Friday, November 18, 2016

BOOK REVIEW | Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Series: Illuminae Files
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Pages: 608
Source: I got Gemina from my local library! 
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.

Let me preface by saying just this: I loved this book. I thought that I would be able to get my thoughts together and have a set plan for this review, but my thoughts are still a mess of adoration more than a week later. So I apologize if this mess is all over the place!

I'll start with the two main characters: Hanna and Nik. I loved their banter and the will they won't they of their relationship. They were each their own, but they complemented each other so well! I loved how kick-ass Hanna was. She wasn't a genius, but she was so physically strong. I loved the contrast between her and Kady; Kady is a genius but not physically trained, while Hanna is the opposite. I loved that Kaufman and Kristoff made sure to have such strong female leads in both Illuminae and Gemina. As a feminist (not the same as a man hater), I love how they have equal representation in leadership and badassery. Each character is not perfect either. I really appreciate how real Kaufman and Kristoff made their characters.

As (I'm assuming) you know, Gemina is told through mixed media. This has got to be one of my favorite things in the book. Reading Gemina wasn't just reading, it was an experience. I loved all the mixed media; I was always rapt with attention because I never got bored! The countdown and kill list were one of my two favorite mixed medias in the book. They both added suspense to the book and made me anxious (in a good way!) for the climax. The mixed media didn't hinder my experience at all. In fact, it did the opposite. 

One thing I would say that isn't neccessarily a complaint is that the plot is extremely complex. If you are not paying complete attention, you might miss some important detials. I myself had to reread some passages and flip through the book for clarification and to understand the timeline. There is also something highly scientific and theoretical posed late in the book. It took me a while to wrap my head around it. Kaufman and Kristoff did a good job of explaining the harder things to understand. At the end of the book, I did understand what happened and wasn't left confused. 

Another one of my favorite things is that I didn't guess the twist! I almost always guess one (if not all) of the plot twists in books. It's always fun to see my predictions come right, but it is a treat when something happens that I never expected. It's safe to say that I would have never guessed the major twist that happened in the latter half of the book. It was great!

If you are wondering whether I liked Illuminae or Gemina better, I don't have an answer! I adore both of them, but I don't want to compare the two. They have two different sets of protagonists and plots. While they interconnect, I can't say I prefer one over the other.  

I can say with absolute confidence that I loved this book. The characters were dynamic, and the antagonists were as well. Gemina held my attention the whole time. While I did get mildly confused at times because of the complexity of the plot, I was able to understand everything eventually. I would absolutely recommend Gemina and the series as a whole. It is my favorite young adult science fiction series out there. 

With that, I give this book
5 out of 5 Stars!

Have you read Illuminae and Gemina? What are some of your YA science fiction favorites?

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. Eeeep, wasn't this book amazing?! Amazing seems like a poor choice of words for this series. I never thought I would enjoy metafiction, but I really like how the authors put together the stories. Science fiction is one of my favorite genres, and Kristoff/Kaufman are totally slaying!

    Great review, Genni! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Amazing doesn't seem to encapsulate it! :D I didn't even know what metafiction was until your comment. You learn something everyday! I completely agree. :)

      Thanks Alyssa!

  2. I like the sound of Hanna! And even though I wasn't sure about the POV change from the earlier book, it sounds like it works. I'm excited about this one. The kill list sounds like an interesting media, and I've heard that we get a look at BeiTech in this as well and see from their perspective. Looking forward to that as well.

    Nice review, thanks for sharing.

    1. She was such a great protagonist! I underestimated her in the beginning. We do! There are more emails and interactions with BieTech in Gemina than Illuminae.

      Thanks Greg!
      Have a wonderful week!

  3. Great review! I just recently finished this and it was fantastic! I'm still trying to get my thoughts together for a coherent review. :)

    1. Thanks Lauren! I completely understand trying to get your thoughts together; I struggled too! I'm looking forward to your review. :)

  4. I totally agree, reading this was a totally immersive experience. That's why with Gemina and also Illuminae, I read them both SUPER fast, despite how humongous the books appear to be. I can't wait for book 3! Awesome review ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Me too! I picked up the book and at first I was intimidated but it went by so fast. Thanks Brittany!

  5. I am so so happy you also loved Gemina! Illuminae Files is definitely one of my fave series ever! The writing is brilliant!