Monday, July 31, 2017

GEMINA BY AMIE KAUFMAN AND JAY KRISTOFF - BOOK REVIEW

I feel like a have grown a lot as a reader in the year and a half since I read book one and was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is the sequel/companion novel to Illuminae, Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.


The story follows a new cast of characters, although we do see some cameos from book one. Hanna is the captain's daughter, rich, spoiled and almost always underestimated. Nik comes from a mob-like family of crime and despite his own sins, he is just trying to move on from the past. When the ship they call home is invaded, the unlikely pair teams up to save the universe and then some.

First of all, I just want to say that compared to book one, I really liked this one. I'm not sure if it is because I am more open to sci-fi now than I was when I read the first book or if this book is genuinely better.

I was immediately drawn to the characters in the story. The book opens up as the first one did, at the end of the story, recounting the events that happened. But this time, I really enjoyed the characters.

Hanna is so awesome. Everyone thinks she is spoiled and a brat but she is actually ridiculously smart at strategizing. I never found myself annoyed with her. She was who she was, sometimes a girly-girl and other times basically a ninja. I found myself more invested when she was part of the story.

Nik is also great in his own way. There is a bit of the stereotypical badboy-not-really-a-badboy thing going on but I think it works for him. He knows what he wants. I didn't find him overly arrogant, which I know is a common side effect of this stereotype and I really appreciated that.

I liked that while the romance was a part of the book, it wasn't overwhelming at all and not really a major element. Maybe it would have been nice to see a bit more, but then part of me thinks it wouldn't be as authentic because of the amount of time that passes.

I also really loved the storyline of this book. I know in book one there were some intense moments but I loved the invasion aspect of this book. It had like a Paul Blart: Mall Cop vibe to it (ok, don't laugh. That's basically my only frame of reference for a take-over scenario). As much as I loved AIDAN's sass in the first book, I was happy to see a different take in this book.

Like the first book, this one is told in a collection of emails, messages, video transcripts, and other visuals. Hanna expresses herself better in drawings instead of words so we also get a peek into her diary. I loved the art included in those sections and I think it was a really original and nice touch to a format of book that is being more regularly and popularly used. And the illustrations are done by none other than Marie Lu!

There were only a couple of times where I struggled to follow the story, but mainly because of something that was happening in the book, not necessarily because of the format itself. I know I had more troubles in book one, so either the authors have figured out a better way to write the story visually or I have read more visual-based books in the meantime and have become better at following them.

Dare I even say I think I liked this book better than the first one? Gasp! But I was just kinda iffy on that one so if you are in my boat, having read book one and a little hesitant on whether or not this one is worth it, I would definitely give it a go!

The only reasons why I am docking a star is because I felt like it was a smidgen long and that ending. I think the length is meh, I know most of the pages aren't fully filled with text so I guess I get that, but I feel like some things could be reduced, you really have to commit to this almost 700-page book. And the ending. Ok, for the most part, things are wrapped up, but then they're and I quote just getting started?! What does that mean!? I didn't want to be in a situation where I needed to read Obsidio right when it came out but I might be there soon.

Overall, a major step up from book one and a great addition to the series!