Gemina Book Review

geminaTitle: Gemina
Series: Illuminae Files #2
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Illustrator: Marie Lu
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction
Pages: 659
Format: Hardcover

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 Illuminaecontinues 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.

Guys.

Guys.

I LOVED this sequel. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick it up because I remember loving the first book so much that I couldn’t wait for this one to come out.

Well, here I am, sobbing into the void that is Gemina because wow, was it amazing. As this is a sequel there might be minor spoilers, but I’ll give you my general thoughts about a few things, but just know that you should definitely read this book to find out all of the things that happen!

Okay, let’s talk about the aesthetics of the book before I jump into anything else. Like the first book, Illuminae, Gemina‘s pages were filled with files and chats and pictures that encompassed the story from different points of view, and I think that that really helps you to get into the story. Seriously, the format with which the pages are in just bring this storytelling to a whole new level. I especially loved toward the end of the book the dual perspectives. That’s all I’m going to say about that because I thought it was SO cool and very well done.

Now, for the main characters we have Hanna, the Commander’s daughter, the “Princess” of the ship, if you will, and Nik, a criminal who lives with a family of criminals. Hanna, I thought, was actually not like I was expecting her to be as the story progressed. I was expecting a sex-driven, gets-what-she-wants, piss-poor attitude of a girl, but instead what I got was a sassy, funny, strong, unafraid-to-kick-ass girl with military and martial arts training, who did have a sex drive, but it wasn’t the focal point of her character. Many times I was surprised by her wit and comebacks and I loved that about her. As the story progressed, I could see her struggle with the situation unfolding around her, but that never stopped her from trying to do what needed to be done.

Nik was also not what I was expecting, either. Yeah, he was kind of a smartass like I was expecting, but even through his sexual flirting he had a heart of gold, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love that in the “bad boy?” I wasn’t as surprised with his character and his development, but I still found that his family-oriented pride was really in the right place, and that he was willing to do anything for those that he deemed family or those he deemed close.

There were also important side characters, too, such as Dr. Grant, Ella, Jackson, and the BeiTech SpecOps people, and I found each of their character unique and compelling and hiding so many facets that I wanted to see uncovered throughout the story – especially those of Ella and Jackson, and I was not disappointed.

Ella, especially, was my favorite side character. She’s a 15-year-old hacker genius who was disabled due to a plague, but her dad spent a fortune on the best medicine and medical treatment he could to save her (she’s Nik’s cousin, so the family thing is also on her side). She’s super sassy and smart and so not putting up with anyone’s bullshit when it comes down to it, and I love that about her.

The story was action packed from pretty much beginning to end. Not only were there human threats and space-type threats, but there were also parasitic threats. Like. Creepy parasitic threats that will give you the creeps kind. Honestly, I thought that was a nice touch and really expanded upon this being a science fiction novel. Plus the way they were written was believable for the setting that they were in, which I thought really sold it. They also just added to the atmosphere of “oh shit we really need to save these people now.”

We get some surprises throughout the story that I had to dig into my memory banks to remember because it’s been forever and a day since I read Illuminae, but OMG THE PLOT TWISTS. When I read certain scenes, I felt myself confused and trying to click what exactly happened when I read it, and then something happened later and it clicked and I was mind blown. Seriously. This book had so many twists and turns, and I’m usually pretty good at catching onto those things early on in books, but this one? Not so much, which I thought was executed really well.

I was on the edge of my seat reading this book to the point where when I reached a certain scene in the book, I literally couldn’t stop reading. I finished this in practically one day and I have no regrets about it. It was fast paced, heart wrenching, mind blowing, fun, and there is so much to look forward to in the final book of this trilogy that I cannot wait to start reading it.

Overall, I highly recommend this second book and I rate it 5/5 stars.

August 2014 Book Haul

It’s been a while since I did a post, but I wanted to update with a book haul!

So my birthday was on the 18th and I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Of course I had to go buy some books (I don’t have a book buying problem, what’re you talking about?). I got nine books in this haul, so let me talk a little bit about them:

  1. Legend” by Marie Lu – This books sounds like it’s a dystopian type of novel mixed with romance, action, and adventure. I’ve heard many good things about it, and can’t wait to read it.
  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black – This book also sounds like a type of dystopian and it’s about a girl, Tana, who lives in a world with monsters and humans fighting for survival. She wakes up one day to find many dead people and has to help her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious boy survive Coldtown. Sounds pretty cool, right?
  3. Dream Boy” by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg – This book has an interesting premise of a girl who’s dreams become reality and how her “dream guy” suddenly walks into class one day, but she soon discovers that some dreams turn into nightmares (dun dun dunnnn!). Sounds really interesting and exciting.
  4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight” by Jennifer E. Smith – I’ve heard many great things about this book and I needed a light read, too. It’s about a girl who gets stuck at the airport on her way to her father’s second wedding in London when she meets this boy who’s also stuck at the airport. It’s a romance novel for sure and it sounds really cute.
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs – This books sounds all kinds of creepy and interesting and would definitely be a good Halloween book to read. I’ve seen it around for years and finally picked it up. It’s about a boy who visits a remote island of the coast of Wales and he’s heard about the Home and how the children there were peculiar; he actually finds that they might have been dangerous and secluded for that reason. Sounds creepy. I like it.
  6. Six Months Later” by Natalie D. Richards – The cover is what drew me to this book and I’m really curious to see how it turns out. It’s about a girl who falls asleep in study hall during May and wakes up during December when there’s snow on the ground and she can’t remember the past six months at all. There are many things going on that don’t make sense in her life and she’s trying to find out the truth – which might be dangerous if she does.
  7. The Beginning of Everything” by Robyn Schneider – This book sounds like a fun, mostly lighthearted read of a guy who just doesn’t have much luck and of the girl he meets and falls in love with. Another good romance novel? I hope so.
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews – I love the cover of this book, for sure. It’s about two friends who share the common interest of film making together, and about a girl with cancer whom they meet their senior year of high school. Sounds interesting and I can’t wait to read it.
  9. Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi – First off, the cover is gorgeous (not the one on Goodreads). Second, the premise of the book sounds cool with how the main character’s touch can potentially kill people. She’s being watched by something called The Reestablishment, but she has plans of her own.

So, nine more books to add to my TBR pile, yay! But they all seem interesting and cool and I can’t wait to read them.

Accompanying video: August 2014 Book Haul

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books and what you thought about them!