Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, #1
Format: Paperback, bought
My rating: 5+ / 5
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.
-- As seen on Goodreads
How in the world can I even begin to tell you how awesome Illuminae was? This book shows exactly why I love science-fiction, and I can already see myself comparing every other sci-fi book I read to this one for a long time to come. It’s easily one of the most unique books I’ve read in ages, if not ever. The synopsis really does a perfect job of describing what the story is about, and I won’t say anything else about it as I think you just need to experience how incredibly unique and consuming it is for yourself.
I will admit that I was a little iffy about the formatting before I began reading, but by the thirtieth page I was converted. I LOVED IT! It’s a collection of different forms of media – from interviews, to emails, to webpages, maps, graphics, recordings and loads of other forms of communication – bound up together into one huge case file. If you are planning on reading Illuminae, I would strongly suggest getting a physical copy over an ebook or audio book. It’s simply amazing to see all the artwork, illustrations and graphics in person, and they combine to create a truly unique vibe while you’re reading.
Considering the formatting, at the back of my mind I was thinking how in the world will I be able to connect with the characters?? I was half expecting to be somewhat detached from them, but oh holy hell, I certainly was not. I grew to love the characters very quickly, and my heart was in my mouth for the vast majority of the book. I still can’t really answer the how I became attached to them part, but oh my good grief, I was a complete WRECK by the ending! I literally had tears streaming down my face, and that hasn’t happened to me in quite a while. Kady and Ezra… I adore you both!
Also, this book has managed to sum up exactly why I’m both fascinated by and kinda terrified of artificial intelligence. Thank goodness I have no plans on going into space in a giant tin can anytime soon! I’d be freaking out expecting AIDAN to start helping me… *shudders*
This is the first book I’ve read by either Amie Kaufman or Jay Kristoff, and it definitely will not be the last. The level of creativity here is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to read some of their other works. If you haven’t read Illuminae yet, please, please do, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It is 600 pages, but don’t let that intimidate you – I flew through the book in a little under three days, and I’m a pretty slow reader. I’m kind of scared to begin thinking about what the heck will happen in Gemina, but seriously, that book can’t be released soon enough! I need it!