Book Review: Gemina

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Rating: 5 stars
Published: 10/18/16
Genre: Fiction, Sci-fi, YA
Read: 1/11/18, 3/17/18

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the series, Illuminae (my review).

Gemina picks up a few days after Illuminae ends at the jump station Kady and co. were heading, Heimdall. Here we meet Hannah, daughter of the jump station captain, and Nik, a member of a drug producting and trafficking family. The two have a rocky past including Hanna purchasing “goods” from Nik, Nik constatnly hitting on Hanna, and Hanna breaking (or spraining, stories vary) Nik’s arm. So best buds.

The story begins with Hanna hitting Nik up for a score in order to make one of the space station parties more bearable. Nik agrees to this, and also to a deal with another man to accept some under-the-radar cargo onto the station. Nik skips out early on the cargo delivery, leaving it to his family to complete, in order to make the delivery to Hanna. The cargo, however, is not what it seems. It carries BeiTech assault team who intend to claim control of Heimdall. They immediately begin subduing the station, starting with Nik’s family and Hannah’s father. Nik and Hannah manage to avoid capture and team up with Ella, Nik’s cousin, to fight back.

Now I absolutely loved the characters in this book. The first time I started reading it I was a little sad not to have Kady and AIDEN around, but that changed real fast. Hanna is so fantastic – she’s not really what you would expect from a girl who lead such a pampered life, who never wanted for anything. She is so capable of taking care of herself and pulling through the absolute worst situation.

Also, Ella. Just. I. Love. Her. The amount of sass should not be able to be contained in one body. She 100% rises above her physical limitations and absolutely OWNS the whole cyber world.

And then there’s Nik. I honestly did not like him all that much to start off with – he seemed like the typical smooth talking thug, but he really rose above that. I mean, that backstory practically had me in tears. Once you get to know his character you see that is is genuinely a good guy, who just so happens to be part of a less-than-stellar family.

Hanna, Nik, and Ella make a wonderful team. Hanna took care of most of the ass kicking, Ella took care of the hacking, and Nik… was there, too. Nik’s style of fighting back seemed to be a lot of improvising, but it worked and it was fun. He did actually come up with quite a clever plan towards the end.

My least favorite part of this book was the Lanima. Like, they absolutely freak me out. Ever since I watched AVP, I cannot stand the thought of aliens (or non-aliens, there are some really weird creatures on Earth) that incubate in another living creature and then burst out when they’re grown. It’s just so gross. Poor cow cows. 😦

So overall, the book was fantastic. It added another layer to BeiTech’s horrendous-ness, and introduced some absolutely fabulous characters. The story definitely took some turns I never would have guessed (well, there is one major plot point that showed up in another of Amie Kaufman’s books, so it’s not beyond expectations), and it really ramped up the desperation for what would have to take place in the next book. If you do plan on reading this series, I definitely recommend reading it all in a row, not waiting between books.

Have you read Gemina? What did you think? What are some of your other favorite sci-fi books?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Gemina

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