Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hanna is the captain's pampered daughter. Nik is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. While the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the Jump Station Heimdall, little do they know Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right towards them carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. 

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 possible the known universe - is in their hands. 

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope (from Goodreads). 


I still remember the feeling Illuminae gave me as I fell in love with the book, the characters, the world; and Gemina gave me that exact same feeling. It was amazing, simple as. A superb addiction to the series, I loved it and read it in just the one sitting. 

Gemina sets up two new heroes for us to get to know; Hanna and Nik. Hanna is not your typical pampered princess, which is how she's presented at the start of the book. Daughter of the Captain, privileged, beautiful; but there's so much more to her than that. Unlike other books, instead of it being revealed that the pampered princess character is actually all an act, it's not with Hanna. She does care about how she looks, does things she shouldn't, but that's okay. It doesn't make her any less clever, or cunning or kick-ass. Hanna comes across as a very real person, and I liked her a lot. 

Nik is great and such a cinnamon roll (definition: a character that is very kind and sweet, but faces more hardship and suffering than they truly deserve). True, he has spent time in prison and is part of a gang, but he's adorable and so funny. His flirty messages to Hanna just made me laugh so much, and as their relationship grows he proves he is brave and loyal. Plus his relationship with his cousin Ella is wonderful. 

Ella is a really fantastic character as well. Like Kady, she is a very gifted computer hacker and she just keeps taking the piss out of Nik over his crush on Hanna. They act like cousins do, teasing and mocking each other. Her interactions were one of my favourite things about the book. Ella fought off a disease that should have killed her, but while she is confined to a wheelchair, a machine assisting her breathing, she's all the stronger because of it. No one tells her what's impossible.

Gemina basically follows the hostile takeover of the space station Heimdall and the trouble our new heroes cause. One of BeiTech Industries 'Audit Teams' (very ominous title) are dispatched to gain control of the station, and to secure the wormhole so forces can go after the Hypatia and eliminate anyone who survived the last book. The people on the Heimdall are unfortunately just collateral damage to the truly evil Joanna Frobisher and BeiTech, but our heroes aren't going to take that lying down. The audit team have no idea what's coming, what they're up against. 

Our heroes from Illuminae make an appearance too, but it's a much smaller part than I was expecting. They're the background characters for this new story, I see that now. This is Hanna and Nik's story. I just want to see more of them in the next book, which I'm sure we will. And AIDAN is back. Yay! Again, not as big a character as I hoped, but he's there and it's all that matters. He's even sort of not-quite-as-evil as before, and he's still got that soft spot for Kady. Who knows where we're going with him in the next book, but I'm so glad he's still around. 

An absolutely wonderful read, and beautifully presented as always. Such as strange multi-media aesthetic, but it works so well for the story. One of the most pleasing books I own by far. I can't wait for book 3. Another year, sadly. All the best books seem to be coming out that year, so in a way it's good. 
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