Genre: Sci-fi, YA
Series: Illuminae Files #2
Rating: 5 STARS
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.
“…over seven hundred thousand employees across dozens of colonized worlds. Is it that difficult to believe?”
Is anyone surprised I loved this? Last year, around this time probably, I read Iluminae. It totally rocked my world. I felt emotionally dead after reading it. And surprise, surprise, this one left me feeling the same and made me ask myself, “Why do I read great books knowing they’ll hurt my soul?”
First off, for those who were worried that it wouldn’t be the same because Kady and Ezra were just so damn memorable, don’t fear! Hanna and Nik are just as amazing, and, I’m surprised to say that I think I liked them even more than Kady and Ezra. Hanna and Nik are more developed as characters, especially Nik, who I totally have a crush on. Hello, new book boyfriend. He’s a drug-dealing criminal with a heart of gold, and just happens to be snarky, and I’m blaming Six of Crows for this obsession. That whole story about the dog and the little girl hurt my heart. We also have Hanna, this girl who totally kicks ass. I know there are so many people getting tired of the “badass girl” trope and it not delivering, but Hanna definitely does, and I may have a tiny girl crush on her. I just love how independent the main female characters are in both of the books and how they’re usually the ones to take control of the story.
And, of course, one of the greatest characters in this book, and probably one of my favorite characters ever, Ella, Nik’s fifteen-year-old cousin. I absolutely loved her. She’s this total fighter, who suffered from this plague years back and is now paralyzed and is an A+ hacker, which gave me seriously great Mr. Robot vibes. She’s crude and funny and a total badass in her own right. She’s totally my current goals for me right now.
Also, for those who are huge fans of Illuminae, you will be super excited to see some familiar characters from the first book pop up in this one. It made me smile so hard to see Kady and Ezra interacting with not only each other, but Hanna and Nik, and nothing compared to seeing Aidan again, being his usual hilarious self.
Of course, the book was fast-paced and addictive. I know sometimes, books with gimmicks can end up just being that – gimmicky books – but the great thing about the Illuminae files is that it’s never a gimmick. The idea of compiling e-mails and documents and online chat messages and security camera footage is not only so unique but also super effective. It makes the story so immersive, and I actually consider the story-telling to be even better than it would be if it were told as a regular story would be. I think the format actually improved in this one, not only with Marie Lu’s adorable illustrations featured in Hanna’s journal, but also when the title came into play and made sense during the scene where Hanna and Nik’s POVs mirrored each other. It was just so cool.
And the science behind this one was so. Freaking. Cool. We dealt with zombies and rogue AIs in the first one, and now we’re dealing with worm-like flesh-eating parasites and betrayal. I just love how original the plot was of this one, and how it was separate from Illuminae, but still fit in with the complete story-line. We get to learn about worm-holes and alternate universes, which is now my newest sci-fi obsession ever since Crouch’s Dark Matter – one of my favorite stand-alones ever, if you’re new here – and for any of you guys who are worried that it sounds too complex for your liking, don’t worry, I thought it was explained in a pretty simple way that leaves readers interested to learn more about it for themselves, and the way the concept was handled was brilliant.
Overall, this was a fantastic sequel to a great debut that (thankfully) didn’t suffer from Second Book Syndrome. Super fans of Illuminae will love this.
Have you read this book (you probably already have because I’m always late)? What were your thoughts on it? Did you prefer Illuminae or Gemina?