Staff Review: "Gemina"
"Gemina", the second installment of the Illuminae Files, jumps to the intended destination for the survivors of the Kerenza attack—Jump Station Heimdall. At Heimdall, preparations for the annual Terra Day Celebrations and scheduled maintenance of the wormhole are underway. Hanna, the often-indulged daughter of the widowed commander, is running late for the party when a Bei-Tech strike team invades the station and takes control. She has little choice but to join forces with Nik, a rough around the edges guy from an infamous crime family. He may be morally suspect (particularly in comparison to her security officer boyfriend, Jackson), but the stakes couldn’t be higher—Bei-Tech is intent on preventing the Kerenza survivors from reaching Heimdall and have no intention of leaving behind any witnesses. Even worse, there are signs of instability of the wormhole which could destroy them all even if Bei-Tech doesn’t!
"Gemina" is an action-packed thriller in its own right as it advances the trilogy and stays true to the tone, themes, and unique narrative format of "Illuminae", even as it introduces new characters in a new setting. (Pages from Hanna’s personal journal, complete with a bullet hole and blood stains and illustrated by Marie Lu, were a welcome addition!) I couldn’t help but root for Hanna, Nik, and Ella as they try to outthink and outmaneuver a well-equipped foe. Fans of Kaufman’s Starbound Trilogy and Debra Driza’s Mila 2.0 trilogy along with those who enjoy a good underdog story are likely to enjoy this book, but if you haven’t read "Illuminae", start there first!