Look, chum, I know what you’re going to say:  seen it, reddit.  What more can possibly be added to The Illuminae Files?  Well, I’m here to tell you: PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING.

From the book flap:

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 sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’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 residents 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.
Once again 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.

Overall:   (I can’t figure out how to black box the letters, so you’ll deal with disappearing font instead)

You’ve got to be fucking shitting me. It is the middle of summer and she’s nestled on her favorite reading couch, wrapped in a fucking blanket, sipping coffee and shifting between maniacal laughter and hysterical crying.  I can’t tell if she’s enjoying the book or not quite honestly.

Wait.  She’s on the move, about to put the book down on the coffee table.  She changes her mind and hefts all 4 pounds of this 608 page beauty with her.  She’s balancing her cell phone and the coffee cup in one hand, 4 pound weight in another.  She’s going to lose something.  Something’s about to fall.  I hope it’s not coffee, those Flor tiles look expensive and irreplaceable.  Oops. Shuffle.  Fuck.  Was that coffee spilled?  Ugh, good, it was just the matching Gemina bookmark.  She carefully steps around it, taking note to remember to pick it up, all without lifting her eyes from the pages of Gemina.

Switch to kitchen camera, where book is carefully placed by the French Press.  More coffee is poured, book is lifted and carried to fridge, half and half is taken out, brought to the counter.  Her eyes haven’t moved from the pages.  She stirs the coffee like a goddamned pro and makes her way back to the couch.

It is four in the fucking morning and she’s most defining not a night owl.  I would say she’s a fool, but observations of this 12 hours of footage has proven, she’s in the midst of a pretty fucking great book.

Footage continues.  More of the same until the sun rises, she’s finished the book, she kind of flips around searching for more pages like they’ll appear with constant flipping of the pages, searches something on her phone, yells “FUCK!”* and she goes on with her day.  This goddamned girl loves this fucking book.

*Later review of internet history on her phone finds Bei Tech Google search for “Illuminae #3 release date.”

Judge a Book by its Cover:  Possible hellfire, errors, confusion.  It matches Illuminae, so my bookshelf will be further beautified by its presence.

Me Talk Pretty:  The writing is this strange combination of offensive, familiar and visual.  No matter which format you’re in, it has a way of drawing you in, right into the action.  There are twists and turns at every corner.  Most of my favorite quotes are at the end, so I’ll give the quotes I think will end up on bookmarks, pillows and T-Shirts.  Please note that we received an advanced copy of the book for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so this may not be the FINAL words, but they’re close and the intent is there.

“A promise.  A whole sky of different stars.”

“They can do together what they weren’t sure they could do alone.”

“And now, born from the ashes, she’s a warrior in bloodied black, gun in hand.”

“Patience and silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

He Said/She Said:  There are so many characters.  So. Many.  But I promise you, Kaufman and Kristoff find a way to make them all intimately familiar.

Audiobook:  I listened to the Illuminae audiobook and from this example, this one will be epic**.

**Only if it includes the MP3 for Lexi Blue’s “Lick Ya (Lollipop)”

Open tab/Last call:   I read somewhere that the Black Pearl in Melbourne is one of the best cocktail bars in the world.  Meet me there with Illuminae #3 manuscript, I’ll beta read, you both can drink and relax.  Deal?


Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff releases October 18, 2016. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 608 fucking pages.


If you like Jay Kristoff, you may enjoy Nevernight.  Check out our review here.  He also contributed a very spooky story to the Slasher Girls and Monster Boys anthology.

For more from Amie Kaufman, check out our reviews of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World.