel inside the suit with me.

BALLPARK: It’s beautiful. It’s so . . . beautiful.

BALLPARK: So many mouths.

MERCURY: M: Gabe?

BALLPARK: Beautiful.

BALLPARK: Black.

BALLPARK: Oh . . .

The Illuminae Files:

1. Illuminae

2. Gemina

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FTC Advisory: Knopf Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House provided me with a copy of Gemina. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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