Blog Tour Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffGemina by Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Knopf BFYR on October 18, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Romance
Pages: 672
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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five-stars

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller 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.

At this point, I’m going to sound like a broken record talking about how ridiculously on point and amazing Jay Kristoff’s books are, but I’m going to keep spinning on about it because it keeps being true. I’ve read every book he’s written (at least the ones out in print or ARC form), and I have yet to not love a single one. The Lotus War trilogy is total perfection and Nevernight was slow to build, but oh so fabulously dark and wonderful once it got going. Kristoff and Kaufman make such a perfect writing duo, bringing romance, impeccable plotting, and non-stop banter in The Illuminae Files. Gemina‘s every bit as boss as Illuminae.

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For those of you who are like me and not blessed with great memories, don’t worry. Kristoff and Kaufman do a great job catching you up on the relevant details from Illuminae all without doing any clunky infodumps on the past. Kristoff did a great job with this in The Lotus War too, so I think he likes to help his readers out as much as possible. If you can read Illuminae first, well, that’s awesome because that book is fab, but if you can’t you won’t be lost in space.

The pace in Gemina is absurdly fast and constant. You don’t have to get too far into this monster doorstop of a book before people start dying gruesomely. (If you’ve read any Kristoff books before, you will not be remotely surprised to hear that, but somehow it never gets less painful.) Shit has already hit the fan 100 pages in, and the shit just keeps falling to the ground for the rest of the book. Not a pretty metaphor, but an apt one no doubt.

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My one worry about Gemina, if I could be said to have any at all, was sadness that Kady and Ezra weren’t the MCs. Instead, there’s a new ship on board this ship, and man does tumblr speak get more confusing when you’re talking about something set in space.

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Hanna and Nik are fabulous and won me over basically immediately, with their banter. Nik’s from the wrong side of the gravrail tracks, born into a crime family and covered in tats from serving time in prison. Hanna’s the spoiled commander’s daughter who buys drugs from him. It’s not really hate to love since he’s totally besotted with her (aka Little Nik’s in charge, as his cousin Ella likes to say), but it’s close to it. Hanna finds him hot but irritating, especially since she’s got the perfect on paper boyfriend in Jackson Merrick.

I can’t say I ship them quite as much as Kady and Ezra, but I was very invested in them. While I don’t know if I see them lasting forever, they have a great dynamic here. They certainly depend on each other in tough situations in a way that bodes well, unlike Jackson who’s constantly trying to convince Hanna to play it safe. Also, for any 100 fans, Hanna and Nik are so very much Bellarke that you’re not going to be able to resist wanting them to hug and kiss and you know whatever. After they save the day like bosses (hopefully). And, while Hanna’s a spoiled princess, she’s been trained in combat and strategy, so everything’s really believable.

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In a really amazing book, though, it’s not just the MCs that you care deeply about. I’d basically do anything I could to protect Nik’s cousin Ella, who’s wheelchair-bound and dependent on an oxygen supply to live after a plague nearly took her life. She is such a fucking BAMF, who decided to become a genius hacker. She has major Edward vibes (Cowboy Bebop), and I love her so fucking much. There’s also the crew aboard the Hypatia, heading towards their deaths, who of course are my precious darlings from Illuminae. And Kady’s adorably nerdy dad’s here too.

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It’s amazing how Kaufman and Kristoff keep you laughing and also holding your breath and your heart in your throat for like 600 pages. There are so many things going wrong. Sure, there’s the invading BeiTech force, but most terrifying award goes to the alien teeth worm things. *shudders* Basically everyone you love is in constant danger at all times, and you super cannot rely on Kristoff and Kaufman not to murder them all in absolutely horrible ways. Kaufman and Kristoff are vicious and not to be trusted is what I’m saying.

The plot’s mind-blowingly intricate and scientific. Like, I don’t understand the Gemina stuff mostly. Enough that I get what happened on a large scale, but I think you’d have to be pretty fucking brilliant at science to understand much more of it. What I do know is that it totally worked for me and I could not put this book down. Seriously I read almost all of this book in one day, constantly on tenterhooks, and praying to the muses for my babies to make it through relatively unharmed (no one comes out of a Kristoff book unharmed ever so you know keep your wishes reasonable).

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I need The Illuminae Files #3 with a fierceness. I need to see all of my babies again and I need Frobisher to GO DOWN. The wait for the third book is almost as cruel as the authors are to their characters.

Favorite Quote:

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Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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