Title: Gemina Series: The Illuminae Files (#2) Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff Release Date: October 18,2016 Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi My Rating: 5 / 5 Goodreads Review Synopsis: 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. (source)
And blood and tears and screams did not matter anymore, because at least they are together.
Part II of the creative and entertaining sci-fi trilogy, Gemina, does not disappoint. This time, unlike in Illuminae, which features Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, Gemina follows the story of soldier in training, Hanna Donnelly, and her bad boy/drug dealer from the House of Knives, Nik Malikov.
First, let’s make it clear that spoiled, self-entitled Hanna is not overly happy to be at Heimdall. In fact, she finds it to be an insanely boring place. Hanna is the type of girl to spend all her time sexting her boyfriend, buying overpriced jumpsuits (i.e. Terra Day party) and endlessly taunting Nik.
Raised by his family of criminals, Nik is your average easy-going, cocky and resourceful bad boy that you can’t help but love. Not to mention that, from the start, he’s made it obvious that he has a thing for Hanna.
In the beginning of the book, Hanna can appear to be so bratty and self-centered, that you can’t help but dislike her… But there is more to this little bumblebee than you think. Raised only by father, the station commander, Hanna has been prepared and trained for the battlefield, and able to quote figures in history, such as Sun Tzu, Napoleon and the Bhagavad Gita. Less than halfway through, this kickass girl managed to grow on me.
Nik, however, I loved from the very beginning. He’s cocky, has that bad boy charm, and almost always making sly innuendo. And you’ll notice early on that he’ll do practically anything for Hanna, which shows that he wears his heart on his sleeve. It’s impossible to hate him.
Which then leads us to BeiTech, who DOES NOT want their evil nature to be exposed. At the Terra Day celebration, a highly trained elite force sent by BeiTech, the corporation that attacked the mining colony, are going to make sure no one on Heimdall survives Hypatia‘s arrival.
From there we meet a team of assassins, who were dispatched onto the space station by Leanne Frobisher herself, and led by a psychopath who finds bliss in chaos. Their mission is to take over the space station during the Terra Day festivities, and murder everyone on Heimdall. Then once Hypatia arrives, kill everyone on Hypatia. (This includes Kady and Ezra, who are on board Hypatia.)
The first part of their plan goes just as well as they expected: BeiTech manages to take total control of Heimdall, and kill a bunch of people in the process.
But as protagonists often do, Hanna and Nik avoid all of this, and suddenly find themselves as rogues, along with Nik’s cousin Ella (a computer extraordinaire), trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Together they try to retake command of the ship and rescue the other survivors.
I cannot help but wonder
If the thought of saving all those lives and hopes and dreams
Pales in comparison
To the thought of seeing him again.
Gemina has a wicked sense of humor that I couldn’t help but love. The best example of this is when malware infects the station’s computer system so that a raunchy pop song is CONSTANTLY playing. The characters could be in an elevator, the middle of a gunfight, or being attacked by mutant eels, when all of a sudden they hear I Wanna Lick Ya (Lollipop) by Lexi Blue playing.
There are more twists and turns in this book than you can keep track of. It’s compelling, entertaining, and incredibly good. I’d even say that Gemina is my favorite sci-fi read of 2016.
So on the very last page, when a characters asks, “You wanna know how it ends?” I didn’t hesitate to answer, “Yes.”
* disclaimer: I received this book for free (as an ARC)