Review: Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff #YoungDelight

Review: Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff #YoungDelightGemina by Amie Kauffman, Jay Kristoff

Series: #2 Illuminae Files
Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Small Publisher on October 18, 2016
Pages: 672
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars      one-flame

Gemina was a sci-fi powerhouse and the equal of its predecessor in the series.  I expected it to be lesser simply because the wow-factor of the writing style, formatting, and sheer heart-pumping excitement of Illuminae would not be there.

I was wrong.  New setting and characters, but same reaction.  Life went on without me until I finished this one.

Gemina was book two in a series and is one that needs to follow in a row.  It might standalone, but it does flow forward from Illuminae even if much of the book seems to be a separate story path.

The story opens with the population of the Heimdall Jump Station anticipating a big holiday and party.  Many have left for the holiday, but for those that remain, the anticipated holiday has a surprise bang.  A traitor in their midst has been suppressing distress calls and news out of the Kerenza system and the in-bound Hypatia.

Bei Tech, the company behind the disaster needs to clear away all witnesses and make the situation go away.  They send an elite strike team to take over the jump station and neutralize its workers while getting the wormhole back on line so their Kennedy Assault Fleet can destroy the Hypathia survivors.

Meanwhile, a gang leader seeking a profit in the drug trade starts incubating his own cash cows and sets the chain in motion for a dark and deadly infestation in the depth of the jump station.

The survival of the people on Heimdall and the people of Hypathia are depending on the commander’s daughter, a gang member, and his cousin who must take down an elite ops fighting force, an embedded traitor, that which is menacing in the dark, and the ploys of Bei Tech.  It’s not looking good, but yet, they might make it with more luck than good, teamwork, and untried skill.

Alright, if you’re not already in the know, this series has an innovative, unique format.  It’s epistolary in nature as it is told through communications, graphics, drawings, messages, and audio transitions among other things.  The adjustment to the style was easy.  I would highly recommend getting these in print format because it would be tough to read some of the pages in the electronic format.

As to the plot, it continues to be complex and full of intrigue.  Several times, I thought I had things figured out and yeah, got it wrong.  Even knowing there are twists and turns doesn’t help.  The danger was breath-stopping stuff and there were some amazing close calls and bad moments.

The characters might seem tough to connect with due to the format, but not so.  It was easy to get to know them and even see them flaws and all as they grow and come into their own.  The relationship side happens with unlikely partnership moving to camaraderie to more.  The romance is backburner as it should be under the circumstances.

YA cautions- severe violence

The end closed out this segment of the story while leaving it open-ended for what is to come.  I will definitely be forging ahead with the series.   Though this is classified as YA, I can easily recommend it to YA and adult readers who enjoy sci-fi adventure and intrigue.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #2 Sci-Fi
Literary Pickers #2 Parallel World
Mt. TBR #3
Bad Boys #1 gang member
Books N Tunes #1 Ed Sheeran’s ‘All the Stars’

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I keep on seeing this book on Amazon and I thought this one is going to be great. Right now, I’m not sure if I’ll be reading this one in the future. Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • These are definitely different and probably not every one’s thing between the scary sci-fi elements or the format. Maybe your library would carry it and you can look it over.

      Thanks, Vanessa! 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    Nice review, and I can’t wait to read this one. If anything I’m even more excited to see what happens on the jump station especially when BeiTech strikes. Sounds fun!!

    • It’s a rush, Greg. The BeiTech strike really gets things surging into acute danger and I loved it. Hope you get the chance at it soon. 🙂

  • I connected to this one better than I did the first one (which doesn’t mean I didn’t love the first book). I think the authors did an even better job of making us feel for the characters, which is difficult for this type of format.

    • I get what you’re saying about the connection, Nicole. I do that with some characters more than others. I think they do a great job of making us feel them. I am such a crier and I cried in both of these at different points because I was so into the character’s stories. 🙂

  • I need to read this. I don’t know why I haven’t done so yet. I loved Illuminae so it should be a no brainer. Glad you liked this one.

    • Oh, do I have a few of those on the shelf. 🙂 But yes, if you loved Illuminae then you really, really need to. Haha!

  • I’ve got to start this series. It has been on my radar for a while. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • It’s mind blowing in a few different ways. Look forward to hearing what you think about it, Melanie! 🙂

  • Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed this one too! I was a big fan of Nik and Hanna! So much great awesome! Agree about the romance bring on the backburner and sometimes that can bum me out but I don’t think they need much on the romance part in this story with so much weirdness and action to keep us engaged! Great review!

    • Agreed, Cyn. This one had a good balance and the romance was just right for what else was going on. Can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

  • That is really neat on the format. I think I’ll see if our library has it so I can check that out 🙂 Yay for book 2 being a great follow up!

    • Hopefully, they do, even if you just flip through it. These are really neat.

  • I heard a lot about this series and while I am not sure if I would enjoy them you do make me curious about these. And the format of these does sound very original. I think it’s impressive how the author can pull of that way of telling a story, as most reviews I read say it worked for them. And that’s great the book had some nice twists as well. Great review Sophia!

    • Yes, I think your take on it is probably right that it’s not for everyone, but its a curiosity even for those who are interested in this sort of story.

      Thanks, Lola!