Official Synopsis from Amazon: 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.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Setting: Aboard the Jump Station Heimdall, floating through space
My copy came from: I borrowed the hardback from my local library. I walked in, this was staring at me from the shelf, so I decided now would be the time to read it!
Review: Entertaining, but the format is problematic for character development. Gemina takes us back into the world of science fiction, space stations, teens who save the world, and this time creepy alien creatures who eat people alive. Gemina is the sequel to Illuminae, which was alright to me, I didn’t love it and didn’t hate it, and I feel much the same about Gemina.
With the story being told through surveillance video recaps, instant messages, radio communications, and drawings, the format is unique, but the format also keeps the story from having fully formed characters. Since we never actually get to read what the characters are thinking, there’s a wall built between the reader and the characters, and this downside to the format is more apparent in Gemina than it was in Illuminae.
While Illuminae mainly focused on human characters Kady and Ezra, and a fabulous computer named AIDAN, Gemina shifts focus to new characters Hanna and Nik. Hanna is the teenage daughter of the captain, and Nik is the bad boy with a heart of gold. I liked both Hanna and Nik; they were each opinionated and funny, and some of their interactions and scenes I really enjoyed. But, I still don’t feel like I know either of the characters, and Gemina is 659 pages long. This is a problem.
AIDAN appears here briefly, and while he stole the show in Illuminae, here he feels thrown in to give some life into the book. Another issue I had was that the authors use the “dead but not dead” plot device far too many times here. When you pull that stunt multiple times within a book, it makes death meaningless. Ok, the first time, fine you got me. But multiple times later? I no longer care.
And besides the lack of characterization, I also had problems with the formatting. Some of the pages have dark grey print on black paper. This is impossible to read, or maybe this had to do with reading it in hardback vs digital. Perhaps the digital version is easier for this formatting. My hardback copy wasn’t very clearly printed, and much of the text appeared blurry, especially those utilizing the different colors (ie, white text on black paper, dark grey text on black paper). There were also some issues with the binding of the book, where the swirly text would be too close to the center binding, and therefore impossible to read. I don’t feel that the spine of a book should ever have to be broken in order for you to read the book, so this was an execution error, and one that should’ve been caught prior to book production.
Despite my issues with the characterization and the formatting, I did enjoy the story of a Jump Station taken over by space pirates (!), wormholes and different dimensions, and space critters going after people. I’ll go on to read book three when it is released, and I hope that the story brings all the characters that we know together.
Bottom Line: Full of adventure, but lacks in character development.
And here’s a link to my mini review of Illuminae
Have you read Gemina? What about Illuminae? Are you looking forward to book three? Do you trust AIDAN?