Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review for "Gemina" {by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff}

TITLE: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
# OF PAGES: 659
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers

SYNOPSIS:

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 saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while they 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 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 may 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.



Briefing Note: Told through a compelling dossier of found documents—and featuring guest journal illustrations by bestselling author Marie Lu—Gemina hurls readers into an enthralling new episode that will leave them breathless.



Our Rating:




Our Gemina bookclub was so amazing I’m not even sure where to begin!!!! When we first arrived we were handed a folder with documents and words we were not allowed to say were in there. If we heard someone from the other team say one of the words we got to take their wristband! There was also a sample of “dust” in the folder which was only to be used as evidence haha! The folder was so well put together and you could tell a lot of time went into it. 
After dinner we went downstairs to an outer space experience! The room was dark and stars were light all over the ceiling! Then Alix and Hikari had a special surprise for us. Little did I know it was an incredible surprise!!! We got to skype both authors and it was AMAZING!!!! So fun to hear from both of them and hear how they received inspiration for the book.
First we skyped with Jay who was witty and humorous. He told us that his favorite piece of artwork for Gemina was the wormholes collapsing at the end of the book. 
Another question was if the writing style hinder the process of building characters at all. I really enjoyed the answer he had to this question because it was something I was wondering about. It’s a lot easier to understand and love a character in my opinion when you get to hear their thoughts. He said that how you act when you think no one is watching is your most true self. I couldn’t agree more and that’s why we fall in love with Hanna, Nik, and Ella. We see them when no one is watching and how they act and get to know their true selves. 
We asked who his favorite character was to write from both books (Illuminae and Gemina) and Aidan was his favorite to write. He enjoyed developing that character and how a computer was becoming more human like. He said you could tell his influence in the book because a lot of people die ha! Thanks Jay   We expressed how we are worried that a main character is going to die in book 3 because he cried wolf twice with Ezra and Nik! He told us that what happens in book 3 is his fault. Ugh!!! 
We asked what we could expect from book 3. He said we could expect the same format as Gemina; part of the characters are some we already know and exploring new characters and a new setting. There is a main plot and a sub plot and half way through the plots meet! The final book is massive he said! “It feels like the ending the story needed, we are happy with it.” Geeking out over here while writing this blog post and re-living our convo with Jay! It was seriously so amazing to be able to ask him questions and hear him talk in his Australian accent!  We asked if the two of them have any other books they are going to write together. We can expect another series from them! Jay said the series is another sci-fi and compared it to breakfast club meets Darth Vador!!! We can’t wait!
We asked if he enjoyed writing zombies or space worms more. He liked writing zombies more because we saw people we cared for and grew to love turn into something entirely not themselves and lose their sense of self. “DON’T LOOK AT ME!” When we told Jay how disgusting the cow scene was from Gemina he had a big ole smile on his face like he accomplished his job haha! He also told us that we found out the price Ella paid on how she survived in third book. It was amazing talking with you Jay! Thank you for taking the time to talk us crazy book loving girls!
We were unsure it was going to work to talk with Aime but she ended up having time to skype with us!!! Her personality is so charming and we loved her Australian accent equally as much! She told us more personal information which was so fun to hear! Aime and Jay met because she needed help with taxes. She had a dreamed later that they wrote a book through emails which inspired the style of writing from the series.  They visited NASA to get some tips about space. She said that the people at NASA were thrilled to be speaking to award winning authors and she laughed thinking, ”Yeah, but you all are rocket scientists!!!! Way cooler than an award winning author.” Her wit and humor made talking with her so fun! 
We asked what her favorite character to write and she quickly said Kady from Illuminae. She said Kady was her inner person. The death of Bryon in Illuminae was her idea and she hated writing it! She said it was just horrible! The scene were Bryon dies took her 3 days to write and when it was finished she handed it to Jay and said, “I’m out!” She loved writing back and forth with Jay through IM because it was so fun and how the book was written a lot. 
Her most meaningful artwork was the Death list of Illuminae. “When you see people as people, it breaks your heart.” She put a lot of thought on how to personalize it. She took 3 days just coming up for names for the list. She looked at many different cultures, family groupings with the same surname, family groupings with same sex partners, and many different backgrounds. This page of Illuminae really spoke to me and I can see why. Aime put so much thought and work into personalizing it so we would feel something, and it did just that.  That is one of my favorite parts of Illuminae as well. We loved talking to Aime!!! It was so fun to get to know these authors a little more. Thank you Hikari so much for arranging it!!
Now we moved onto the book discussion. We took a vote on who liked Illuminae more or Gemina. The majority of people in book club enjoyed Illumiane and I have to agree even though Gemina was bomb as well. We decided that Hanna as a character grew on you. The more we got to know her the more we liked her, where Kady we liked from the get go. We all loved talking about the parallel universe and how well it was written. We also discussed how upset we were when Nik died! One girl even read ahead to find out if he was really dead because she couldn’t handle the tension ha! Hikari especially loved the revenge where Ella flushed the Alpha team into space. Hanna and Nik’s first kiss was AMAZING!!!! We all loved the tension so much and it was so well written. There was so much disappointment in Jackson. Especially when Hanna gives him one last chance to redeem himself and he chose not to. Some of us felt Jackson truly did love Hanna but was in a difficult situation and others didn’t. That’s something I love most about book club, hearing others take on the books we read and different opinions on the same book! We are a lucky bunch of girls to meet together every month. 
We discussed our theories for book 3 and most of us agreed that Aidan will have a big part in it, and what he is going to do. At the end of the night we opened our confidential envelopes we got at the beginning of the night. One item went missing through the wormhole while we were discussing and we all guessed what it was! Robin guessed right which was a corsage that Hikari was wearing all night that had gone missing. 
It was such a fabulous evening and Alix and Hikari did such a wonderful job narrating! It was one of my most favorite book clubs and I’m keeping that dust I got handy!!! Thank you Kaylynn for hosting and the food was incredible!!! We had a baked potato bar and Italian sodas! It was delish. I can’t wait for the third book to come out in the series and see how Aime and Jay wrap things up!
Until next time,
Whitney B


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