GEMINA by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Updated: Jul 13
Another five stars for the dynamic duo of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! While this one is a lot different than the first one, Illuminae, it is still a spectacular read. In fact, it's so good that I went ahead and ordered the hardback editions of the entirety of The Illuminae Files, despite not having read Obsidio yet. I'm simply assuming at this point that it'll be a five star, or at least a four star, read.
Fun little tidbit time! When I ordered the three books in hardback, Gemina actually came as a misprint! The entire book was printed upside down. I was going to return it, but then people told me that misprints are rare and, well, now it's on my shelf! Waste not want not, I suppose.
Just like in the first book and in the novella, this book is told entirely in a document format. There were a lot more video transcripts this time (basically a narrator of the events happening "on-screen") because there was a lot that couldn't be shown via instant messages. But that was fine because the narrator of the videos was hilarious. While we do not know who the narrator (otherwise known as an Analyst ID) is and therefore I do not include them in the character list, they really are a character in themselves.
Instead of focusing on the fleeing survivors from the attack on Kerenza as the first book did, Gemina focuses on Jump Station Heimdall, the place that the fleeing survivors aboard the Hypatia are going and where the SOS messages should have been received.
This book focuses on the "clean up" of BeiTech's mistakes - or, at least, the attempted clean up. BeiTech knows it has screwed up at this point and sends in a team to take out Jump Station Heimdall and all the evidence of BeiTech involvement. Luckily for the survivors on Hypatia, the team sent meets with a lot of resistance in the form of our two main characters, Hanna and Nik, and the very important side character, Ella.
Hanna: Hanna Donnelly is the daughter of Jump Station Heimdall's commander in chief. She is spoiled and sometimes can be snooty, but she is also very clever and tough from training in various martial art forms. Hanna is the main main character. I say this because, at one point, we lose sight of Nik, and the story remains fixated on Hanna. Hanna knows how to get the job done. Despite being one of the only voices of resistance on the station and despite the fact that she is often alone, Hanna does not give up. She is determined to save as many people as possible, even if she dies trying.
Nik: Nik Malikov is, at first, Hanna's drug dealer. He is also a reluctant member of a gang organization, the House of Knives, and therefore knows the dark underbelly of Jump Station Heimdall. Nik is pretty much desperately in love with Hanna, and constantly flirts with her. However, despite him being the supposedly typical "bad-boy," he really is a softie at heart. He loves not only Hanna, but also his cousin, Ella, whom he calls "Little Spider." Nik will do anything for his girls, and he goes through so much just to try to keep them safe.
Ella: Ella Malikova is almost a main character, but not quite. That being said, she is definitely my favorite character. Ella, or Pauchok as she goes by online, is the hacker of the group and Nik's cousin. She is shown to not be too fond of Hanna, thinking she is just a spoiled brat, but she is also shown to be willing to look past that and work with her to help save everyone. Ella is the master of sass and cursing and is probably tougher than Nik, who, as I mentioned, is a complete cinnamon roll. Ella may be younger than our main characters, but she also grew up within the House of Knives gang and knows what she's' doing. Especially online.
I feel like this book took a little longer to pick up than Illuminae did. Of course, Illuminae started with the invasion of Kerenza, so that may be a bit hard to top. That being said, once the ball got rolling, it rolled very quickly. These books are very fast-paced overall and a lot happens in a short amount of time.
While different than Illuminae in even characters (though characters from the first book do make an appearance), this book was a joy to read. Many people I've talked to say that Gemina is their favorite book of the trilogy. I can't decide if that's the case with me or not. Either way, Gemina is a great second book that does not suffer from the dreaded sequelitis. I can't wait to dive into the third book, Obsidio!
"I would ay inhuman, but your kind perfected the clockwork of murder long ago."
"She is a child on this battlefield of bone and flesh."