Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files_02)

geminaRating: 5/5 stars.

Wow. WOW. Just wow. This beautiful, science fiction, files, weirdness was absolutely mind-blowing. Quite literally. I just can not get over how spectacular this is.

Hanna Donnelly thought that she was going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on Jump Station Heimdall bored to death. Niklas Malikov was just doing his job as being part of a notorious crime family. They never guessed that something so catastrophic as twenty-four agents of a deadly BeiTech elite strike team taking over the jump station to happen in such a out of the way place. But it does. And it is up to them to save the station from this strike team which means to destroy it. What they don’t know is that the are dangerous alien predators picking off station members one by one. And that there is a malfunction in the wormhole that could lead to disaster. Or that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are heading their way with news of the Kerenza invasion, with hopes to get through the wormhole. The lives on the Hypatia and on the Heimdall rest in the captain’s pampered daughter and a criminal. If they can’t even trust each other, how is it ever going to be possible for them to save the station?

The characters were great, but it took me a little longer to love them than with the first book’s characters. But once I loved them, I really loved them. Hanna Donnelly is what you think would be a spoiled brat, but she is way tougher than she looks. She trains in a dojo all the time, sometimes with her father. Her father teaches her battle strategies. She can quote from a number of books on war. But in other ways she is spoiled. Like she is the type of person who would spend a ton of money on a new outfit. She faces things that she never had to deal with before. She goes through so much pain. She’s terrified, but she learns to somehow keep her head. Nik has a shaded past, but once it is revealed, it shows so much of his character that you’d never suspect about him. He can shoot a gun expertly, but he is not a normal criminal. He doesn’t want to kill, but he’ll do it if he must no matter how much he hates it. He is so in love with Hanna, though she doesn’t think the same way about him. He cares. It is beautiful how much he cares, though he hides it behind his humor. He is willing to do whatever for those he cares about. He’s brave, much braver than you think.

This book has some sort of epic world building. It is absolutely amazing. If possible, it got even more complex than the last one. The spaceships. The space station, that surrounds a wormhole. The vast complexity of the wormhole. The parallel universes.  This is science fiction to the extreme. In some cases I barely comprehend what is going on, but it is all explained really well. And I just love it so much. But somehow it is realistic and so real and personal. It’s beautiful how it is like that.

The type of writing is some kind of crazy. There’s files, IMs, radio transmissions, emails, surveillance footage summaries, offense reports, autopsy reports, blueprints, and even sketches and drawings from a journal. It is such a unique book. You clearly won’t find this kind of book anywhere else.

You may think all these files and such things would make such a book boring or bland. Like maybe the characters would seem flat. Or the plot slow and boring. But no. These authors have enhanced the intensity, the characters, the plot, and such with this writing. It is so real. And this plot…whoa. It was very intense. A little slow at first, but it picked up speed in no time. And man was I so scared for the precious characters. These authors have no shame about breaking your heart. I actually cried at one point which, in fact, NEVER happens. I’m still in shock over everything that went on. The fight scenes were always so intense. That feeling of being hunted was always there and it made everything feel more dangerous. The plot twists were mind-blowing. MIND-BLOWING I TELL YOU. The deaths were so there. Like the deaths really made you think. They were personal.

Okay, so I will warn you that there is a lot of language. But, seeing as it is files, almost all of the language is blotted out. Most of the stuff that is blotted out you can tell by the setting what it was. There are a very few amount of words that weren’t blotted out. Also, when God’s name is used in vain, it isn’t blotted out. There are also some sexual jokes and references. Besides that, it can be a bit violent which some people may not be able to stomach. It depends on the person.

In conclusion, I have to say that this was an amazing sequel to the first. It lived up to its expectations and was just about as good as the first book. (I may only like the first book a little better, because I fell in love with those characters a little more.) If you love any sort of science fiction, read this series. If you don’t, try it anyway.

-G. Paige