Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffGemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18th 2016
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 659

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 saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s 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 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 may 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.


If you are a fan of sci-fi, crazy action, plot-twists, bad bad guys, kickass, yet totally lovable heroes/heroines and emotional rollercoasters (the good kind) and you haven’t read the Illuminae Files than you need to fix that ASAP. Gemina is the second book is the story, continuing right were Illuminae left off with two new heroes. On the Jump Station Heimdall, there’s a hostile takeover and Hanna and Nik need figure out how to save everyone on board.

Basically this was me about 90% of the time while reading this.

This was one crazy ride of a story and I’m not just talking about the super amazing unique format. Similar to Illuminae, the story is told through emails, IMs, surveillance reports and amazing cool artwork. The story just kept me on my toes, I was never sure what was going to happen next what with an invading strike team, some terrifying parasites and a lot of unknown WTFs. I spent a lot of time going “WHAAAT. NO…WHAAAT?!?!?!”

I loved Hanna and Nik. Hanna started off as self-absorbed commander’s daughter who I thought was kinda useless. But man, that changed quickly when she proved to be a super badass heroine, taking on the BioTech team in a brilliant way. She showed both her intellectual combat skills and amazing martial arts, too. And Nik. Oh adorable, slightly dorky Nik. He’s the rebel-esque Russian mobster who doesn’t really want to be in the business. I loved that he’s the tough guy but at the same time, still a teenage boy trying to flirt with a girl he’s crushing on. He’s so cheeky.

Hanna and Nik were thrown together to work as a team and they have such awesome chemistry. There’s cute and smart-aleck banter, wicked humour from both sides and oh the emotional connection is lovely. I really liked the romance, thought I did feel it played second fiddle to the amazing action.

Oh and I of course I need to talk about our third hero of the story! The amazing, every feisty and extra sassy Ella! She’s Nik’s cousin and an fantastic hacker that basically keeps Hanna and Nik in line. I just adored her snark and I love how she teases Hanna and Nik! There’s also a host of other characters (mostly the baddy’s from BioTech) and some of the guys we love so much from Illuminae to round out the characters.

Overall, this was such a fun read that had my emotions all over the place. I enjoyed the poignant and wonderful story it told of friendships and of family and I was head of over heels for the space action adventure. It also sets up an amazing finale in the last book and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. My heart and brain was very happy.

So much book hangover ;_;

Post Script: I’m struggling deciding whether or not to give this 5 stars. Only because apparently I didn’t give Illuminae 5 stars and I think I liked Illuminae just a teeny-tiny bit more. But yeah. Struggles. Either way, both Iluminae and Gemina are fantastic!

About Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

28 Replies to “Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

  1. Oh nice struggle to have though! 🙂 I really enjoyed Illuminae so I cannot wait to read this one. I was worried it would falter but it sounds like there is another winner in the series.

    1. Definitely a winner! Hope you love Gemina as much (or more) as me!

  2. I am reading Illuminae this month and super excited about it. I have this on my Christmas wishlist so hopefully can get to it in the new year. Great review!!

    1. YAAAY! /confetti I hope you love it a ton!
      Thanks, Grace!

  3. I was so impressed with this story and have had such fun with this series. I am excited to see you are as well. OMG the gifs are awesome!

    1. Agree, impressed and so much fun to read! Thanks, Kim! haha.

  4. I read the first book in the series and hope to get the second one (or least a gift card or two) to get the second one! Great review.

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy it a ton! (Yay for gift cards!)
      Thanks, Terri!

  5. I haven’t read Illuminae yet but I really really need to! Everyone seems to love these books. I need to see what all the fuss is about!

    1. If you enjoy Sci-Fi, this is a must! The format is just so unique and the characters so lovely 🙂 Definitely see what the fuss is all about!

  6. Haha fun review! I loved the gifs. But I love emotional roller coasters so this looks like a fun read. 🙂 ~Aleen

    1. Thanks, Aleen! It was a lot of fun 😀

  7. Ugh this book was wonderful! I think I liked Illuminae more, but I really enjoyed this book. Emotional roller coaster indeed! I didn’t love the fact that Hanna had a boyfriend for more than half the book BUT I like how Kaufman and Kristoff resolved that. The story was so well-written and engaging and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time!

    Great review, Cyn! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I think I liked Illumiae just a little more, too. I was a little worried about the BF but yes, glad they work it out pretty well!
      Thanks, Alyssa!

  8. This sounds fun, just like Illuminae was. I love that it’s on a space station and the craziness continues. Ella sounds great and I like that we see a bit from the BeiTech perspective, although I’m sure they’re all jerks lol. Can’t wait to read it!

    1. It’s still got that crazy sci-fi adventure feel like Illuminae 🙂 Ella is amazing! I hope you love, Greg!

  9. YESSSS the whole time I was reading this I was like WTF OMG MY BRAIN JUST EXPLODED FOR THE THIRD TIME COMING! I just loved both Nik and Hanna and I appreciated the extra narrative here. SOOO GOOD!

    1. RIGHTTTT! I’m so glad this book didn’t disappoint, haha.
      Now book three has be just (or more) amazing and we’re good!

  10. I DO like those things and darn it I’ve NOT read these yet. lol The format sounds pretty neat!

    1. This needs to be rectify ASAP! The format is so unique!

  11. Wait, is book two all new characters? I’m confused, but also delighted at the utter giddiness of your review 🙂 These two are so much fun in person!

    1. It is! It’s like a companion book that continues one from book 1 (but we still get some cameos!).

  12. Totally agree with you on this! I liked Illuminae jusssst a little bit more. But this was still a really solid installment and I did REALLY like the new characters. I definitely liked the romance aspect, and I was okay that it was more in the background, since there was so much happening. Like you, I can’t wait to see what happens next! Great review!!

    1. Agree, definitely a solid installment. Usually I’m all about the romance, but the action was just so good! I hope book three blows us out of the water, haha. Thanks, Shannon!

  13. I am SO EXCITED for this one!! I read Illuminae at the beginning of the year and that is still one of the most action packed books I have read all year. I need to get this one ASAP!

    1. YEEEESSSS! I hope you love it a ton, Cynthia! It’s so much fun 😀

  14. I have heard a lot of great things about these two books, but I still haven’t read them myself yet. I can’t wait to get into reading with this amazing format in the book as well. So glad you could love this one just like the first book in the series!

    1. The hype is worth it! haha. And the format is so unique, definitely worth checking out 😉

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