Book Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff and Marie Lu (Illustrator)
ashley | I find that because I read so much, it really takes a lot for a book to stick with me, to have that long lasting impression that, by the time I pick up the next installment in the series, I still remember everything from the first book very vividly. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff had that lasting impression. It was such an exhilarating and unique read that I still think of it often. I couldn’t wait until the followup, Gemina came out so I could continue this epic space war adventure.
Once again Kaufman and Kristoff managed to take another unique and exhilarating approach to their writing. While the second book took place in the same world with the same threats, it focused on a new set of characters housed in the home base of Jump Station Heimdall, where the characters from the first book were supposed to be heading. The story was told much in the same way, through confidential documents, video transcripts, chat message transcripts etc, and again, the concept was really strong and made this much more than just a sci-fi book.
Character wise, we were introduced to two new leads, Hannah and Nic, and an underground world of drugs hidden in the shadows of the Jump Station. Hannah is the daughter of the station’s Captain and frankly, acting out in that rebellious teenage daughter way. Nic is her drug dealer, and while they have rather flirtatious interactions, their relationship is purely platonic, as Hannah’s affections are geared more towards the handsome Jackson.
It took a little while for Hannah to grow on me. That rebellious daughter thing, I found it kind of annoying and how she acted like she owned the ship caused some eye rolls here and there, but when it came to seeing her in action, witnessing her up against the band of BeiTech assailants, well any character doubts I initially had went right out the airlock. Hannah was bad ass.
I also found the kind of sarcastic, narcissistic communication between everyone during a time of crisis a bit odd and out of place, but it did at least keep the text interesting and not just panicked conversation through the whole thing, so it still kind of worked.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this installment, beyond the awesome way it was presented, these twists kept me on my toes. The best part, however, was the discovery of what Gemina is in this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but it is definitely one of my favourite things to read about and it was done really well in this story, and even better in the way the creative in the text showed it happening. That’s vague, but it’s honestly something you need to experience by reading the book to really have your mind blown, like I did. There was so much perfection here, I loved it.
Of course, things don’t wrap up all nicely and we’re left waiting to hear how everything actually came together. I have a feeling this next book is going to expand a lot more on the awesome I-can’t-mention-too-much-about-it concept, so I certainly can’t wait to get my hands on it. This series is by far one of the coolest sci-fi series I’ve read and I would recommend it time and time again to anyone that crosses my path.