ARC Review: Gemina


Title: Gemina

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files, #2

Publisher: Rock the Boat

Release Date: October 13th 2016


Five Stars

Hanna Donnelly is the station captain’s pampered daughter and Nik Malikov is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. Together they struggle with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, blissfully unaware that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall with news of the Kerenza invasion.

Picking up about five minutes after Illuminae ends, Gemina is the electrifying sequel to the hottest YA novel of 2015.

– Blurb courtesy of

I received an ARC of this book free from Rock the Boat. It in no way affects my views on Gemina.

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I’ve been aboard the Jump Station Heimdall intercepting communications from the Alexander and the Hypatia since the colony assault as per your instructions. Not a whisper of the attack has gotten through…
Very soon, someone’s going to be here to deliver the news in person.
The Lincoln has failed.”

After the events of Illuminae the Hypatia is slowly making its way to the Heimdall way station where, they think, the will be safe from BeiTech who are still after them. However unbeknownst to everyone aboard the Hypatia Heimdall is unaware of what’s happened over the last few months; unaware of the attack on the Kerenza settlement, unaware of the battle Hypatia faced against Lincoln, and unaware of the strike team making their way to Heimdall to kill any witnesses both aboard the Hypatia and in Heimdall.

There are moles inside Heimdall working for BeiTech, and one of them opens the way for the strike team to launch their attack.

“Attention all Heimdall personnel. This is not your captain speaking.”
Wonder how long he’s been saving up that one.
The words hang in the air as Donnelly and Malikov stare at each other, twin pictures of wary confusion. For an instant, hostilities are suspended.
Falk continued. “Your station is now under our control. Understand that we are professionals, here to do a job, and wish no harm to any of you. Cooperate, and you will be safe. Resist and you will be…less safe.”

Before Hanna’s only worries are insignificant; could she get the drugs from Nik before the party, would her outfit arrive in time, where was her relationship with Jackson going? But once the attack happens she is running for her life, taking down the strike team members she comes across in an attempt to save the lives of the people still trapped; her father, boyfriend and friends included.

While Hanna makes her way to where her father and friends were at the party Nik makes his way to where his family were when the strike team attacked. But both are forced to hide, flee, and fight when the strike team start taking down the stragglers hidden over Heimdall. It’s a race against time for Nik, Hanna and Ella, Nik’s cousin, to try to stop BeiTech before they can fix the wormhole and let the drones through that will not only kill everyone aboard the Hypatia but everyone still alive in Heimdall. But how can the three of them fight against a whole strike team, especially when the lives of the hostages are at stake and the mole in the station is still working against them.

“Its jaws are fixed. Rings of teeth encircling puckered throats. It cannot smile.
But if it could. I think it would.
And forward, it slivers to the feast.”

Like in Illuminae the strike team isn’t the only threat Nik, Hanna and Ella face. There is something else even more deadly that strikes from the shadows and isn’t on either side, it will kill whatever and whoever it comes across.

…The Characters

“But do I want to be a station commander’s wife?
There are so many mountains I could climb.
Where are we going, me and Jax?
What are we promising?”

Hanna is the princess of the station; her father gives her everything she wants but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, especially when it comes to the drugs she takes recreationally. Hanna is very far from a spoilt rich girl who’s never been denied anything. Her father has taught her how to defend herself and when the strike team launches their attack Hannah launches hers. She fights back, using everything her father taught her to not just stay alive and one step ahead, but to outsmart the people trying in vain to find her.

“The kid has the HoK full sleeve of blades on his arm, single chain at his wrist (time spent in a juvey facility), and an angel with wings spread across his throat (the meaning of this one isn’t in any of our reference libraries, but Jesus, getting inked there must have hurt).”

Nik is smart, wisecracking, and everything seems to roll of his shoulders except when the people he loves are in danger. Every time they meet Nik flirts with Hanna and asks her out but she knocks him down. He doesn’t take it too hard, he always bounces back and tries again. Unlike Hanna Nik hasn’t been trained in the best way to fight back, most of his skills rely on luck and just being quicker at the draw than his opponents. Nik doesn’t care much about family obligations, but he does care about the people he loves, few though they are.

