Book Review | Illuminae
Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers (Oct. 20th, 2015)
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
What I Thought
The hype for Illuminae has been strong, especially since the last book in the series, Obsidio, recently came out. So, when I found a hardcover copy at Books-A-Million for $6, I immediately bought it, and now that I’ve read it, I’m so glad I did!
One of the things I loved most about this book, was how unique it was! The format is not quite like any other book I’ve read, with pictures, texts, designs, and more. Reading Illuminae is such an exciting experience.
Despite its format being one of my favorite things about this book, I will say it also confused me a bit in certain parts, especially in the beginning. Maybe it was just me, but I had trouble connecting the storyline and what was going on for about the first 100 pages. Because the formatting jumps around so much, it took me a bit to fully know the characters and actually understand what was happening. That being said, even though I was confused, I still never wanted to stop reading. After I did finally understand what was happening, I was able to immerse myself into this book even more, and really never wanted to stop reading.
And what a wild and immersive ride this book was! Even though this book is 600 pages, because of the format, and how exciting everything is, it really does not feel that long at all. I want to remain spoiler free, so I’m not going to say anything about the actual plot. Let me just say, though, it is going to take you on a WILD ride, and make you want to reach for book 2 (which I don’t have yet…) right away!
I really appreciated all the characters in Illuminae, too. Kady, in particular, is such a fierce and independent character. She makes a great lead. I really love how she has the perfect mixture of strength and vulnerability.
Overall, while I found it a bit confusing in parts, Illuminae was such an addicting and exciting sci-fi book! I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series, and getting my hands on a copy of book 2, Gemina, very soon. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of sci-fi, as well as anyone who is looking for different and unique story.