Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
I LOVED THIS BOOK.
First, a bit of context/ raving about the series as a whole. The key to this entire series is the format. Told through online messaging, transcripts, AI dialogue and other reports, there is not a single stream of narrative, which is what makes these books so incredible. They are so completely unique, yet the story pulls together brilliantly and I found myself more engaged in this series of documents than some normally written books so don’t discount them just because they look a bit different. That being said, I did try to read them as ebooks and that was a lot harder than reading them as physical books, which is ironic because the whole format is based on being online. The format is perfect for this story, it adds to the scientific/ space tech side of the story and it makes you piece together the story a little, which makes it far more exciting than having it all laid out in front of you while adding information that couldn’t have otherwise been in it. Plus, you don’t have to remember character names because of the transcripts say.
Gemina is the second book in the illuminae trilogy written by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It follows the attack of the Jump Station Heimdall by a bunch of madpeople/ assassins sent by Beitech to catch the people of Hypatia when they arrive. So you can already tell this is going to be WILD. Once I picked it up I could not put it down, I got sucked in like a ship into a wormhole.
The main characters we meet are Nik and Hanna, along with the murder squad and Nik’s awesome cousin Ella. Somehow from simple dialogue and transcripts the characters make huge, distinct impressions on you, and they fight believably and they hurt but they keep going and it was a whole lot of emotions going through this journey with them, especially as links with the previous book began appearing. Hanna is a legend in a bomb jumpsuit, and I love her especially. Finally, he isn’t technically a character but the employee who transcribes the videos is absolutely great, humorous and real. The worldbuilding is incredible, believable and intricately detailed. Every little is detail is thought out, from the gravity on each level of the space station to imports and the drug trade. Kristoff and Kaufman have created such an amazing universe and it is utterly captivating.
And then there’s the plot. It blew my mind. An absolute rollercoaster. The first few pages were a little confusing, getting used to new characters, but the speed picked up and suddenly my heart was being used as a ping pong ball. The action in this is sustained through most of the book but never feels tired, it’s always beautiful and believable and shocking. It is chaotic with different things happening in different places on the ship yet I never felt lost. I was so gripped I completely forgot to make any notes throughout most of the novel, which might be why this review is slightly messy. The pace is fast, picks you up and doesn’t set you down until the end where you put down the book and squeal, slightly shellshocked. I am desperate for the sequel, and my local library does not have it which is incredibly upsetting. Other things that feature in this book are airlocks, blood, snakes on drugs, sass and quite a bit of murder.
Would I survive this book? No chance, I’m just a body floating around in space. Maybe a small chance if I hid in a wardrobe and stayed there the entire time. But unlikely.