I was a huge fan of Illuminae when it came out last year. I loved its patchwork document construction, loved the sass and the breakneck pace, loved the “OH NO THEY DIDN’T” moment that sent me scrabbling backwards to try and work out what had happened.
So I jumped when The YA Chronicles announced their Gemina box (birthday present to self, sorted). This arrived the other week. I was thrilled, particularly by the tote bag. And the bookmarks! Also by the letter from the authors, who are verifiably awesome. Let’s just call the entire thing excellent. I meant to take more pictures (that’s how unboxings are supposed to work, yes?), but I started reading instead.
A couple of (non-spoilery) notes on Gemina:
I took a little while to warm to the new protagonists, Hanna and Nik. Hanna I found spoilt and slightly aggravating, so I struggled with the concept of Nik liking Hanna and therefore with liking Nik. But then the evil BeiTech Corporation’s evil space commandoes arrive and our two young not-quite-lovers get messed up (see, no spoilers) and VERY fierce.
Speaking of characters, specifically space commandoes, the book’s primary villain, Cerberus, is terrifying. Brutally pragmatic and very clever; his byword is also ‘bliss’. I found this… unsettling. However, Cerberus and his friends are just the first of Nik and Hanna’s problems. Cue shiny, many-mouthed alien predators. Also, droid battle fleets. Also, space-time paradoxes threatening the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Are you stressed yet? Are you??
Ella, Nik’s cousin and spider hacker extraordinaire, is by far my favourite new character. I can’t wait to see her in a room with Kady. Speaking of Kady, there are brief appearances from her, and Ezra, and also AIDAN (hurrah!).
By the way, that “OH NO THEY DIDN’T” moment I mentioned? There are about 3 of those in ‘Gemina’.
I am of course now keenly awaiting the next book in the series, although I don’t know how the authors could possibly raise the stakes any higher. I also want to reread ‘Illuminae’. And watch some Doctor Who.
Don’t expect to hear from me for a while.