While I continued to wait for Obsidio I decided to reread the second novel in the series as well. I’ve read Gemina once before, about a year ago, and it was just as intense and crazy as I remember. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff certainly knows how to write compelling sci-fi novels! Unlike many sequels, Gemina is just as strong, if not stronger, than Illuminae and certainly builds up expectations for the final novel.

In Illuminae, Kady and the rest of Hypatia tried, unsuccessfully, to hail Jumpstation Heimdall to come to their rescue as they were chased by a BeiTech dreadnought. As it turns out, Heimdall have some problems of their own, namely 24 SpecOps sent from BeiTech to take control of the station and, possibly, kill everyone on board. They also have an unstable wormhole that needs to be worked on urgently and a techvirus in their computers that constantly plays Lexi Blue’s new song. Oh, and also two dozen alien-snakes that will eat your brain if they find you.

The female main character is Hanna Donnelly, the spoiled daughter of Heimdalls commander. The male main character is Nik Malikov, a reluctant member in a notorious crime family. The only reason they know each other is because Nik is Hanna’s drugdealer. But when the SpecsOps from BeiTech shows up at Heimdall, Hanna and Nik are the only ones in a position to save the station and the incoming Hypatia. The SpecOps are well-trained murderers, ready to kill anyone who breaths the wrong way. They are something of a challenge for two 18-year-olds and the alien-snakes makes the task even harder. This is before they find out about how unstable the wormhole is and about Assault Fleet Kennedy, ready to jump through the wormhole to the Kerenza side to destroy the Hypatia.

Just like Illuminae, Gemina is written as a dossier, filled with chat logs, emails, a few excerpts from Hanna’s diary, conversations using headsets and, more often than not, written security footage. I missed some of the amazing layouts from Illuminae, but it’s understandable why there was more written security footage. There are some lovely drawings by YA author Marie Lu in Hanna’s diary though, and they are amazing. The entire novel is very well-crafted and certainly redefines what a novel is and can be.

Gemina is fast-paced and fill to the brim (and I mean, the brim!) with action, just like Illuminae. The bigger portion of the novel spans out for about a day and a half and so much happens it feels impossible to remember it all. There’s a plot twist around every corner and when you finally feel like you’ve gotten a grip on the story, Kaufman and Kristoff decides to turn everything up-side-down again.

The characters are strong and believable, all with their own agenda. Even the bad guys, the SpecOps, says things at times that makes you realizes that they are humans too, they have lives and loves and dreams, even if they try to kill everyone in their way. To make every character feel real is very impressive and I think a really good book is a novel that helps you understand even the evil people. It’s not because you’re supposed to accept the evil things they do, but to understand how they think and why they do it. A particular character, Kali, seems to be the worst person in the world but most of what she does during the novel is seeking revenge for someone she loves, just like Hanna and Nik does. I don’t like the things she did, but I can understand her reasons for doing it. That’s what a really good book does.

Overall, this is a great read that will suck you in from the beginning and spit you out, amazed and maybe a little heartbroken, by the end. It’s a good sequel to the amazing first novel. I’m both looking forward and dreading Obsidio, because I don’t want the series to end. Despite that, I look forward to see what’s going to happen and I’m sure Kaufman and Kristoff have more than one ace up their sleeve. I know I’ve said this before but seriously, you haven’t read these books yet? What are you waiting for?