5 Ways Gemina is like Illuminae (and 4 Ways it Isn’t)


If you’ve been around on here for any length of time than you probably know that when I read Illuminae for the first time last spring it entirely rocked my world. More recently I re-read Illuminae and than had the opportunity to read the upcoming sequel, Gemina… And I can tell you that it was likewise amaaaaazing. So much so, that I haven’t been able to talk about it much beyond keysmashes and long strings of capital letters. To spare you from a review filled with just that (seriously you should thank me for saving you) today I decided to talk a little bit about what make Gemina similar to it’s predecessor, and what makes it different… But in entirely the best way, trust me.


Totally Unique Format

Illuminae was fantastically created with all it’s pictures and documents and transcriptions. Gemina has all of that and even takes it a step further with illustrations and even more super cool things that totally wow-ed me.

Characters You Will Root For

Hanna and Nik are extremely different from Kady and Ezra, but their stories will still suck you in and make you root so hard for them to win.

So Many Censored Swear Words

It might just be me, but there sometimes large blocks of text in these books that slow me down because for some reason I have to take the time to fill in what each of the blacked out swear words would be. (what’s with that, brain?) Never fear, just like in Illuminae, everyone in Gemina swears like sailors and it’s all censored. Leaving you to wonder: if this is far in the future, are their swear words even the same ones we use?

Countdowns and Tension

You remember all those countdown clocks in Illuminae leading to all those bad things? Yeah, there are more of those and they are scary. 

Lots of Death

… With Illuminae’s death toll did you really expect anything different?


Intensity That Creeps Up On You

Illuminae started at a super intense moment, and through the book the hits just didn’t stop. In Gemina I found that the beginning didn’t seem very high stakes, but as the story went on all the elements from the beginning of the book slowly came together to create a lot of intensity. You just gotta wait for it a little bit.

Plot Points That Mess With Your Mind

I didn’t find Illuminae at all hard to understand, but Gemina… There is a moment that will make your head spin a little bit. Not in a bad way, but… Wow.

Creepy Aliens

In book one we had a creepy disease, and a creepy Artificial Intelligence. In Gemina we get some very chilling alien creatures thrown into the mix. I recommend reading parts of this one in daylight.

An Unlikely Character Team Up

Illuminae featured two main characters who had fought right before the book started, but who already knew each other very well and had done many things together before. Gemina, in contrast, features two main characters who seem like complete opposites and who never work together… Until they have to.

16 Replies to “5 Ways Gemina is like Illuminae (and 4 Ways it Isn’t)”

  1. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!!! In fact I’m going to re-read Illuminae while I wait.😂 Ahhhhh. I’m also glad it has lots of similarities to Illuminae. I confess, I’m nervous that it’s completely different protagonists? But I know these authors are epic so I’m sure they can pull it off!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  2. I haven’t started this series yet, though I do own Illuminae. These books seem amazing though! The format is so different from anything else I’ve seen.
    (I also read a book recently where the swear words had stars that kind of bleeped them out. I also totally had to fill in the blank bc… reasons xD)
    Great Post, Tamara!

  3. I loved the way you formatted this post- I always find it hard to review sequels especially to books like Illuminae! I am so excited for Gemina, even more now! I love the whole unlikely team thing, so that’s something to look forward to 🙂 Love this post!

  4. I actually haven’t read ILLUMINAE yet even though it’s been staring at me for several months. I’m definitely excited to read both ILLUMINAE and GEMINA because so many enjoyed it! Glad you loved it 🙂

  5. Oooooooh I’m just so excited for Gemina I can’t wait! My name is supposed to be on the death list, and I am even more excited for that, hahaha. I’m so jealous that you’ve got your hands on a copy. October can’t come soon enough!

  6. I haven’t completed Illuminae yet, [😬] but I’m glad you enjoyed it! (I appreciate the spoiler-free review!) Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of mixed reviews, but one thing almost everybody seems to agree on is the unique formatting and presentation of the story. Somehow the spaceship concept part reminds me a tad of the spaceship portion in the first season of the 100😂I’m a fan of YA thrillers, so I think I’ll enjoy the plot twists once I get to Gemina. Lovely discussion!

    ✨ Claire @ Cover to Cover

  7. I agree with EVERY SINGLE POINT. I think the best part of my experience reading Gemina, was that I found the uncensored curse word! The plot literally messed with my mind – I could not wrap my head around what was happening. This is an awesome post Tamara!! can’t wait for us to get the third booook 🙂

    Lillie @Little Lillie Reads

  8. I’ve been trying to *not* remind myself of the so-close-yet-so-far-away release date of Gemina because THE WAIT IS PRACTICALLY KILLING ME and Illuminae left me in tears. Both because of that damn cliffhanger and THE FEELS. ALL THE FEELS. (Oh and shock too.)

    I’m so glad Gemina is still pretty good compared to Illuminae. I’ve heard others who didn’t think as much on Goodreads and I didn’t know what to think myself. T_T I’m actually still a bit attached to Kady and Ezra, but hopefully Hanna and Nik will have a special place in my heart as well. <3

    (Also please tell me Kady and Ezra will both still make an appearance in Gemina.)

    Great review, Tamara!

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