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Book Review – Gemina

The concept of fortune is nonsensical, but Kady is insisting I wish you both good luck anyway.

Wow. I don’t want to be totally generic or anything, but mind = blown. To smithereens. To tiny particles of nothingness. I see no other proper way to describe to you the mind fuck that is Gemina, 1. because my mind is no longer and 2. because Gemina is highly complicated and even if my mind was still intact, I would never be able to express to you what the fuck I just read. 

But damn, holy hell, mother of God, was it fucking trippy. 

Again, here is the back flap description (I refuse to try and sum it up):

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.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering where the story goes after Illuminae, and the burning hot question that is: do we get more of Kady and Ezra. 

I will not be answering that question because I do not condone spoilers, but let me just say this, you won’t be disappointed regardless. The story is just there. It’s so fucking there that you’re going to get swallowed up in it and not really want to ever leave. 

I’m swearing so much. Look what the book has done to me. I’m done. I’m no longer. I’m reduced to ashes.

So, let me just do a quick comparison between Illuminae and Gemina, just to give you an idea of what you’re getting into. 

The characters in Illuminae are, in my opinion, better. They’re personable, smarter, funny, humble, so on and so forth. 

But the story in Gemina is above and beyond that of Illuminae, which I never thought possible. TRUST me. The plot twists, the revelations, the side plots, *slow claps*.

Illuminae was prettier as far as prose goes (bros [lol {okay, I’m done}]). AIDAN just plays such a dominant role in Illuminae, and because of that, the writing was intricately sewn together into, like, poems. 

The books were similar in page content, meaning there were black pages, swirling words, IM messaging, journal entries, yada yada, perfection perfection, whatever. 

The relationships in Illuminae were much better, including my favorite between Kady and AIDAN. The relationships in Gemina were okay at best. I felt the relationship between Nik and Hanna was very forced to begin with. It seemed like things picked up out of nothing and that we needed more exposition to understand the full extent to their past and present, and maybe (but I’m not telling) future. Whereas, the foundation of Ezra and Kady’s relationship just felt so real from the get-go, despite their quick jump from hate you to love you.

The mind fuck level of Gemina was at like a 50/10, while the mind fuck level of Illuminae was at a solid 10/10. Like, there just isn’t a comparison. And I can’t explain it farther than to say that, I think that’s the point. You’re probably not supposed to understand what’s going on exactly. You’re gonna wish your brain was that whip smart when it isn’t, but you’re just gonna have to power through on faith that everything will find its resolution even if you don’t fully understand every term and situation going rogue. 

It’s kind of like Grey’s Anatomy in that way. You don’t have to be a doctor in order to grasp the meat of the story and want to keep up with the characters.

I didn’t feel at all like this book was too long the way I felt about Illuminae dragging a bit. In Illuminae, AIDAN played too big of a role, even though it was beautiful, not all of it seemed necessary. And not all of the side plots seemed necessary either. Gemina didn’t drag, I felt, at any point. There was never too much description, never too much encumbered prose, and I felt like the writers got the idea from Illuminae where they had too many black pages in succession with swirling words you didn’t like spinning the book around to read. The black pages, while interesting and fun, have the tendency to veer the reader away from the story for too long.

I also felt like they created their own language for Nik’s part in the story, and they kept up with it expertly. Like, I was kind of blown away with how well they mastered his culture… and created that culture. Especially aboard a space station and keeping it totally natural. It could’ve felt fake and it never did. Plus, I totally fell in love with Nik. He was the hero of the story for me. The character I couldn’t have done without. Him and his cousin, Ella. The two of them together were everything I needed and more and I liked the introduction of that type of a relationship into a story that was otherwise built on romance.  

Ella was a total badass. That’s all I need to say about her. 

Hanna wasn’t a crowd pleaser. That’s for damn certain. She’s very sassy, she’s extremely big-headed, and her ego was just so inflated, I wanted to slap the shit out of her. 

I did end up liking her in the end, she has some redeeming qualities, but not very many.

However, she was an unlikable character done well, and you won’t be so bothered by her that you want to just put the book down. 

They did not disappoint with the banter this time around, but Illuminae was definitely a lot funnier. Banter is a big thing with these books. You get most of the story from how they all communicate over IM messaging–which, one small thing. Anybody else find it odd how they’re messages cut off as if they’re talking? Like, that doesn’t happen. If you get cut off, you don’t just send the message. And I think it may be because they can voice control it, but if not, I’m confused about that.

I think I have to say I liked this book better though. It does take awhile to get back into the groove of the writing style and to get a good handle on the story, but it was so worth it. 

This is a quick review because mind = blown. 

*self-destructs*

37/38

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