October 20, 2016

ARC Review of Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books
Page Count: 608
Format: ARC
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
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.

*an ARC of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*

 The same way that Illuminae was one of BEA 2015's most anticipated books so too was Gemina for BEA 2016 which meant that I grabbed a copy while I was there. At the time I hadn't even read Illuminae but a few weeks after I finally did and after thoroughly enjoying it I quickly moved on to Gemina. Gemina was simply one of the best sci-fi books I've ever read and I've read a lot of them, the connections between Illuminae and Gemina only made it better and I couldn't tear myself away from this book.

Both Gemina (and Illuminae) take place in one environment, this time being a space station. While that does make the world-building a bit difficult to work with, Amie and Jay were still able to create a setting that was on par with fantasy book offerings (when it comes to world-building and settings fantasy books like Throne of Glass usually come up on top which is why I use them as a comparison). Gemina and Illuminae are one of the few YA books with illustrations and let me tell you something, those illustrations made the experience of reading Gemina so much better. The ARC copy had some unfinished artwork but the ones that were completed added that extra "layer" of detail to the book and the finished copy will be even better with all of them completed. While Gemina didn't have settings as expansive as some other books the rich artwork and method of telling the story (emails, IM's, files, etc) helped push it forward and make it one of the best (if not THE best) sci-fi books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

After the vivid characters of Illuminae I was expecting Gemina to be slightly worse since sequels are rarely as good as the first one but I was pleasant surprised, both Hanna and Nik along with everyone else on the Heimdall were just as well-written as Kady and the others from Illuminae. The same multiple POV's from Illuminae continue here as we get to experience the story through different camera angles, voice messages, IM's and more. Gemina's way of storytelling is very unorthodox but it was just as enjoyable as a normal book and even made the book better in this case. Watching the interaction between Hypatia and Heimdall was another of my favorite aspects of Gemina, from the beginning when they don't know much about each other and as they get closer and closer to each other. I don't want to spoil that much about the characters and relationships between the characters and the character themselves but rest assured that the people in Gemina are complex and vivid enough to hold your attention (and emotions).

Gemina made me smile, laugh, get worried, and experience a whole multitude of different emotions; and if I had to chance to read it for the first time again I would gladly do it. Each book in this series keeps adding more and more into the mix, I've come to the point where I would do anything to read the third book right now but they haven't even announced ARC's for it yet. Gemina has easily won its place as my favorite sci-fi book of 2016 (and one of the best ones of all time) and I can't wait to see where the last book in the series goes. I would recommend Gemina to anyone who likes reading fiction, even if they don't usually like sci-fi; Gemina would be an exception and make them fall in love.

5/5 - AMAZING Book!

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