QBD Reviews: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A sequel to Illuminae, Gemina follows the story of what happened at the space station Heimdall, where the refugees from the attack on Kerenza were hoping to find sanctuary in Illuminae.

In the second book of the Illuminae series we hear from two different heroes. Hanna Donelly is the daughter of the space station commander whilst Niklas Malikov comes from a family of criminals – a very unlikely pairing.

The BeiTech Corporation is intent on covering up the attack on Kerenza, and to this end send a team in to “cleanup” (read, attack and purge the station) with a backup drone fleet if the humans don’t fix the problem. Gemina is all about Heimdall, and Nik and Hanna’s journey to save their home and the people in it. The evil Director Leanne from BeiTech is back and desperately trying to distance herself from knowledge of events at Kerenza in an official Inquiry.

I really like the unique format to this series. You would think that reading journals, memos and instant chat dialogue would be disjointed, yet it flows well and is surprisingly easy to read.

I enjoyed this instalment in the series just as much as the first. It was quite different having the action on a space station instead of a ship. At first I was disappointed that the story didn’t continue with Kady and Ezra on the Hypatia. However, I soon came to see that Hanna and Nik brought a really interesting side to the story. Nik’s cousin Ella is a genius hacker and together how the three teenagers try to thwart a surprise attack on their home is very engaging.

Ezra, Kady and AIDEN do make an appearance as the Hypatia gets closer to the Heimdall station, however it’s not until at least two-thirds of the way into the story. As they near the station and communications open on a private comm-link we find out what “Gemina” means – very cool idea.

I was really involved in this story; in the last third particularly I was very vocal with my “oh no” and “oh my gosh” as well as leaping out of my chair in parts – my husband thought it was hilarious watching me. The surprise twist in Gemina reminds me of the Claudia Gray Firebird multiverse novels I just finished.

I wonder how Amie and Jay are going to make the third novel even better, there is an obvious lead in to another instalment. Can’t wait! – Kerryn, QBD Northland

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