By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

 

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.

I was nervous about this book because I was afraid it would stick too closely to the mold of the first one, and be mostly a retread of that story. I really liked Illuminae, and I thought it was very creative, but ultimately the story felt a little thin.
For me, it was a case of art over substance, and while that didn’t detract from my ability to enjoy it, I did feel that the aesthetics involved sometimes overwhelmed the story.

This book, however, takes it up a notch. It strikes a better balance between art and story. I liked these characters more, the story is more complex, there are more twists and the drawings and layouts actually add a lot to the narrative without detracting from it.

Of course, I realize this has an organic explanation. While in the first book, a lot of the creative aspect of the text derived from the character of an Artificial Inteligence, in this book we get more art in the form of drawings that come from a teenager character’s diary.

The thread that connects the books is the ongoing investigation into the attack by BeiTech that took place in the beginning of Illuminae, and it carries on seamlessly from one book to the other.

The action in Gemina starts a few minutes after the end of Illuminae, with a different set of characters: Hanna and Nik. The sci-fi turn that this took was pretty awesome, and they managed to explore a relatively old idea – the possible existence of a multiverse – in a new and original way.

Since the beginning of the book I could feel so much tension while reading, like at any given moment all hell would break loose. And even after it did, the tension was still there because of the added layer of the presence of the lamina, which I thought was a clever way of inserting another antagonist to the story.

This was a really good read, I would recommend this series to everyone. It’s fun, it’s fresh, and it’s very creatively written.
So here I leave you, with a quote:

You might get only one shot. So shoot.

 

5 hearts out of 5!

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