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Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


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 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.

My thoughts

Illuminae was one of my favorite books of 2015. It was exciting, it was unique and had characters I cared about, including the most amazing, evil and sassy AI I had ever come across. Needless to say, my expectations for Gemina went through the roof… and came back down hard. Where Illuminae was creative, Gemina just seemed like a lesser copy and didn’t come close to how much I enjoyed Illuminae.

A part of my problem with Gemina was the format which was amazing in Illuminae but not so anymore in Gemina. It wasn’t so much that it was less exciting because it’s not a new thing anymore. In Gemina, Amie and Jay didn’t use the format as well as they did in Illuminae. In the first book every single document was part of the narrative, told its part of the story, and there was a wide variety of different documents. In Gemina quite a few documents just seemed like extras no one really needs and they used fewer formats, making use of the video footage description to often this time, which was a lot like reading a regular book.

On top of that there are the characters, which could have saved me from being so disappointed. Illuminae’s main characters were GREAT, so what could possibly go wrong in the second book. Well, apparently a lot. I did not like these characters, at all. I didn’t care about them a single bit. The only emotions I had towards them was annoyance. The way the talked in their chats wasn’t for me and there wasn’t really any depth to them. Instead they seemed like walking cliches to me and the romance didn’t help either.

What bothered me the most about Gemina is that it follows the VERY SAME pattern as Illuminae. If you strip it down to it’s core, it’s really the same story, only less good. The whole thing was highly predictable, I saw THE big plot twist coming from miles away and it annoyed me to no end while reading the parts leading up to it. I’m usually not someone who thinks predictability makes a bad story, but in this case it did because it showed its utter lack of creativity.
At least action wise it did hold up. Reminding of Die Hard, there was always something going on and it was rather fast paced so that I flew through the book and didn’t necessarily feel like not finishing it at all.

It seems that with Gemina, every single thing that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. I didn’t like the characters, the writing, especially the format, wasn’t anything special anymore and the overall plot was lacking anything new and was just another go at the same story we already saw happening in Illuminae.
Illuminae is still a favorite of mine so that Gemina was all the more disappointing. I wish the authors would have shown more creativity but what we got didn’t work for me at all.

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  • I totally, totally understand your point! I felt the same way most of the time! Like, why the characters were lacking something compared to the characters in IL and riiiiiiight, the plot is kind of the same. Nik kind of sounded like Ezra if you have noticed! I chose to love Gemina tho haha like, there were still parts that blew me away!

  • Aww…I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. :( It’s always hard not enjoying a popular book everyone else loves. Nevertheless, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and, as always, fabulous review! <3

Jan 16, 2017