Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (no spoilers, just gifs and a giveaway)

Rating: all the stars
Pub Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult sci-fi space adventure mind fuck
Format/Source: ARC, BEA
Status: book 2 of The Illuminae Files
Link: Illuminae review

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

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.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

TL;DR aka Gemina in a single gif

I'm a bit of a jerk when I read sometimes so really really early on, I was all 

Because I thought I'd figured everything out, which means that
of course, through their writing, Amy & Jay were basically were like

This was a feeling I had REALLY early on
And it pretty much never went away.

And I'm pretty sure I screamed this a time or twelve

When you read it, you'll understand why this is hilarious


It's kinda like this.

Me yelling this---v
directly led to me doing this---v


There's a scene like this & it's awesome

Actually me reading that scene

But then I was all:

And then my brain went all

But then

Eventually I was just

In general, there was a whole lotta this:

With a healthy dose of
when I guess things or when the characters did
something I expressly told them not to, but they
didn't listen to my very sound advice.

And a smidgen of

And now I'm sitting here with over a year to go until Illuminae 3 and just...

So the only solution I can think to remedy the unfairness is


Bonus round:
Mary casts characters with gifs

Totally something Nik would do

Hanna, trying to figure out what tf is going on

Sassy computer genius Ella

I discovered the movie Lockout when the preview played on a dvd, but I found the gifs really applicable for Nik & Hanna. I actually love Maggie Grace as a fancast for Hanna. She's pretty and princessy (see Lost and Taken) but when push comes to shove, she can be tough and get the job DONE (see: Lockout and Taken 2).

Nik really does smoke. Don't smoke, kids.
Also Hanna wears a suit like that. Sort of.

Purchase Links:

About Amie:
Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken StarsThis Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Author Links (Amie):

About Jay:
Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of The Lotus War trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, Endsinger, is out now. He's also co-author of the upcoming Illuminae (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi... thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and Nevernight, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings. reviewer's note: this is true

Author Links (Jay):

Open to US & Canada. Entrants must be 13+. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST August 9. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page.Good luck!

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  1. I have Illuminae and plan to read it soon!

    1. I hope you love it. It's one of my absolute favorite series EVER.

  2. I don't really have a favorite character. I just love love love this book. It is so unique. Cannot wait to read Gemina!!

    1. Gemina is SO GOOD! I hope you love it! (also, I like all the characters. Hard to pick a favorite!)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! I had SO much fun finding the perfect set to describe my feels!

  4. Mmm, I love Kady and how intense and strong she is, she impressed me at every turn through the story!

  5. Um...I haven't read it yet. But I keep hearing about it and now I have to.

    1. READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT! I mean, whatever. Up to you (DO IT).

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. *SPOILERS* I forgot to put that on the initial comment haha!

    Ezra and Kady definitely tie for my favorite characters, but I think AIDAN might be the favorite, for the sheer insanity and cleverness of that "character". I'm excited to explore more characters in Gemina, maybe meet some survivors of the attack on Kerenza, and for Kady to make good on that threat to Ezra's mom Leanne. I AM READY. KADY I WILL HELP YOU. God I love this book. Also this non-spoilery review had me DYING of laughter but also SO CURIOUS. I cannot wait for this book, I am so impatient haha.

    1. I promise if my review made you die of laughter, Gemina will too. But it will also, you know, destroy you and rip your heart out. I love AIDAN too! His snark is A++!

  8. AWESOME REVIEW! I loved AIDAN in Illuminae. Is that weird? Probably. He was devious and had that odd fascination with Kady that totally threw me for a loop. I'm so lost after Illuminae, I just want Gemina in all its devastating glory!

    1. Not weird at all. Or, if it is weird, at least you're not alone. AIDAN and Kady are one of my favorite (non-romantic) ships. They have great chemistry.

  9. These GIFs are amazing. Makes me excited (and scared...mostly scared) for Gemina. Will we see AIDAN and group, though??? That's what I want to know!
    But Kady HAS to be my favorite. SO SASSY.
    I can't wait to meet them allll.

    1. Not a spoiler because Amie and Jay have said so, but anyone who survived Illuminae is in Gemina at least a little bit. Kady's sass gives me life.

      Also, I'm glad you're excited but mostly scared for Gemina. Scared is good. It means you're keeping self-preservation in mind. That's important.

  10. Haven't read it, which is why I need it lol!

  11. I have Illuminae but haven't read it yet! So I don't know yet who my favorite character is.

  12. I really liked Kady, but every time I liked a character in Illuminae they got killed off, so I'm pretty scared to read Gemina...

    1. You should be very, very afraid. And I absolutely know how you feel re: killing off beloved characters. I'm still not over Mc-----'s death from Illuminae. *actually still crying*

  13. I really liked Kady, but every time I liked a character in Illuminae they got killed off, so I'm pretty scared to read Gemina...

  14. I haven't had the chance to read the Illuminae series yet, but I am so excited to do so!

  15. I haven't read this series yet, but now that there's an exciting sequel, I've got to start or miss out!

  16. Favorite character? That's a hard one! Hmm... I would say Kady, because I love her so much. But I also love Ezra, so Ezra too! (:
    Who am I excited to meet? I'm super-duper excited to meet both Hanna and Nik. Just from the synopsis I can tell I'm going to *love* them :D
    Can't-can't wait!
    Oh and thank you so much for this amazing giveaway ^_^

    1. Ezra and Kady together <3 *swoons* Trust me; you're gonna love Hanna and Nik just as much. They also have A+ chemistry and snark.

  17. okay, to be honest, I wasn't sure how this would would stack up against the first, but those gif reactions got me interested! Hanna seems like she'd be feisty! Also had no idea there was gonna be a 3rd book.

    1. 1. I didn't love Gemina QUITE as much as I loved Illuminae, but that's because after reading Illuminae like four times, I have Amie and Jay *sort of* figured so some of the big twists I was able to figure out, and I wanted a bit more surprise. But it's still AMAZING.
      2. Hanna is VERY FEISTY.
      3. YES! It's a trilogy!

  18. I've seen these books around the blogsphere, but haven't ever really known what they are about. Your reactions have deemed the books interesting enough that I should put the books on hold! Thanks for the (spoiler free) review!

    1. SPACE AND FAMILY AND TECHNOLOGY AND ROMANCE AND MURDER AND AIR-BORN PATHOGENS AND ANGST. I'm happy to help! I like to save spoilers for after a book is released. I'm certainly not going to share details when so many people haven't read the book yet!

  19. I got the ARC at AASL and have been a bit scared to read it because it wasn't sure it would measure up to the first. Plus I had heard the audiobook for the first book was amazing and kinda wanted to listen to this one. However, so many people are saying this book is better than the first. I guess it'll be moving up my TBR!

    1. I guarantee the audio will be just as good as Iluminae, but I recommend reading AND listening to the audio because you miss stuff if you just read or just listen. Like the book has all that gorgeous art the audio can't reproduce, but the audio has multiple narrators and glorious effects. Do both!

  20. I CANNOT WAIT to get this book. I recently read Illuminae for the first time and it was the coolest reading experience I've ever had!

    1. Gemina is just as cool, but I can't wait to see Marie Lu's final illustrations!

  21. I can't wait to read this! October can't come fast enough for me. =]

  22. Lol!! This whole post was exactly how I felt while reading Gemina! So accurate!

    1. Thanks! It was so much fun finding the perfect GIFs for each scene or reaction.