Monday, October 31, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Authors:  Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series:  The Illuminae Files 02
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers, October 18, 2016
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 672 pages
List Price:  US$19.99 (print); US$10.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780553499155 (print); 9780553499179 (eBook)

Brace yourself for GEMINA—the highly anticipated sequel to the book critics called “out-of-this-world awesome,”featuring journal illustrations by bestselling author Marie Lu!

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.

Qwill's Thoughts

Sometimes you pass on a book because you don't read for that age group or that genre or sub-genre. Last year I could have picked up a copy of Illuminae, the first novel in the The Illuminae Files, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I passed because I generally do not read YA since I'm busy with other novels, collections, etc. Well, I'm going to rethink that. Both Illuminae and Gemina are absolutely fabulous. I read Illuminae so that I could review Gemina. I had so much fun with these novels. In a nutshell Kaufman and Kristoff tell the story of the attack on Kerenza IV and its aftermath for those on the planet and those who came to their rescue in Illuminae. The 2nd novel in The Illuminae Files - Gemina - picks up the story from events on the Heimdall space station where the survivors of the attack on Kerenza IV are headed.

Gemina is framed by a tribunal case against one of the BeiTech people allegedly responsible for the attack on Kerenza IV and Heimdall. This allows the reader to read memos, reports of video surveillance, transcripts of conversations, etc. that are introduced into evidence in the trial. The novel moves quickly away from the Tribunal and deep into the action and the events on Heimdall. Being given a window onto the events and the psyche of the characters through the unfolding narrative is fabulous. There are wonderful visual treats throughout Gemina as well as surprises. You really get to know the main characters, Hanna and Nik, well through their recorded actions, conversations, and for at least one, drawings.

There is a lot of  action (and violence) as lives are on the line. The science in Gemina is very well done and often mind-blowing - it all sounds so incredibly plausible. Kaufman and Kristoff have created an immensely satisfying SF world in which to set the stories. Gemina, as well as Illuminae, are deeply immersive novels. I felt as if I was there experiencing everything that was happening. There are moments of levity and heartbreak and I really came to adore both Hanna and Nik and root for their survival. The story is top-notch; the main characters are fantastic; the supporting characters are very well done. I can not say enough good things about Gemina (and Illuminae). This is riveting SF presented in an uncommon format. Gemina is visually stunning, extremely exciting, fun, and very highly recommended.

Note: I purchased eBooks of the novels just to see if they worked as well in digital format - they do.


The Illuminae Files 01
Knopf Books for Young Readers, October 20, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 608 pages

For fans of Marie Lu comes the first book in an epic series that bends the sci-fi genre into a new dimension.

“A truly beautiful novel that redefines the form.”Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of Red Queen

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a copy of Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on November 11, 2016. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 14 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for this fascinating feature and giveaway.

  2. I was absolutely fascinated by the graphic layout of Illuminae so I can't was for this one!

  3. Well, I gotta say, the series sounds very intriguing. I sure would like to get into these books and this sounds like a great way to start.

  4. This looks like a great series, thank you!

  5. I love the orginality of this series. Can't wait to read this one!