Subject has decided, against our better judgement I might add, to continue reading The Illuminae Files and so here I am again writing up ANOTHER summary. We were forced to move the subject to a room with concrete walls & a minimal amount of breakable objects - though I must admit her attempt to chop the bed frame in half with her bare hand was admirable. I imagine that particular action was inspired by the physical prowess of one of the main characters, Hanna Donnelly... not that I've... read the book or anything... </ERROR>
Anyway... the subject has spent a lot of time in tears for this installment. Just crying uncontrollably. It's kind of ███ing gross. But between bouts of sobs, there have been plenty of smiles & giggles along the way. I knew I was right to recommend this book to Kim from the Dojo! I mean...
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars
You guys, I really enjoyed this book. Like a LOT.
Once again, I'm just blown away by the format of this series. It's such a gorgeous & unique way to tell a story, even further complimented by some phenomenal illustrations by Marie Lu.
The plot of Gemina had me quite a bit more engaged than the plot of Illuminae. I found myself much more sympathetic with our main characters, Niklas Malikov & Hanna Donnelly.
Where Illuminae is a touch too saturated with the love story between Kady & Ezra, Gemina focuses more on the importance of friendship & family.
Dramatically paced & incredibly terrifying, Nik & Hanna's story kept me completely on my toes. This is an intriguing continuation of the events that began in Illuminae, a much needed perspective from the people on the opposite side of the same conflict.
One of my favorite things is when a sequel is purely additive to the original work, and that's exactly what has been accomplished in this case. The chat logs & analyst summaries are much more concisely written while maintaining the same charming sense of humor that captured readers in the first installment.
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff concentrated on expanding the world they've created in a realistic & fulfilling way, adding in slew of fascinating new threats & baddies with some cameos from old characters that were a ton of fun to read!
Now for the reason it's not a full 5 stars... actually it's a handful of small reasons that add up to one medium sized, half-star reason... so here we go:
~Hanna & Kady read a little too similarly for me. They have different strengths & physical appearances, but their chat logs & personalities definitely blur together in my head. I found myself calling Hanna by Kady's name while discussing the book, and so I would've liked a little more individuality between the two.
~The data analyst summaries contain an unrealistic amount of information. I struggled a bit with this in the last installment as well. I realize this is the only format through which readers can experience a "normal" narrative about the characters, but if the data analysts are only watching a reel of footage it seems unlikely that they'd be as in-tune with the characters' thoughts and feelings as they are.
~It doesn't sit well with me that all the main characters are only 18. There really is no help for this gripe. It's Young Adult, I get it. However, it does tend to mess with my suspension of disbelief when I think about kids fresh out of high school outmaneuvering so many "highly trained & deadly" adults.
Even with these small issues, I would highly recommend this series for everyone. It's a wonderful Science Fiction/Horror mashup with intelligent writing & copious amounts of wit. After that brutal cliffhanger, I can't wait to see how it will conclude!