Continuing from last week’s Fangirl Favorites Friday, today I bring you the sequel to Illuminae. This series represents an accomplishment for me: I got my dad to read and love a YA book! And not just one, but two! I think that basically the only YA my dad has read is Harry Potter, and that’s not even always classified as YA. Anyway, Gemina was just as amazing, if not more than, Illuminae. I finished this book in less than 5 hours; it just kept me wanting more and more and more!!!
Hanna knew that moving to the edge of the galaxy would be the end of her social life, but she never thought it might actually be her death. Two new characters must confront another BeiTech assault on board the Jump Station Heimdall. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter, and Nik is a member of the notorius House of Knives. But while the two are struggling with the realities of life on the most boring station, they are unaware that Kady Grant, aboard the Hypatia, is headed right towards them, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team assaults Heimdall, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But non-human hostiles are picking people off, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means that the space-time contiuum might be ripped apart any second. Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival. Everyone on the Hypatia and possibly even the universe is relying on them. No pressure. They’ve got this. Hopefully.
Where to begin? First of all, shoutout to the lollipop song! I couldn’t help but laugh every time I read it, especially in parts that are supposed to be serious. Anyway, I guess I’ll start with our amazing couple. Actually, when the book first starts off, Nik Malikov and Hanna Donnelly are not a couple. Hanna has a boyfriend, but that does stop Nik from shamelessly flirting with her. As the station captain’s daughter, Hanna initially seems really spoiled. However, as the book progresses, it becomes clearer that she is selfless and willing to stand up for what she believes in. She is incredibly resilient, and her journal artwork is beautiful. (Thanks, Marie Lu!) Nik is a gang member in the House of Knives who seems very tough, even a little cruel, on the outside. Secrets revealed later in the book make him seem like almost a villain in some portions, but ultimately you can tell that he has a heart of gold. Also, something about the way he flirts kind of reminded me of Ezra. Just saying. Ella, Nik’s cousin and relative hacker, was honestly hilarious. She’s fiercely loyal, but her antics are probably one of the best parts of the story. The BeiTech strike team was kind of scary, but I do wish that we had gotten more background on Commander Cerberus. I think it was really helpful when they kept x-ing out the strike team that died because you could physically see how many people were remaining and what their occupations are. Some of our favorite characters from Illuminae make an appearance in this book, and gave me no small amount of pleasure to “reconnect” with them.
Just like the previous book, the plot here was crazy!!! There were just so many twists and turns. You truly never know what’s going to happen next, which means this book is an extreme page turner. Speaking of pages, I loved all the different formats of storytelling again. My favorite format probably had to be the journal drawings, courtesy of Marie Lu, but I honestly loved every single page. My one complaint is that the dark “blood stain” on most of the pages made it a little hard to read, which was probably intended, but I found myself straining to read the almost-hidden portions.
*SCREAMING SPOILER SECTION AHEAD* I honestly can’t say whether I find the lamina in this book or phobos in the previous book creepier. I’d probably have to say the lamina because they are legitimate alien predator things that can jump onto you and basically turn you into a zombie. At least with phobos, you knew it was a disease, not something that can sense when you’re weak. Just saying. Also, I found the concept of gemina particles extremely interesting. I’m taking physics this year, and my teacher I ended up discussing this whole realm of theory. I will say that I don’t completely understand it yet, but I do think that it’s really cool. I think the part where AIDAN is reporting simultaneously on the two different universes is amazing. Seeing both the parallels and the differences made me appreciate just how complicated the scenario was. Also, I loved seeing AIDAN again! (Even though it did kill a lot of people.) Finally, I did almost feel like I was in a Cassandra Clare novel at some points. You know, that thing where you never know whether a character is permanently dead or not because one moment they’re dead and then two hundred pages later you find out they’re actually alive. (*cough* Ella *cough*). i had multiple scares throughout the book, but then again it wouldn’t be an Illuminae Files book otherwise. *SPOILERS END*
Do I recommend it? A million times yes! I mean, if I can get my dad to read and love this books, then I’m 99.9999999% sure you’ll love it too.