- Science fiction that may be accessible to a broader, younger audience
- Interesting perspective for the story
- Severity of the situation is undermined by the constant, sarcastic comments
- Requires a huge suspension of disbelief for some plot elements
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff continues the saga that began with the Kerenza invasion, but this time the story centers on Jump Station Heimdall and its key role in maintaining the BeiTech conspiracy.
In many ways, Gemina delivers exactly the same story that readers fell in love with in the first book Illuminae. There’s another two teenage protagonists who are outcasts or rebels who work alongside another teenager who is a hacking genius. These teenagers have to work together to overcome overwhelming odds in the form of a veteran mercenary unit hired by BeiTech to “take care” of Heimdall.
If you loved the storytelling method in Illuminae, then you’ll enjoy Gemina just as much. There’s not much that differentiates Kady and Ezra in the first book from Hanna and Nik, though Hanna’s martial arts experience comes in handy, if a little too convenient. The sarcasm, the jokes, and the flirting pervade the communication among the young heroes of the story.
The style of dialogue for the teens can also feel a bit forced at times, and it’s almost painful where the communication between characters sounds like it is written by an adult attempting to impersonate teenager. At other times, the conversations are just too witty. While dialogue has to be smooth, the constant flow of witty retorts is a little disillusioning.
The largest distraction from the story is it requires a huge suspension of disbelief. Hanna is able take on veteran mercenaries, and while she just so happens to have the skills, she still lacks the mass and the experience I imagine the strike team possesses. It’s a bit ironic considering that this is science fiction where wormholes allow travel across vast distances. But maybe the mercenaries’ ineptitude is what allows the whole BeiTech plot to surface.
Gemina is an accessible science fiction story for young adults. It utilizes popular science fiction concepts like artificial intelligence, wormholes, and it introduces some of the problems with living in space. On top of these science fiction stories is a burgeoning teenage romance between two opposite people. It’s kind of a cliche, but younger audiences should find it familiar and enjoyable. Regardless, I found the plot and storytelling perspective interesting, and I’m curious about what will happen to the antagonists.
Overall, Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff does a great job in expanding the plot that is The Illuminae Files. And it delivers to its fans the characters they’ve come to love in Illuminae. The plot regarding BeiTech and its scheming is further expanded, and it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll get away with it in the final installation of the trilogy. It doesn’t seem likely if the teenage protagonists have any say in it.
Read a review of Illuminae, Book 1 of The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.