Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Release Date: October 20, 2015

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: The Illuminae Files, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads ● Website (AK) ● Website (JK) ● Website (Illuminae Files)

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.

This one has been very high up on my to-read list. I mean, the hype for Illuminae was HUGE. I couldn’t go down my twitter feed without seeing a few mentions of the book every day. Goodreads was absolutely abuzz with this title. Every Waiting on Wednesday post seemed to feature this book. I was really surprised when I received a copy in the mail. It was great timing too–it arrived just before I left for the airport, heading off to my second year at university. Talk about good luck! Unfortunately though I couldn’t even get to read the book during the semester...there just wasn’t enough time for me to do so with all the work heading my way. It was such a shame that I only got to it now because this one is AMAZING.

I’ve previously read Kaufman’s These Broken Stars, another collab novel that she wrote with Meagan Spooner, and since it was set in space too and was friggin’ awesome, I knew that this one would be out of this world (literally). My friend borrowed this one from me and constantly gushed about it nonstop so I knew that I had to read this one fast. So far, 2016 is off to a fantastic start because I’ve been reading nothing but amazing books. Glad this one could join the list! 

The format was MIND-BLOWING. I’ve never had this much fun reading a book–well, okay it wasn’t too much fun because it got serious at parts but the format just went up and beyond every expectation I had. However, this book was so huge I couldn’t get through it in one sitting. Also, I spent absolutely ages just looking at the details on the pages, such as the mock-wiki articles and the chats. The censored material was brilliant (and realistic sticking to the “protocol”) and it was fun seeing how many blacked out words there were per page. I was just a bit sad because some pages were missing artwork, and some (internal) tears were shed when the words “ARTWORK TK” would appear on the page. Ah, oh well. This just means that I should get a finished copy *wink wink*.

Kady and Ezra are such kickass characters. I love how the story actually starts with them breaking up because it’s rare to see a book where the female and male counterpart (or just the love interests in general) are or have been in a relationship with each other. I liked that both Kaufman and Kristoff have a pretty good handle on how teens talk and message each other–it made reading the IMs and various other forms of communication a whole lot better. You also do get to learn about quite a few other characters that have interesting positions onboard the two ships. AIDAN was actually super creepy but cool. I got some major 2001: Space Odyssey feels from it and I actually think there’s a reference embedded in there. I did however get mixed up with people from time to time just because of random IM names, the various people who got promoted (or demoted) and so ranks just made it confusing as to who was on what side.

There some really BIG twists that come your way–things seem one way but they totally turn out different in the end (true for most of the twists!). You seriously have no idea what’s going to happen. The deadly plague that breaks out creates a MAJOR problem and leads to terrifying consequences. Like I said, AIDAN is super interesting to read about. The pages about the AI were fascinating to read. The reactions from other people on the ship also get heard but it’s just little snippets and tidbits here and there.

Hopefully you can tell how PUMPED I am about this book. Illuminae is an experience like none other–a gripping story of survival presented in an incredible visual format, Kaufman and Kristoff have created an epic story that readers won’t be able to put down. I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy, as even though we won’t be returning to Kady and Ezra’s perspectives, we’ll gain more insight into the world of The Illuminae Files and the events that transpired in this novel from other perspectives. Fall cannot get here fast enough! 

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Aisha at Random House Children’s Books for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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  1. I agree! The format was amazing and super cool! So glad yoy loved it!

  2. You're right, I plan to pleasure read this myself. I think a long weekend is needed to drink this in at leisure

  3. Loved this one too! Can't wait for the sequel :)


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