The dynamic between Hanna and Nik reminded me a little of the dynamic between Kady and Ezra. When their world turns upside down both of them reach for the familiar; each other. Unlike Kady and Ezra although they don’t have a previous relationship to build on they do have a connection which is built on throughout Gemina. Neither Hanna or Nik sees the divide in their status as an obstacle, they have more important things to worry about, though Hanna does not accept it when Nik lies to her about his past.

Pauchok: Nik loves working with his hands. shovels especially
Nik M: bite me
Pauchok: rrrrrrarrrrrrr
Hanna D: pretty sure he was hoping for me there, ella
Nik M: !!!!!!
Pauchok: soooooooo much gag, I cannot work under these conditions

One of my favourite relationships in this book was between Nik and his cousin, Ella. Trapped behind her computer Ella can see everything happening in the station, and she directs Nik and Hanna’s actions. She is incredibly smart but also incredibly sharp as well, as a member of the Malikov family and part of the House of Knives she doesn’t see the need to obey the laws, especially when the strike team target her family. Her dynamic with Nik is very much older brother, annoying younger sister, I loved their back and forth and pretty much any scene between Nik, Ella and Hanna.

There is a strong emphasis on the relationships between fathers and their children in Gemina; Hanna and her father, Ella and hers. We even get a glimpse into the relationship that Kady has with her father and that Nik has with his. Despite the fact that he isn’t on the space station Nik’s father is still a big influence on his life and the decisions he makes. There wasn’t a lot of Kady and Ezra in this book but I didn’t mind because I fell in love with Nik, Hanna and Ella pretty quickly. The only character I wished there was more of in this book was AIDAN.

…The Setting

“A split second. An eternity. Into the breach. Across the brink. A micron wide. Deep as forever. Of all our infinite possibilities. These are but two.”

One of the issues I had with Illuminae was that the setting wasn’t expanded on as much as I would have liked. I won’t say that improved much in this book but honestly it’s an easy thing to look past just because of the way this book is set out. Like with Illuminae we get a lot of information on the space station itself but we see it almost in passing, mentioned in the characters IM chats or in the video surveillance, rather than through massive info dumps. There was a lot of information on the physics of the story, the wormhole and the Gemina effect, which was all very interesting to read and also quite easy to understand which was great because I’m not very good with maths or science.

Illuminae was one of my top reads of 2015, and Gemina is well on its way to becoming my top read of 2016. I was thrilled to receive an ARC while at YALC, and even more thrilled to discover everything I loved about Illuminae was present in Gemina; the engaging storyline, the beautiful graphics and the amazing characters. If this is a book you’re eagerly anticipating you won’t be disappointed.

What did you think of Gemina? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

26 thoughts on “ARC Review: Gemina

    1. That’s all right, I’d highly recommend going into this book blind because it’s such an amazing experience having no idea where the story could potentially go next! 🙂
      I’m still really excited for my pre-ordered copy to arrive as well, not long to go now! 🙂


    1. Oh Marie you definitely need to start Illuminae as soon as possible. I really hope you enjoy it because it is an all-time favourite of mine.
      Gemina is just as amazing as well, I think this is a series that just gets better and better with each book, it certainly feels that way at least! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so thrilled by this ARC, and I couldn’t believe I actually managed to get my hands on a copy even. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed my review, it’s an amazing book so I think you’ll really love it as well.
      I still have it pre-ordered as well, I couldn’t resist, but trust me it will be worth the wait! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I was so thrilled when I managed to get my hands on it, definitely one of my best ARCs to date! 🙂
      Thanks so much! It’s an amazing book so I think you’ll really enjoy it. And there’s not too much longer for its release right? Trust me it will have been worth the wait.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. About two more weeks for the release! I am hoping that there will be brand new copies this upcoming weekend at New York Comic Con. Cause that’s where I got some books before the release date.

        Liked by 1 person

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