Illuminae Review


For fans of The Fifth Wave and James Dashner comes the first book in an epic new series that bends the sci-fi genre into a new dimension.
“Brace yourself. You’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.”
–Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy

“I have never read anything like [Illuminae]. It certainly filled the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA shaped hole in my heart.” —Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of Red Queen

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 one of the 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.
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.


I am giving Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 4/5 stars.
Now, like a large population of the YA fan world, I have been excited for Illuminae since May when the beautiful ARC copies of it were given away at BEA. I mean, I didn’t even wait to find out what it was. I saw the cover and how beautiful and unique it was and I decided that Illuminae was going to be a book that I needed. Little did I know, that the cover was not the only thing that was beautiful and unique, so was the story itself.
I’ve never been a big science fiction fan. I mean, I’ve seen the basic science fiction movies, TV shows and know the bigger books, but never really got into them. Cause of this, I did struggle a bit at the start of the story trying to understand little things that were going on that were very science fiction related. However, once I caught on it was very easy to follow. I found it to be so unique how Kaufman and Kristoff were able to tell this amazing story with a mixture of documents/files . I mean they did a better job at telling a story in that format than others do in just plain old prose.
Before reading Illuminae, never did I thought I would enjoy a storyline between a human and a AI being, but Kady and Aidan proved me wrong. Out of all the different relationships that were explored in Illuminae my favorite was Kady and Aidan. At first Kady is just hell bent on destroying Aidan, and Aidan sees her as a threat as well, but watching them develop even after a plot twist involving Kady’s love life, by the end their relationship is completely changed. I personally believe in the last chunk of the book, both characters developed so much because of each other, not only as a pair of characters, but as individuals as well.
Despite all the love I have for this book, I do have two smaller things that I wasn’t quite a fan, but were done for creative reasons and to be unique so I only docked half a point each when grading the book. The first thing I didn’t like was that all the curse words were blacked out. Now, I can totally understand why that would be since the files and documents used were military type documents and they couldn’t have the swearing, but there were quite a few times that I would have to read the same sentence over and over inserting a new swear word just to figure out exactly which one was supposed to be there. Not a fan of having to do that. Maybe try using the curse words, but with a strike out font option. The second thing that I didn’t like was that there were some pages in which the writing was done in patterns like waves, the outline of buildings and in one case a circle. I hated when I came to these pages. Yes, they looked amazing, but were a pain in the (pardon my french) ass to read. I mean for the circle one, I had to flip the book all around so I can read it properly. I don’t want to be doing that to read. Granted, I didn’t like these creative choices, they helped add to the uniqueness of Illuminae so I can’t be too mad about them.

About the Authors:

Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is a winner of the Aurealis Award, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named in the Kirkus Best Teen Books list and published in a dozen countries, most of which he has never visited. Being the holder of an arts degree, he has no education to speak of.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling author of of two young adult science fiction trilogies. She had the good fortune to be raised just one block from her local library, and took full advantage of that fact growing up. She and her sister spent their childhood summers re-creating their favorite books by camping in the back yard, mapping their neighborhood, climbing trees, stepping through magical doors and sailing the local seas.

Raised in Australia and Ireland, she has kissed the Blarney stone six times, thoroughly cementing her gift of the gab. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and her rescue dog. She still sails, and though she climbs fewer trees, she remains partial to investigating the occasional magical door.


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