Rated 3.75 of 5 stars
While Kaufman & Kristoff’s first installment of The Illuminae Files was an adventurous, heartfelt ride, Gemina falls slightly flat in its attempt to follow main character Hanna at the commandeered Heimdall station. Hanna, the daughter of the station commander is a rich, spoiled girl who takes drugs for recreation but ironically has fighting skills that could take down highly trained, black ops style fighters. I found the plausibility in this novel to be lacking (although there were a few in Book 1 as well). Gemina clearly takes the cake on suspending your realistic approach to things (not including the multiverse theory actually).
The novel starts similar to the first installment with a hearing for the BeiTech leader Leanne Frobisher on her crimes of leading death squads to wipe out thousands of people. They prove this through a series of dossiers (and this is what the readers are seeing). The story rolls into meeting Hanna Donnelly, commanders daughter, and Nik, a bad boy type and drug pusher from a gang aboard the station. Hanna does not care for Nik yet Nik is in love with her (cue thin foreshadowing here). Anyway, there was a special Terra Day on another planet that has left a skeleton crew working at Heimdall, so the few left behind are partying when Nik inadvertently lets the death squad on the station. Mayhem ensues.
Throughout the novel, you’ll feel the pull of tension and impending doom. K&K do this well in their writing (countdown clocks, mentions of time, etc.). You’ll race through the pages in this book just as easily as the first. I personally felt there were lots of redundancy, murky details and pretty annoying pet names thrown around throughout the novel. I also did not like the banter between characters when there was obvious doom coming in a short timeframe. It felt forced and unrealistic. Who can be sarcastic when they are about to potentially die in 7 minutes? Not to mention, the characters get things done in a matter of minutes that seem quite implausible. So although I liked the tension and build-up and the cool multiverse theory angle…I did not care for any of the characters, their thin relationships and the outrageous-ness of some actions or conversations. Hoping Obsidio is the ending I’m seeking and picks up the story a bit more.
Raging Book Reviews Recommended