Book Review, Books!

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hey all, Dani here,

Whew, the end of the year always gets interesting when it comes to my blog. Typically I end up with a small pile of books I wanted to review and I always want to start my year off with new content so then I end up putting out a post or more a day for the last week or so of December…but hey, who’s complaining? Haha.

So today I’m going to be talking about a book that I put off for a long time because I thought I wouldn’t really like it, but then I heard so many awesome BookTubers and Bookstagrammers rave about it that I gave it a shot, and actually found myself really enjoying it.

Of course I’m talking about Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.



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

4.5 stars

It took me so long to actually get into the format of this book. Yes, it’s unlike anything else I’ve read but for a while the format kept me distant from the characters. I had to wait a lot longer to become fully invested in the story. But once that happened I didn’t want to put it down. I read the final 48% in just about an hour and a half. It was just so good.

If you weren’t already aware, this trilogy is written in a found documents style format…as in it is all text/IM conversations, transcripts of surveillance footage, and reports, etc. In some areas of the book that makes it really easy to fly through the pages (especially when following some of AIDAN’s thoughts/perspective.

Kady and Ezra had an interesting dynamic, and the fact that they were separated fairly quickly just meant that we were able to follow different events and different perspectives since we knew more characters. I wasn’t too invested in their romance for most of the book, at least not until the final 10-15% when a couple twists happened that had me thinking “that did not just happen!”

A character I really grew to enjoy was AIDAN, who is an AI, and the AIDAN plot is rather intriguing. Sometimes the logic of artificial intelligence makes cold and calculated decisions that a human wouldn’t and so you find yourself thinking that AIDAN is kind of a monster, but he undergoes so many changes throughout this massive novel, and in the end, I can’t help it, AIDAN kind of became my favorite character.

And that text conversation at the end, right before the final surveillance report…that just deepened the plot and made me excited to read Gemina (which I’ve almost finished so there should be a review for it up in the next couple weeks).

So yeah, despite the fact that Illuminae is a 600 page behemoth of a book, it reads faster than you might think, and even if you aren’t a huge sci-fi fan, maybe give this book a shot anyway. It’s pretty interesting, action packed, and you’ll get sucked in.

Where to Buy

You can pick this book up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository, and probably most everywhere books are sold.

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