This review is spoiler-free.
After following what my lovely peer bloggers told me, which was, to sum it up in a few words “just read Illuminae right now”, and, well, loving it despite all odds, I had to order Gemina as soon as I could and devour it right away. I was lucky enough to do a buddy-read of this rollercoaster with my friend Kat, and I couldn’t be happier about it, because when I needed to scream or fangirl or be scared or a mix of all of these things, well, she was there. And believe me, there was a LOT of this.
AN ORIGINAL FORMATTING STILL SERVING THE STORY WELL
Following in Illuminae‘s footsteps, Gemina still manages to pull you into one crazy story using a very unique formatting, made of footage description, graphics and online chats between the protagonists. Once again, if it took me a couple of pages to get into the story – read, get used again to the way this story is told -, once I was in, I was engrossed. Meaning, I couldn’t stop reading. Where Illuminae managed a great tour de force by telling us a real story, with great characters, events you can feel happening almost as if they are around you, and make your heart beating out of anticipation… well, Gemina managed to do all of the same things. What I found really interesting here was the addition of some drawings by one of the main characters, Hanna. I thought they gave a whole other dimension to the story and the characters, and I was always eagerly waiting for these graphic parts of the story, which I think were missing from Illuminae.
NEW LOVABLE CHARACTERS
There are links between Illuminae and Gemina, obviously, since it’s a sequel, but this book is another story, another spaceship, and a whole lot of other drama happening. The biggest change here though is the characters. If we can find some links between characters from the first book into this second book, we are mainly following completely different characters. This took some getting used to as well. I slowly fell in love with Kady and Ezra in the first book, and was a bit wary to meet new characters I wouldn’t get attached to just as much. Or so I feared, but I’m glad to say I was wrong. Hanna and Nik, the two main characters here, are different from our previous heroes. Obviously Hanna was one bad-ass commandant’s daughter, but I need to talk about Nik here the most, because, well, erm, I kind of loved him. He was so flawed, yet he’s the one that grew on me the most whenever I come to think about this book now, weeks later after having read it. Even if he makes mistakes, he is so genuine and always manages to bring a smile on our faces even though we are reading some big, big, big chilling drama happening.
DARK, GRIPPING, UNSTOPPABLE.
I can’t review this without saying too much about the story and revealing some plot points, so I’m going to stay concise and say once again how remarkable this series is. These books are kind of outside of my comfort zone, yet they manage to pull me into this crazy world, and make me feel all the things. And believe me, there are so many different things happening here. Plot twists, hearts breaking and stopping. I couldn’t stop reading, and the 600+ pages of this book went by in a blur where I was a confused mess and couldn’t stop thinking about it when I was not reading. If some parts of this book bothered me – sometimes it got a bit repetitive, and I had a hard time getting into this as always, mainly because it just feels so different -, reading Illuminae and Gemina is an experience any lover of sci-fi, hell, any lover of reading should try for himself. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, because I know it’s not. But it’s incredible to see how and what authors can do with words in a book to take us into a story, the unusual way.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Did you read Gemina? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read this series?
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Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2), Published by Knopf Books For Young Readers, October 18th 2016.
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.
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.