The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
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.
Review: Gemina is another action-packed, nail biting installment of the Illuminae Files. It is more like a companion novel than an actual sequel since we follow the events of Jump Station Heimdall while the spaceship Hypatia was trying to get there. Though the format of Gemina is the same as its predecessor that had a collage style narration in various formats ranging from instant messages to diary entries to video transcripts this time it is more streamlined and is framed as evidence at a tribunal investigating the activities of BeiTech Industries. While it took me a while to wrap my head around the format of the first book, I had no trouble getting sucked into Gemina thanks to authors providing a context to their story.
We follow two new characters from complete opposite social statures. Hannah is the daughter of the station commander. She begins as your stereotypical rich girl who just wants to have a good time, but we get to see peeks of her real personality shine through when the crisis on the Heimdall begin to happen. Nik is a drug dealer and the son of a notorious crime family. Nik is your quintessential bad boy. These two characters meet when Hannah arranges for drug purchase for a party on the ship. Obviously things take a dive before the transaction when a multiracial commando team of BeiTech “auditors” board Heimdall to take over its wormhole for a BeiTech drone assault fleet sent to eliminate Kerenza’s witnesses. With lots of sneaking, combat, quick thinking, and the crucial help of Nik’s younger cousin Ella (a fiesty and snarky, brilliant hacker disabled by a space plague she barely survived), Hannah and Nik try to stay a few steps ahead of their assailants. There is also an introduction to a drug operation that relies on mind-eating, multi-headed, predatory parasites with psychoactive venom, that are let loose on the station when the cartel is out of commission, which rises the ante in suspense on this already tense survival story. The snowball effect of small complications that keep growing made turning the pages that much faster to see how our protagonists will survive. There are plenty of twists and turns to the story including a cliffhanger ending that will have readers anticipating for the last book in the Illuminae Files. Due to its fast-paced, suspense filled story, I would highly recommend this series to reluctant readers and fans of science fiction.
Rating: 4 stars
Words of Caution: There is strong language (though most of it is censored out), strong violence, and some crude sexual humor. There is also mention of drug usage and allusions to sexual situations. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.
If you like this book try: Starbound trilogy by Amie Kauffman and Megan Spooner, Sky Chaser series by Amy Kathleen Ryan, 2001: Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke