I’m Ruined Forever // Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff [Spoiler Free]


Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Date Published: October 18 2016
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Pages: 672
Buy: Amazon – Book Depository
Australia: Angus & Robertson – BooktopiaAllen and Unwin
Follow Amie Kaufman on Twitter – Follow Jay Kristoff on Twitter

The saga that began with breakout bestseller Illuminae continues aboard Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station commander’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 crew 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.

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.

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I have no idea how to review this book because I’m absolutely ruined. I listened to the audiobook while making playlists and reading everyone else’s reviews. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know how important Illuminae is too me. I talk about it every chance I get. It’s also a huge part of the reason as to why this blog even exists. So, I was extremely excited, but nervous for Gemina. Fortunately, it lived up to every single one of my expectations. Now you’ll have to deal with me talking about BOTH books every chance I get.

For proof that this review took me 3 weeks to write see this tweet:

and these GIFs that sum up my reading experience:

Image result for ned declassified gif Image result for joaquin phoenix gif

Image result for parks and rec sick gif

Gemina picks up right where Illuminae left off. We jump right back into the action with a new set of characters. This time we’re following Hanna and Nik, who are currently stationed on  Heimdall. Hannah is the commander’s daughter and Nik is part of a criminal organisation, however we learn that neither of them live up to their stereotypes. During a Terra Day celebration Heimdall is invaved by BeiTech. That’s not their only problem though as an alien species is on the lose. There’s also a pop song that won’t stop playing… 

I loved Cady and Ezra so much I was worried that Hanna and Nik wouln’t live up to them. I ended up falling in love with both of them just as much. There are similarities between the two, but in my opinion, there’s enough differences so they’re not carbon copies. They both grow and we realise there is so much more to them than meets the eye.

I kind of fell in love with Nik … and by kind of I mean he’s potentially the love of my life.  Nik definitely isn’t perfect and he does some things like flirt with Hannah when she’s not interested, which is normally such a turn off for me but there was just something about his personality that kept drawing me in. Like in Illuminae the character development is absolutely fantastic. Hannah is so incredibly kick ass and human. Unlike Kady, who was super techy, Hannah is more hands on. When we meet her she seems like a party girl (which there’s obviously nothing wrong), but she also reads history books and does war reenactments with her dad and is into fashion and leaves notes in lipstick. She’s probably one of my new favourite female characters ever. I loved the dynamic between Hannah and Nik so much. They bounced off each other so well. Hannah didn’t take any of Nik’s shit and I loved it.

“And waiting for her on the other side? Just like he promised … a whole sky of different stars.”

The side characters are all so wonderful too. Nik’s cousin, Ella, is a kick ass girl who basically saves the day with her hacking skills. She’s also in a wheelchair and whilst I can’t comment on how well that was represented it never stopped her from doing things and there was nothing that vilified her or singled her out. I definitely think there was a bigger attachment to the side characters in Illuminae though. There’s lots of fun appearances from characters we saw in Illuminae too. Every member of the strike team aren’t just one dimensional villains either as we get to know all of them.

There’s a new format in Gemina which are journal entries that include wonderful illustrations by Marie Lu (The Young Elites, Legend). I feel like there is a lot more actual narrative in Gemina than there was in Illuminae. I think Illuminae has the heads up on Gemina in that regards because the multi-media format wasn’t as present. There wasn’t all the stunning designs that Illuminae had. However, I felt like the narrative was more necessary in Gemina so it didn’t take away too much and it wasn’t like the designs were non-existent there was just less.

Plot-wise, Gemina definitely follows a similar pattern to Illuminae. It may be an issue for some people, but again, I’m incredibly bias and was so caught up in everything I honestly didn’t even care. I was constantly on an edge of my seat, emotional roller coaster with this book. You will be laughing one minute and crying the next. There is more of a focus on the strike team than the alien species, but there is a lot more sci-fi elements in this book than the first with talks of parallel universes and alternate timelines.

If you loved Illuminae chances are that you’re going to enjoy this, even if you do end up digging Illuminae more. This was hands down one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and ever read. As a side-note the audiobook is INCREDIBLE and an experience all on its own. There’s a full cast of voice actors and it’s honestly like you’re listening to a movie so I definitely recommend checking that out too!

“You might get only one shot. So shoot.”




All the stars in the galaxy



Have you read Gemina or is it on your TBR?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

P.S I made Lexi Blue album art 😅


58 thoughts on “I’m Ruined Forever // Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff [Spoiler Free]

  1. *nodding sympathetically*
    I read an ARC of Gemina a month before it came out.
    Ah yes, I remember the turmoil of emotions as I was reading it…
    I have to admit, I loved Illuminae even more, but I loved Gemina nonetheless :’)


  2. I haven’t read this yet, but I can definitely picture a slo-mo of Kady & Ezra running through the space station with things blowing up in the background and lots of fire and Run by Snow Patrol is playing in the background. If they turn this into a movie and use this scene, I BETTER CREDIT.

    Awesome review, as always. ❤ Definitely is making me want to get to it ASAP.


  3. Hahahaha your review notes made me laugh, and kind of eager to get to this book, finally. I think I need to order it in the next couple days, I can’t handle the suspens anymore haha. I’m so, so happy you loved it so much, and I just LOVE how I can feel all of your enthusiasm in this 😀


  4. Great review Lauren, as always! I was hearing Gemina was even better than Illuminae so my expectations were really high so I was a little disappointed with this one. I liked Illuminae waaaaaay more, and I liked the characters in this one less. Still an awesome book though but where Illuminae was a 5 for me I think this will be a 4. I’m hoping the trilogy goes out with a big bang and really blows all of our minds even more! (At least I think it’s a trilogy….) 😁


    1. Thank you ♥ Aw, sorry to hear you were a bit disappointed by it. I definitely can see why people would be though because it does follow a pretty similar pattern and there’s definitely not as big attachment to the side characters as there was in Illuminae. I just love the series so much I’m so biased towards it, haha. I’m super excited and terrified to see how it all ends!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely LOVE Illuminae and I can’t wait to get my hands on Gemina, but I am also so nervous and excited at the same time, I think I’m subconsciously putting it off…
    Amazing Review 😀


  6. I loved Illuminae because reading it wasn’t like any other books.It was an experience,the narrative, dialogue AND the beautiful picture. Honestly it felt like watching a movie but in the most bookish way possible.
    I cant wait to read Gemina!


  7. YAY! So glad you read it and can now talk about spoilers lol. I liked Illuminae better, but I still liked Gemina. I just really wasn’t convinced by the romance in Gemina. But I loved the bad guys! So entertaining! I’m really curious to see how they are going to end this all.


  8. LOL I’m so happy or you, Lauren. I can tell you truly and unapologetically love this series. I mean, it even inspired you to create this blog!! So even before your review or before the book was released, I knew Gemina would get a infinity-stars rating from you. haha.
    Thanks for the laughs and the excellent review. x) ❤


  9. Gosh I need to read Gemina soooo baaaadddddd. But I need to wait until next year because I’m not allowed to buy any more books this year or I’ll risk not buying gifts for anyone ahahah

    I absolutely loved Illuminae so I am sure I will love Gemina too. Thanks for the exciting review.


  10. Great review Lauren. I am so so glad you enjoyed this book and I can definitely agree with your gif process while reading this book because it’s the same as mine pretty much (also great notes on this book as well!)
    I loved Kady and Ezra in the first book but I felt Hanna and Nik were even better. I loved the dynamic between the two of them but also between the two of them and Ella. Some of their scenes were hilarious, and others were so tense and heartbreaking as well. There were times when I had no clue what was going on with the plot but it was a complete thrill ride from start to finish.
    I am so so excited for the third book now; I need more from Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Ella and AIDEN. Especially AIDEN! 😀


    1. Haha, thank you Beth!! I’m glad you relate 😂

      Their dynamic was so brilliant. I fell in love with them immediately. And yes, same. I struggle a bit with the whole concept of alternate timelines, but I just rolled with it haha.

      YESSS. I can’t wait for the next book, but I don’t want the story the end!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I guess that’s an experience all readers have with amazing books like this one! 😀
        I think when I stopped trying to wrap my head around the alternate timelines and just kind of went with the flow it was a much more enjoyable read for me!
        Me neither, but at the same time the sooner I get my hands on this third book the better! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved how flirty Nik was and how Hannah kind of lapped it up hahaha! I loved how they ended up really getting used to each other. Ella is the best character ever! how great were the journal entries omg. Yesss I am getting into the audiobook just as soon as I finish Illuminae! Great review Lauren. Seriously reviewing this book is hard lol.


    1. Oh my god, right. Honestly, I would have been the same 😂😂 I loved Ella! She was so kickass. I loved the journal too, Marie’s illustrations were awesome. I hope you enjoy the audiobook 😀 I loved it! Riiiiight. I just wanted to scream about how brilliant it was 😂😂


  12. Okay first of all I had to admire your ability to write review weeks after you read it and without notes!! I could never do that :’) and second this is suuuuch a great review ❤ I wasn't that into Hanna BUT I love Nik possibly as much as you do 😛 sadly though beside Ella and Kady's father, there's not much character I could care for in this book 😦 and I kind of wanted less narrative in it? But I adore the new format SO MUCH! Those diary entries told me everything about Hanna's life without trying too hard ❤ P.S. I also love that aesthetic and the album art you made!!


  13. LOVED YOUR REVIEW. I have only read Illuminae but I will pick the sequel REALLY SOON. I am nervous about whether I would like this one as much as Illuminae, but your review just made me SO MUCH MORE EXCITED TO READ IT. ❤


  14. LOVE THIS REVIEW TO THE MOON AND THEN TO THE STARS AND BOUNCING BACK! I’m currently reading this one and I love the characters! And YES TO ELLA BEING SO KICKASS AND AWESOME! Your review is plenty amazing and I can’t wait to finish this book off and then come with the feels! I heard the audiobooks are amazing for this! I have no idea what to expect from them but I heard of their greatness and I want my hands on it! Anyway, really lovely review and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! ❤


  15. I literally can’t wait to have my hands on this book!!!! Ahhhh!! I’m glad you loved it! Great review!!!


  16. Great review! I agree with you 100% on everything, basically. I loved Kady and Ezra and was really worried about the new characters, but they ended up being just as awesome. I adored Nik and Ella. The tension was VERY TENSE. Then the whole storyline with time and I’m not going to say too much but IT BLEW. MY. MIND.


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