Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Book Review

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: 2015


(from GoodReads)

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.

–Possible Spoilers! Read at your own risk!–

“Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us. And that’s what I think you’re afraid of. Maybe not of dying. But of this you, the you you’ve become, ceasing to exist.”

Illuminae was such an interesting and unique read! I’ve always been a huge science fiction fan, but was hesitant to read Illuminae mainly because of the way the book was written. I much prefer structure and thought the emails, IM’s, documents and security footage would be extremely confusing! It does take a bit of getting used to, but I’d have to say the authors did an amazing job. I didn’t get as confused as much as I thought I would and for the most part I could understand what was going on, except when they got all fancy hacker talk on me. That was harder to follow. I had to google so many words!

Despite the length of the book, Illuminae is actually a very fast read, most likely because of the way it’s written. Fewer words than your usual 600 paged book.

The characters were fun, but I had a hard time connecting with them which brought my rating of the book down because for me characters are practically everything. Since we aren’t inside any of the characters heads, we don’t know what they’re thinking 100% of the time. Add that to the fact that there were also so many side characters in the book, I had a hard time remembering who was who.

They all just felt so detached from me. Don’t get me wrong I still liked them, Kady’s very sassy and super cool with her hacker skills and Ezra’s adorable, but it just didn’t feel the same. I didn’t get very invested in their relationship either, their romance felt a bit forced and awkward at times. I actually rolled my eyes at times while reading their IM’s, but that might just be me and my ever-changing tastes in romance.

My favorite character out of the entire book was probably AIDAN. I know, I know, bad right? But, ugh, I can’t help it. Never has a spaceship made me feel this conflicted before.


Another thing I really, really loved were the author easter eggs! They were so cute and I got super excited when I found one!

Overall, Illuminae is a fast paced, complex, and extremely fun read! It starts off slow, but eventually picks up and becomes a very epic and kind of creepy (I’m talking to you Phobos victims and all your “Don’t look at me!”s) space adventure. A very nice start to a series and I’m excited for the sequel especially after that crazy ending!

4 out 5 stars


“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Buy Illuminae

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