Gemina Review


Title: Gemina

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files (Book Two)

Pages: 659

Summary: Moving to a space station 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 spoiled daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. They couldn’t have less in common. But when a BeiTech assassin team invades the station, they’ll have to figure it out pretty fast.

While the pair are struggling to survive a hit squad, alien predators (yep), and a slightly dangerous wormhole malfunction, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed their way. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone in the known universe is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Belle Rating: C+

Bookworm Rating: B

Overall Rating: B-

Target Audience: Young Adults

Story Notes:

L– This is the second book in The Illuminae Files series. But this time we’re following Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov on the Heimdall. And BeiTech’s latest plan to cover up the mess they made attacking Kerenza.

D – There is a lot going on at the same time in this book (just like the last one) so hopefully we can cover most of everything in a way that makes sense…We begin the story with Hanna and the rest of the residents of the space station preparing for Terra Day (a holiday). Most of everyone has left to go back to their homes/visit family. Hanna is running about getting fancy clothes and hooking up with her drug dealer, Nik, for some dust.

L– Because nothing says likable characters like a drug deal….. Unbeknownst to them, BeiTech is sending in a team to take over the Heimdall. If they can gain control of the station BeiTech can send drones through the wormhole to destroy the Hypatia. Of course, they are being assisted by their “mysterious” spy already at Heimdall.

D – This spy has been keeping the SOS signals from the Hypatia on the down-low so no one knows what’s going on. Anyway, Hanna was on her way to meet Nik for her drugs as the assassination team takes over the station. So of course the two teens are the only ones outside that can do anything to save everyone.

L– Well, them and Ella. But she’s confined to a wheelchair and can’t do a lot of the heavy lifting. But she’s a very good hacker.

D – Oh yeah. She’s very sarcastic. I liked her.

L– Ella is Nik’s cousin and they are both members of a fairly famous crime family. A crime family that has been growing creepy, brain “eating” worm creatures on the station. These wiggly monstrosities are called Lanima, and they are what the drug dust comes from. (There is no way this could go poorly.)

D – Noooooo not at all….brain eating parasites, assassins, a malfunctioning wormhole…makes for a lovely combo.

L– The perfect way to spend a relaxing holiday.

D – Amen!

Writing Style:

L– Like the last book this is set up as a sort of dossier with official documents, messages back and forth, and diary entries. Which is still fun and clever.

D – It is so fun to read. And the thickness of the book may seem intimidating to some people, it is honestly one of the easiest reads ever. You will go through this book like it’s nothing.

L– Yeah, the formatting makes it look longer than it is. And the story is well written so it’s easy to get sucked in.

D – It makes me wish that there were more books like this…I hope they make more of these.

L– Me too. (Dracula has the same sort of “found document” format.)

D – Huh…good to know.


L– I didn’t like the main characters in this one as much as the first one.

D – Yeah…I felt that they were forcing the love interests here…it was acceptable in the first one because they had a history…but I got the feeling that they just tried to make a rehash of the first.

L– Yeah, Hanna and Nik we’re both pretty unpleasant in general for most of the book. I couldn’t really connect with them. Ella wasn’t very sunshiny either, but she had enough sarcasm to pull it off. She was pretty fun and probably my favorite character.

D – I agree. I mean what they did was pretty cool and awesome. But yeah…didn’t really connect with them either. Then again I am a poor poor college student and don’t do drugs sooo….

L– The other thing that bumped my rating down a bit was the Lanima vs the “zombies” from the first book. In the first book there was always this sense of “ahhh, there could be something right around the corner!”. In this one the tension wasn’t there for me. There were moments but the assassins were creepier than brain eating worms…..that feels wrong.

D – I think that the authors bit off more than they could handle.

L– They should have turned the worms loose. That would’ve been creepy. More sneak attack opportunities.

D – More mini heart attacks for me….

L– Yessssssssss

D – I suppose that would’ve been better….just an FYI, I cannot do the scary things…I have the constitution of a pitiful butterfly. Or maybe a possum…I jump/scare very easily.

L– I like the scary, murder stuff.

D – We all know you do. Go back to your corner and read your Agatha Christie’s. And try not to scare too many people with your murder facts.

L– Mwahahaha


D – The writing style, of course. And I’m loving the science in the books. Normally I’m a fantasy/magic kind of girl, but this is amazing.

L– Yeah, the do an excellent job. They are also very good at building up the tension with subtle hints. They really take advantage of the different perspectives to draw you in and make you wonder what’s going on.

D – Yep. I can’t wait to dive into the third one…I’ve already got it…hehehe

L– *sigh* I need more money.

D – Don’t we all…

L– The eternal struggle. Not enough book money.

Final Thoughts:

D – Buy it. Buy it. BUY IT!

L– This whole series is really well written. It has good drama, tension, well thought out characters (even the bad guys!), and the writing is just fun to read. You should definitely give these books a try.

D – Seriously. Get the series already.

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