Part two of the most creative and entertaining sci-fi trilogy in the whole universe, Gemina, close on the heels of Illuminae and holding it’s own, does not disappoint. Ever. Also narrated in the form of an incriminating dossier of emails, schematics, transcripts and...
Part two of the most creative and entertaining sci-fi trilogy in the whole universe, Gemina, close on the heels of Illuminae and holding it’s own, does not disappoint. Ever. Also narrated in the form of an incriminating dossier of emails, schematics, transcripts and classified files, Gemina continues to tell the story of what happened after an outer space mining colony was attacked by a hostile corporation. But this time, Kady and Ezra take a backseat and let new characters Hanna and Nik drive for a while.
Jump Station Heimdall is an insanely boring place for a teenager, at least according to the station commander’s daughter, Hanna. Spoiled, self-entitled, and a demon in the martial arts, Hanna spends her time sexting her boyfriend, buying overpriced jumpsuits and taunting her drug dealer, Nik. Raised by a long family line of criminals, Nik is easy-going, cocky and quite resourceful when it comes to breaking the law. And he definitely has a thing for Hanna.
As in Illuminae, when the cow dung hits the fan, the teenagers are the only ones who can save the ship, or jump station, or universe. Your choice, its all there. At the Terra Day celebration, a highly trained elite force sent by BeiTech, the corporation that attacked the mining colony, invades the Heimdall. Led by a dead-eyed psychopath who finds bliss when everything goes his way, the assassin squad lies in wait for the ship bearing the last refugees from the mining colony. Hanna and Nik, polar opposites, join forces to defend the Heimdall, save their family and friends and prevent BeiTech from destroying the only living witnesses from the colony.
My first impression of Hanna was: “I miss Kady.” Hanna is so bratty and self-centered that she is unlikeable and easily dismissed as a tease. Au contraire, mon ami, there is more to this little girl than meets the eye. Raised by a military father, this little girl has studied warfare, battlefield logistics and can quote Sun Tzu, Napoleon and the Bhagavad Gita. She’s sassy, kickass, and clever, and she grew on me.
Nik, on the other hand, I loved from the beginning. With his life story inked on his body and his heart on his sleeve, Nik is absolutely charming in a bad boy sort of way.
The book is powered by a wicked sense of humor and creative genius. Malware has infected the station’s computer system so that a single raunchy pop song is constantly playing: in the elevator, during a gunfight, while being attacked by mutant eels. Did I mention the mutant eels with their psychotropic body fluids? Evil little monsters. I caught a bunch of pop culture references: a computer actually uses a line from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I’m pretty sure Nik is channeling the Joker from the movie Batman Beyond at one point. I saw the names of at least two young adult novelists on the Heimdall’s casualty list. And the texts between the teens, even in moments of crisis or sadness, are hysterical.
There are more twists in this book than in your intestines. So many times my family heard me loudly proclaim how much I hated this book only to follow with “shhh, can’t talk, I’m at the good part.” It’s engrossing and compelling and entertaining and so so so so good. Now, in case you do miss Kady and Ezra and AIDAN, yes, AIDAN, do not worry, they join the story.
What makes the only important difference between Illuminae and Gemina is the reader’s perspective. We know there will be painful twists that gouge our hearts, we know it will make us laugh out loud, make us cry, make us curse the authors and their unborn children (trust me, I did), we went through it all with Illuminae. As seasoned readers of the Illuminae Files, we know to look for the clues, the crumbs, left by the authors because we know they are there and it is so fun when you find them. And, in the end, on the very last page, when a character asks, “You wanna know how it ends?” my answer was a resounding “Yes. Yes, I do.”
The last page always has the best line. Bliss.