[ARC Review] Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

gemina review 2

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”

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.

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 fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Gemina while attending The BookCon in Chicago this year. Penguin Randomhouse had this thing called “First in Line” where, as the title implies, the first 300 people in line received 5 ARCs including this one (if you chose it) and also got to have it autographed! My BFF Nicole and I skipped standing in line for all the other autographs (you had to stand in line to get a wristband for each author you wanted an autograph from) in the hopes that we could make it to this booth to receive a copy of Gemina. Nicole had been saying for the last few weeks that as long as she got a copy of this book, the day would be a success.

Well, due to some miscommunication and general confusion by The BookCon staff, it was looking like we may not get there in time. I grabbed Nicole’s hand and used our shortness to our advantage (it’s easy to weave between people when you’re little). We got in line at the booth and thought for sure we were too late. A woman was coming around with a stack of tickets and if you got one, that meant you made it. Watching that stack dwindle down was completely nerve-wracking. We ended up being two of the last TEN PEOPLE to get these tickets! You have no idea what a relief that was! Then we stood in line for an hour and a half to receive our books and to get Gemina signed. WORTH IT.


Now, on to the part you actually care about – THE REVIEW (spoiler-free, obvi).

When I finished this book, I wrote one line on Goodreads. Here it is:

“I just… I can’t even.. what are words?”

That review still stands, IMO. Gemina is just as good as Illuminae which I never thought would be possible. It focuses on two new characters, Hanna and Nik and is located on Jumpstation Heimdall (where Kady’s father is stationed, if you recall). There’s no virus this time, but new scary creatures which I will not describe because that would ruin the fun.

Gemina follows the same structure as Illuminae – it’s written in the form of IM conversations, security footage, drawings, etc. Unfortunately the drawings were not complete for the ARC (there were placeholders that said “image to come” or “map to come”), and while I could still follow what was happening, a little bit of the magic was lost.

There were so many plot twists that I can honestly say I didn’t see coming which I find really rare these days. Gemina does not do what you expect it to do and I found myself laughing, crying, practically throwing the book, and texting Nicole furiously as I read because she finished it before I did.

Hanna is the daughter of the station’s captain who has been receiving self-defense training all her life and Nik is the son of a crime lord (and also happens to be Hanna’s drug dealer). When a group of BeiTech employees invade the station intent on erasing all evidence of the Kerenza attacks (ahem.. evidence meaning people), Hanna and Nik find themselves thrust into the middle of the fight.

While I feel so incredibly lucky to have received a copy of this book early, I’m now dying inside because the third book is so far away. I will be purchasing Gemina as soon as it officially hits shelves and I HIGHLY recommend that you do the same. This series is just so, so good you guys.



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