Oh my gosh, guys! I know I said I was going to wait and download this as my audible book for January, but I couldn’t wait that long, I think I lasted about a week after finishing Illuminae before I had to download Gemina. If you’re here, I’m hoping you’ve already read my Illuminae review and after that you were inspired to pick it up and now you’re here for Gemina. I know you probably won’t believe it, but I did give this 5/5 stars too – crazy right?
I think I just need to pause the review here and once just bring home the fact that these audiobooks are fantastic. They’re easily the best I’ve ever listened to, I highly recommend them! They’re just phenomenal, with the sound effects and the amazing cast of voice actors and just, well, everything! Definitely try them if you’re a little sceptical about the series in book form – they’re worth it. Even if you read the first one, this is definitely a good place to start!
Obviously, this novel is not from the perspective of Kady and Ezra (which made me really sad when I found out). I was so head over heels in love with them as characters and couldn’t wait to get more of them. However, Hannah and Nick happily filled that void. If I’m being completely honest, at the beginning of the book I really didn’t like Hannah and I was scared it was going to ruin it for me, but as the story progressed I ended up being completely invested in her. As it was with Kady, I love how Hannah is a total bad ass and doesn’t let men get in her way; she doesn’t let Nick, or her dad or Jackson or the other hostages stand in her way. If you’re looking for a series with a really great cast of not annoying female protagonists, look no further.
I think this book may have shocked me more than the first instalment. I just loved how the twists and turns were revealed, it was like I was listening to a movie, I had such a clear picture of the scene in my head and I didn’t see the twists coming. As things unravelled, I literally found myself in my living room saying ‘no… it can’t be… OH MY GOD!’, I think my neighbours are going to start a petition to have me muzzled.
As the middle book in the series, there’s always the potential that it was going to be absolute crap. Usually, if I really loved the first instalment, the sequel doesn’t quite hit the mark, so I’m sure you can imagine my joy when this was just as amazing. I think the inclusion of our old favourites from Illuminae, whilst introducing new protagonists really helped move the story along and stopped it feeling like a filler book just to make a trilogy. In a lot of ways, the cast and events of this sequel are very similar to Illuminae, yet it never felt stale. I never ever felt like I was just reading the same story again, the subtle differences meant it was unique without being totally unfamiliar and out of character.
I won’t go into detail about the sci-fi elements of this novel, but if you’ve heard this story is a space thriller filled with aliens and space stations and wormholes and alternate universes – please don’t be deterred. I never imagined a world so far from my own would be as completely absorbing and realistic. I think the focus on the characters and their reactions helps suck the reader into the world, it’s only when I come out of the book and try to explain it to a friend that I realise how far-fetched it really is!
Again, I won’t go into details, but I didn’t find this ending nearly as much of a cliffhanger as Illuminae. But with that in mind HOW CAN I WAIT UNTIL AUTUMN TO KNOW?!… I need an ARC… I need a theory… I need a time machine. I’m afraid the closest I’m going to get is a pre-order *sigh*.
Overall, I think if you loved Illuminae you won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to read the third instalment and see if they’ve pulled a hat trick (I’m fighting their corner all the way). I really don’t think I can rank the two books in terms of enjoyment. I mean, my expectations for Illuminae weren’t that high, so it was such a surprise when I loved it. But by the same token, I was so scared of not liking the sequel that I was hesitant going into it. Either way, they’re both amazing and they both get 5/5 stars.
Let me know your thoughts and theories in the comments!