ARC Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Space

Pages: 608 Format: ARC Source: Library

5/5 Stars

This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not affect my opinions in any way.

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.

An epic space adventure told through investigative documents, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff delves into the lives of Kady Grant and Ezra Mason as their home world is attacked and the ensuing flight and repercussions of that event. Let me start by saying I absolutely loved this book. I was hesitant to start this because of the size but once I did there was no stopping. It pulled me in and there was no turning back. To say it gave me all the Battlestar Galactica feels is a sweeping endorsement of this book. The pinnacle of space drama!

The use of interviews, emails, reports, IMs, and so much more to show what happened on Kerenza and the spacecrafts was the most effective tool for this novel. This format led to more intrigue and covered multiple viewpoints of the events that transpired. Illuminae has some of the coolest techniques I’ve seen used in storytelling. The depiction of space battles was outstanding. A visually stunning experience from beginning to end, it was like watching a television show.

Now let’s get to those characters! I adore snarky characters with a sense of humor and some vitriol to back it up and Illuminae is full of them. Kady Grant is sarcastic, knows her way around a computer, and cares deeply about protecting people and seeking the truth. Ezra Mason is snarky, loves cracking jokes, but has some mystery to him. The banter between these two alone is incredible. Even the AI, AIDAN, has a cracked up personality all his own!

There is a ton of fast paced action that starts out with the original attack on Kerenza and continues in the ensuing space battles. It’s a survival story and the stakes in Illuminae are extremely high. It’s what makes this book so good. There is no shying away from death and destruction, gore and violence. This book is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, essentially causing all the feels. Plus that ending blew my mind. Wow, wow, wow!

Illuminae is a brilliant collaboration between two authors weaving their words together to form a captivating story. There is no disconnect in the storytelling, no difference in writing style. I cannot even begin to piece together who wrote what. This book tackles important issues like pursuing truth and fighting for what you believe in no matter the cost. The story is compelling because it connects with our own humanity and makes us question what we would do in the same situation.

Overall Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff did a wonderful job in creating The Illuminae Files. A truly unique style, an intriguing storyline, and the set up for so much more made this first book in the series an outstanding jumping off point and I cannot wait until the second book comes out and what these authors have in store for us next. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. Go check it out when it’s published on October 20th!

Favorite Quotes

1. Ezra Mason: That’s so not your business, it almost punches clean past the event horizon of Not Your Business and becomes Your Business again.

2. I saw in VR somewhere that old Terran sailors used to refer to their ships like they were ladies. It was all “She’s the fastest ship in the isles, guv’nor,” or “She went down with all hands on board” or whatever. And it’s funny–my Cyclone feels like a girl. Looks and moves like a girl. She’s all sleek lines and sharp curves and edges that can bleed you white. Sometimes, I swear she flies me.

3. Mason, E, LT 2nd: How have you got access to IMs? Ship to ship comms are down?

ByteMe: You’re right, how is this happening??? WITCHCRAFT

Mason, E, LT 2nd: This isn’t like jacking the school system to give me passing grade in chem. You could get into a lot of trouble

ByteMe: You did suck at chem. It’s fine, trust me. Short bursts, text only, undetectable if we keep it under 7 mins. Comms might be down, but command always leave themselves a back door open in case they want a heart to heart.

Mason, E, LT 2nd: …is that what this is? heart to heart?

ByteMe: Let’s not get carried away, I wouldn’t want to impose

I would have added a ton more quotes but I didn’t want to spoil anything. Plus they should be seen in their original formats to be best appreciated..

So, are you excited to get your hands on Illuminae? Did you love the style of this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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