Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Posted October 12, 2016 by Sara | Novel Novice 1 Comment

Book-Reviews-YA

Today’s review is part of the official blog tour for GEMINA by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

geminaMoving 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.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I was a huge fan of Illuminae, so of course Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff was high on my wishlist for books this year. And I am thrilled to report that it did not disappoint. Banish any worries about the hype, about the “sequel syndrome,” or any other fears you may have. Gemina is an out-of-this-world, rock star wild ride of a book. Here’s what I loved about it:

1. Even more creativity. As much as Illuminae pushed the boundaries of storytelling format, Gemina finds new ways to creatively tell a story. Yes, we see more of the same kinds of found documents that made up the story of the first book — but Kaufman and Kristoff found yet new pieces to intersperse throughout this second volume. The result is a format that feels both cohesive with the first book, and yet still fresh and new and not just the same trick repeated for effect.

2 .Delightful new characters. I admit, at first I was a little worried that Gemina focuses on two new main characters. What about Ezra and Kady? What about their story? It seemed like they had so much more to tell! Well, they do — but we can’t get there until we’ve met Hanna and Nik. Like me, you will fall in love with these new characters immediately — and their journey will eventually loop you back to Ezra and Kady. But their story is compelling even without that as the dangling carrot. They are funny and sweet and endearing and my god, what Hanna can do in (and out of) a designer jumpsuit. That girl is my hero.

3. A dose of organized crime. Okay, this sort of ties in with what I loved about Nik as a character — but any regular here at Novel Novice knows that perhaps the #1 thing I love most in my young adult books is organized crime. Any YA novel that ties in organized crime has my heart forever, and I LOVED the way Kaufman and Kristoff incorporated this futuristic version of the Russian mob into the plot of Gemina. It’s not the main focus of the story, but it certainly plays a fascinating, key component.

4. Non-stop intrigue. I mean, that phrase – “non-stop intrigue” – sounds pretty cheesy, like something out of a generic action movie. But oh man! It’s so true of Gemina. I mean, this really is a roller coaster of a book — and it just goes and goes and goes. Every time I though, hey, I’ll stop reading after this section and go to sleep, NOPE. PLOT TWIST. CLIFFHANGER. TOO MUCH HAPPENING TO STOP. It makes this 650+ page tome fly by, and goodness, if it isn’t an exhilarating ride.

5. It’s just so darn good. I don’t know what else to say other than this series continues to amaze and impress me. Illuminae was a ground-breaking and genuinely fresh new take on storytelling, and Gemina continues that legacy in expert form. Look for it in stores October 18th.

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Sara | Novel Novice
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