Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) – Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

After my unfounded apprehensiveness in picking up the acclaimed YA Sci-fi ‘Illuminae Files’ series, I figured it was about time to continue my journey into deep space by picking up Illuminae’s sequel, Gemina.

Did Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) live up to my expectations for the sequel that needed to follow Illuminae? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

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29236299Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 20, 2015)

Print Length: 659 pages

Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins

Narrator: Carla Corvo, Steve West, P.J. Ochlan, full cast

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.

The Review

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) is an out-of-this-world, action packed sequel that kept me breathless up until the very end.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) is the sci-fi tale of teens Hanna Donnely, daughter of the jump station Heimdall’s Commander, and Niklas Malikov, a drug dealing House of Knives gang member. When a strike team begins to take over the jump station, killing everyone who gets in their way, the two teens must ally with one another in order to save themselves and their home.

As with Illuminae, Gemina is a fast-paced, page turning drama told through a series of briefing notes, email communications, charts, transcribed video footage, system notes et cetera. The differences come in the fact that instead of fighting a crazed AI and a deadly virus, the characters of Gemina are up against a band of mercenaries and four-headed snakes. This time around, I chose instead to listen to the story via audiobook and I must say, the change in format did not disappoint. With a full cast, I was really able to differentiate and appreciate each individual character. Also, the audiobook came chalk full of sound effects, making the experience more immersive. Finally, because of the format, and my choice to listen to the audiobook, it didn’t feel like I was going through a 659 page book.

I have to admit, I was hesitant to read this sequel, given the fact that it is actually a companion novel. I had come o form some really strong connections with the characters of Illuminae, so to think of reading from some other character’s perspective was quite daunting. However, I think I enjoyed Hanna Donnely more than Kady. The Commander’s daughter, Hanna is a world class strategist who more than physically capable of taking care of herself against the BeiTech strike team. Of course, because she is the daughter of a high ranking officer she does use this to her advantage at the beginning of the novel, making her more than unlikable. But as any well written character does, Hanna goes through a series of trails and tribulations that change her character for the better. As with Illuminae our main girl cannot get on without the help of a boy, and in Gemina’s case his name is Nik Malikov. A member of an infamous crime family, Nik is the picturesque bad-boy who through out the novel is revealed to be a softy with a heart of gold. Both characters are awesome on their own, just as they are together, but my hands down favourite chacter of the novel was Nik’s cyber savvy cousin, Ella. She was quick witted and chose not to accept people’s pity for the things, both mental and physical, that plagued her.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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And those are my thoughts on Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Have any YA sci-fi book recommendation? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.



  1. LiteraryOwlDesigns

    Great review! I still haven’t decided if I want to read this one. I hear so many great things but I’m not sure if the writing style is for me 😦


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