Monday, October 24, 2016

ARC Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Series: Illuminae Files #2
Written by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published: October 20, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

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 saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s 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 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 may 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

This book was so good! So good! Illuminae was one of the most creative and compelling books I read last year and I couldn't wait for it's follow up. And seriously, Gemina was just as amazing. It's such a unique, interesting, and engrossing read with a fantastic Sci-Fi setting and great characters,

For one thing, the format of these books are so amazing. Gemina is once again told in an epistolary format with hacked documents, IMs, diary entries, pictures, etc. That was one of my favorite things about Illuminae and it once again made for an amazing book here. It makes for such an interesting reading experience, too. I absolutely love this format and for a story like Gemina and the Illuminae files it works so well. It's a very complex book with a lot of moving parts and different things happening and this way you get the whole feel and understand it all better.

But I didn't just read this book. I also listened to the audio. You want a holistic and immersive way to experience this book, listen to the audio while flipping through the book. The audio is seriously brilliant. It has a full cast, sound effects, and two of my all-time favorite narrators. It was amazing and added so much feel and flavor to this already unique book.

But the plot of this book is just as unique and interesting. There is seriously so much to the plot of this book, it's intense. Every time I thought things couldn't possible get more complicated, they got more complicated. There are so many amazing science fiction elements all working together here and they all come together in a totally gripping ending that had me on the edge of my seat, surprised, confused, and totally really. It was amazing. I'm such a plot driven reader and this one was absolutely fantastic from the plot side of things.

The characters too were fantastic. There are a lot of characters and they were all great. The epistolary format means that we get in the head of each of them and see the book from the perspective. It really helps with characterization and makes for a well-rounded book. I really liked both of the main characters of Hanna and Nik. They both very easily could have been cliches, her a kickass female protagonist and him a bad boy with a heart of gold, and neither of them were. They were complex and easy to root for. Plus their banter was top notch.

There were also all kinds of fantastic secondary characters. My personal favorite was Nik's cousin Ella who was hilarious and an amazing hacker. I loved her sass so much. I also really liked Hanna's boyfriend Jax who was narrated by Steve West and was surprisingly complex. And if you are wondering if the characters from Illuminae make a cameo, they do. But all the characters here were amazing and interesting, even the villains.

On the whole, Gemina is as fantastic as I was hoping it would be. It's a unique and interesting book in every way, from the format, to the plot, to the world, to the characters. I really loved the way that this series is developing and I cannot wait to see how it all ends. It's going to be fantastic, I can already tell.

I give Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! Without a doubt you need to buy this book. If you loved Illuminae you will not be disappointed by Gemina. Whether you are a fan of hard SciFi or are just looking for a different kind of read with an interesting format I would definitely recommend this book. And if you are an audiobook fan, seriously listen while you flip through the pages. It sounds weird and clunky but trust me it's the best way to experience this book.

Have you read Gemina? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I’m glad you loved it. I liked Illuminae and need this book in my life.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Read the ARC, loved it, I'm now reading the finished hardcover and will be getting the audio too!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I read the ARC also and didn't like it as much as Illuminae but still thought it was a fun book. Great review :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds