Friday, October 14, 2016


Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) 
By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Knopf Books, 2016. 608 pgs. Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Hanna Donnelly may live at the edge of the galaxy on Jump Station Heimdall, but she doesn’t let her remote location curb her social life. When she is not shopping for designer clothing, spending time with her dreamy boyfriend Jackson or emailing her father, the station’s captain, she is either IMing or meeting Nik Malikov, her drug dealer. Hanna is constantly involved in witty and colorful exchanges with Nik, a member of a tattooed, convict-filled crime family, whose unpredictable life couldn’t be more different than Hanna's. When the station is invaded by an unknown strike force, struck by alien predators, and threatened by a wormhole malfunction, Hanna and Nik are thrown together and quickly become the only hope Heimdall has for survival.

After being wowed by Illuminae last year, I doubted that its follow up would meet my high expectations. This book is told through the same ingenious collection of transcripts, emails, journal entries, video surveillance, classified files, and IMs. This time, however, there are two equally deadly enemies and the chemistry of the protagonists isn’t interrupted mid-story by a long physical separation.

As charming and refreshing as the format is, Gemina wouldn’t work without Hanna, who starts out as the stereotypical spoiled rich girl but has surprising character depth and military prowess. If you enjoy both young adult and sci-fi, this unique and thrilling series is a must read.


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