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.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast discussion!
This second book in The Illuminae Files switches perspective away from Kady Grant and Ezra Mason who were the focus of the first book on board the space vessels Hypatia and Alexander to instead focus on what happens on the space station Heimdall as the Hypatia and the remaining Kerenza survivors make their way to what they hope is safety.
Unfortunately, just days before they are set to arrive the Heimdall station is taken over by a BeiTech “audit team” to stop the Hypatia from ever making it there. The station Commander’s daughter, Hanna Donnelly, and tat’d up teenage criminal Nik Malikov are two of only people left in a position to challenge the BeiTech team and prevent them from accomplishing their mission.
Long story short, this was a great follow up to Illuminae. The story was just as complex, the writing just as great quality, and the characters were just as great.
While the story in Gemina is different than that in Illuminae, it kind of follows the same track. The first book featured what were essentially space zombies and it almost seemed like Gemina had to follow up with that in addition to everything going on with BeiTech. It seemed sometimes that this plotline was there just to make the books match thematically. It felt a little bit forced at times and out of place with everything else.
It did impact the main story however and Kristoff and Kaufman are talented authors that wove everything together wonderfully so it isn’t too big of a negative on the overall book.
As mentioned, this book does introduce a brand new cast of characters with those from Illuminae only joining the narrative toward the end. These characters all, again, fantastic.
As Hanna and Nik are the main characters in this book, it really shouldn’t be surprising that they end up as a romantic item. The story of a pampered rich girl and the bad boy being a thing is admittedly rather cliché. But their story and how they come together and come to rely on each other in such a short amount of time makes their relationship completely believable and enjoyable to read.
And how can someone mention this book without talking about Ella?!
Ella is Nik’s 15 year old cousin is a hacking MASTER. An illness from a few years prior to the story left her in a wheelchair and breathing only with the help of an oxygen mask at all times but she is so witty and snarky and smart that she is easily the most lovable character in the series so far.
This was a well done sequel. The first one was a original story that was exciting and new. This one takes the rules and world from the first, and creates a whole new story. These new characters are well written and I care about them just as I do about the ones from the first book.
Only negatives I can speak to is the constant death fake outs and some small character development. I spoke more on it in our podcast so please go check that out.
I am fully excited for the next novel. These authors have changed my view on books with two authors. At least these authors are doing a exceptional job of it.
The only other thing I will mention, and I am trying hard to stay as far away from spoilers as I can, but like the first book this one does have one or two death fake outs.
One of these does make sense for the story. But I just generally don’t like death fake outs. When pulled off correctly, it can be a very emotional moment to have a character come back to life that you thought was dead. However I am of the opinion that killing off a character is a move that lowers the stakes. After only a few fake outs, the reader generally can guess that a beloved character isn’t really dead.
Even with this though, I can’t say enough good things about the series thus far. I liked Illuminae slightly better than Gemina but really that is only because I felt like the complexity of the story was just slightly better done in the first one but this is still a fantastic read.