Gemina: The Illuminae Files_02 - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, 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 possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

I am usually wary of trilogies. Perhaps I always will be. But in this particular instance at least, I was pleasantly surprised. While I know this format can be intimidating to some, as seen in a few critiques of Illuminae, I personally find it captivating and challenging in very good ways. Told in emails, instant messages, journal entries, diagrams, and poetic passages as told from the perspective of artificial intelligences, Gemina explores space, time, and metaphysics through an action-packed space station takeover.

Hanna, Nick, and other complicated secondary characters, work their asses off to take back the station after some shady motherfuckers from Beitech start killing off innocent people all over Heimdall. The complex and evolving relationships that develop throughout the text are remarkably emotional considering the backdrop of alien creatures, drug cartels, and sociopathic killers. When the shit hits the fan, enemies become comrades and McGuyver-style inventiveness becomes a necessity.

The other thing I really enjoy about this series is the way the Kaufman and Kristoff play with words and turn them into images, while also working together different elements through the narratives of the Surveillance Footage Analysts, including the AI Analyst. There are also some brilliant plot twists and emotionally poignant moments that will capture the imaginations and hearts of those who like plot or strong character-based stories, or better yet, BOTH!

Highly Recommended

(NOTE: This review is from an Advance Reading Copy - Out Oct. 18, 2016)


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