Book Review | Illuminae

5:30 AM


synopsis.

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.

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.


my thoughts.

Illuminae is one of the most uniquely constructed books I have ever read. Every page is beautifully constructed to reflect it’s purpose of either a report, IM chat transcript, medical reports or simply an artistically constructed page wherein the text actually forms a picture related to the content. Stylistically, it’s just stunning.

While this type of format may not be for everyone, I loved it, and the way it added an extra dimension to the storytelling. It did take a little longer to connect with the two main characters - Kady and Ezra - because of this format, but by the time I did understand them and their motivations I was so engrossed in the story that it didn’t even matter that I had trouble at the beginning. 

Set amidst the backdrop of a war over a planet at the edge of the universe, our two main characters are swept up in a space race aboard two different ships trying to outrun the conflict. They’re surrounded by people who know as little as they do and people who keep secrets. There are survivors and soldiers and scientists thrown together by a twist of fate.

Ultimately, my favourite storyline (among the many that can be found in Illuminae) is that of AIDAN, the artificial intelligence aboard the ship Alexander. I love artificial intelligence characters and AIDAN was no exception. 

I rated Illuminae 5 out of 5 stars. The second book in The Illuminae Files, Gemina, will be released by Allen & Unwin in November, 2016.

author // Amie Kaufmann & Jay Kristoff
publisher // Allen & Unwin
genre // Young Adult, Fantasy
publication date // November 2015
format // Paperback



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