Gemina pretty much follows the same formula as Illuminae; there are multiple dangers on board and the surviving characters are split up and must communicate mostly via chat. This is not a bad thing and I thoroughly enjoyed the second instalment of this fast-action space drama.

What helps to make it different is a switch in settings and a different set of point of view characters (it’s OK, your favourite AI might just make a teeny tiny appearance). Remember the Hypatia and its survivors are heading towards the Heimdall jump gate? Well that’s where this story unfolds. And BeiTech are still desperately trying to cover up what they did at Kerenza.

Hanna Donnelly is the spoiled daughter of the stations captain. Nik Malikov is part of a crime family (like the space mafia). The two shouldn’t move in the same circles but Hanna dabbles in dust and Nik is her dealer. I didn’t like either of these characters at the start but that didn’t stop me getting sucked into the pages all over again.

As everyone on board gathers for the Terra Day celebrations, Hanna is busy trying on her new designer jumpsuit and arranging to collect her drugs for the forthcoming party. Oh and she can’t wait for her boyfriend to see her in her new outfit. But before she can arrive, a group of terrorists are smuggled on board and they are not afraid to shoot people. Instead of bowing to their demands, Hanna and Nik try to find out what they want and ultimately save the day, not just for them but for the people on board the Hypatia.

Meanwhile the Malikovs have been growing their product. The lanima are based on lamprey eels which are pretty scary looking creatures, only these ones have more mouths. The surveillance footage passages detail the ickiness of these creatures and the process they go through to get the drugs. In all the chaos it slips Nik’s mind that mind-altering death worms are now hatching and loose on the ship. Cue second danger. Oh yeah and the wormhole needs repairing and there’s a malware infection which means everyone is forced to listen to some terrible pop song.

Hanna keeps a paper journal, a rare thing in space where paper is a luxury item. The journal illustrations included are by Marie Lu and they add an extra personal touch to the pages. Blood starts to appear on the pages, hinting at something going wrong in the future.

I think it’s important that the third book moves away from this formula though as I’ll be on the alert for it next time. I hope it incorporates the two sets of characters and I don’t have to learn to like anyone else. Plus, more Aidan please!

POPSUGAR Challenge: 18. A book by two authors
Science Fiction vs Fantasy Bingo: Space

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Book Source: Purchased