AUTHORS: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
SERIES: The Illuminae Files#1
PUBLICATION: October 20, 2015
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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.
First of all, I’d like to point out how awesome the whole format of this book is. I admit that it did throw me off a bit at first, and got me wondering how on earth will I be able to understand a story written as a dossier of surveillance reports, hacked files, and recorded conversations, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff proved me wrong. Once I got the hang of it, which only took a few pages, it turned out to be like those walks in the park, easy to read and visually pleasing. Each page is beautifully created after all.
The writing style used in the book was brilliant. It was an interesting mix of action, romance, and thrilling factors that makes it stand out as a sci-fi novel which you will definitely love reading about and going back to. The world building was wonderful, and it didn’t take too long before I got sucked into the lives of Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, and felt the thrill they are feeling. There was no slow start to the story, as the start of the story was Kerenza IV’s end itself. From there, the story had a continuously astonishing flow, full of surprises awaiting at every turn of the page.
The plot of the whole book was something I really didn’t expect. All I knew before I read the book was that Ezra and Kady recently broke up, their planet was destroyed leading to their evacuation of it, and there was something occuring in the administration of their fleet requiring them to work together, but boy, there’s still more to that. Some parts of the story gave me goosebumps, some I found really sweet and adorable, and some made me fear so much for the characters. It was just so effectively and beautifully written that I found myself gripping the edge of my seat sometimes.
And as for the characters of the story, which are all wonderful by the way, AIDAN would have to be my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Kady is badass, courageous, and really intelligent, and that Ezra is like a hopeless romantic but still is a cool and sweet guy, but there is a complexity in AIDAN’s character which I found really intriguing. He is a character you would like to understand so much, but does not give much away. He is an AI afterall, but the way he was written in this book made me feel as if he is human too.
Overall, this book is a genius, and a world beyond my imagination. I loved how the book was written in a world not between Kady and Ezra only, but is more focused on what’s happening to everything outside them. The romance between them did not overpower the whole theme of the story, and it’s another thing I did not expect from this book at all. This book is definitely worth reading, and is a great start for those who haven’t tried testing the sci-fi waters yet. Illuminae is a beautiful book worth reading by everyone.
Let me end this review with a line from the book that I will never forget.
“Am I not merciful?”
5 out of 5 beautiful stars!
Collectively, they are 12’6″ tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn about Amie and Jay at amiekaufman.com and jaykristoff.com.