Here it is, the sequel to Illuminae – the book that had me dusted and broken into a million stars.
Holy heck, what did I just read?
Hands down this is the perfect sequel, and it was just as good as Illuminae. Kristoff and Kaufman have outdone themselves with their masterful words and fantastic story. It’s 2575, and they delivered everything I could have asked for: a rapid-fire thrilling adventure featuring the perfect amount of sass, wormholes, a lethal BeiTech team, ingenuity and alien-esque creatures that’ll haunt your dreams. This is a page turner, a masterpiece of young adult science fiction.
The events of Gemina unfold five minutes after the end of Illuminae and this time, we follow Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malinov. Sequels with fresh characters are a new thing for me to be adjusted to, and it was initially hard to form an attachment to the pair; however, they grow on you so easily. Their dynamic is so much fun. At first, Hanna, who is dating the super hot Jackson Merrick, seems entitled because of her dad’s position as Heimdall’s commander, and Nik is her shady af drug dealer who lowkey flirts with her no matter what. It’s honestly a match made in the stars as we watch their character development unfold and explode like a supernova, fighting to prove their worth as they band together to save their space station.
The characters were genuine, flawed and incredibly entertaining.
The pampered princess Hanna Donnelly is actually a freaking badass with a sharp strategic mind, thanks to years of playing games with her dad, and a body honed for battle. I enjoyed discovering her wicked sense of humour and bravery. She’s fierce, understands what she has to do and doesn’t stop fighting. On the other hand, Nik is from a completely different world. He’s a powerful member of the House of Knives and has done jail time, but he isn’t as tough despite making himself out to be. He’s protective and comforting, a total contrast to Hanna’s fearlessness. I loved was finding out Nik’s backstory and the reasons behind the way he acts (and trust me, you will too).
I enjoyed discovering Nik’s cousin, Ella, who acts as the binding glue of the trio. Her snarky personality, playful teasing and tech skills made her so entertaining. What’s brilliant about Gemina is the characters are diverse, flawed and in this dystopian world, they’re authentic. As Heimdall starts to fall into ruin, and as our trio slowly grow more fragile, you love them so much more. The feels throughout this book were too real. I’m hurting.
The alien threat wasn’t as big as the villainous squad that has invaded Heimdall.
Illuminae‘s major plot point was the Phobos virus, and while Gemina has the threat of the Lamina creatures, there was less emphasis on them. The real danger was the strike team who are cold-blooded, merciless, and their leader scared the hell out of me. With photos, names and call signs of each of the members, it was cool to get to know the enemy as they were slowly eliminated by our dynamic duo. However, I do wish there had been more on Falk and his team as I feel like they would have had an interesting backstory.
The plot twists are, for lack of a better phrase, freaking insane.
My mind was reeling and my heart was in my throat the whole time I was reading this. Kristoff and Kaufman really know how to keep you on your toes from one heartbreak to another, leading you blindly to a hope that seems impossible yet so plausible. The science and theories put into the story were mind boggling, yet so satisfying and brilliantly written.
I loved the subtle references to Illuminae and the fact we got to see Kady’s father, Issac, in action. Also, a shoutout to AIDAN for being the most incredibly sassy AI I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. As my favourite character in the Illuminae Files, it was good to see him back in action. Overall, it was a thrill to read about a different part of the universe and yet feel so familiar with it all.
I fell in love with the style of writing and incredible illustrations all over again.
Marie Lu does a fantastic job at illustrating the highlights of the novel. Much like its predecessor, Gemina requires an unconventional reading method sometimes: upside down reading as the space station flips through space, mirrored text as wormholes and multiverse theories go flying about. The depth and detail on science and theories and plot twists highlights the time and effort put into this book, and it paid off. Between the three of them, they make a perfect team.
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.
Of course this gets a 5/5 because there is nothing I can criticise about it. I am absolutely in love with this series and am aching for the third book!
Let’s chat! What were your thoughts on Gemina? What was your favourite plot twist? Who made you cry the most?
You can also check out my review on Illuminae here. ✌🏼️
Until next time!