Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | I Put This Off For Way Too Long!

There’s no other book like Illuminae. I mean that in many different ways because I don’t think there’s any book I put off reading for so long. At one point, it was on my TBR. I’ve held multiple editions in my hands at multiple bookshops, I removed it from my TBR… Then my best friend picked it up and loved it so that personal recommendation must’ve done it for me! I picked it up at my favourite bookshop and it. blew. my. mind. Holy plot twists, Batman! I’m not really into sci-fi, but this was such a great book!

“I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

My Review

I really wasn’t sure what to think of Illuminae at first. I mean, the format is so different. If we read the story through files and transcripts and interviews, how will we get to know any of the characters? Won’t it get boring? The first bit was a little difficult for me. I really had to get used to this original format and I was reading way too many books at the same time, which caused distractions. When I picked it up for the second or third time, though. I found that I got used to it and I actually really enjoyed it!

Through a whole lot of different kinds of texts, we follow Kady and Ezra. They’ve just broken up and after an attack on their home planet, they end up on different spaceships. I enjoyed reading from their “perspectives” and I feel like I got to know them a lot better than I expected I would. You learn so much about them through these files. I liked how they kind of got together again after this breakup, but I also didn’t really get that. It was such a… small thing they broke up over and there was much more fuss about it than I would’ve liked. I’m no expert at dating or anything, so that might be why it’s “off” for me, but I was slightly annoyed at that. Another thing I was annoyed at, was the amount of information we got. It was never info-dumpy or anything, but there’s a few things that are so unclear to me after having finished it. Like, why was this planet attacked in the first place? Is it just something I don’t remember, or did we never get a reason?

Illumae was super intense. Like, holy moly! I think all the “official” documents made it that way. They’re from military and doctors and government leaders and such. And the events in this story are so seriously scary. Lots of elements actually reminded me of The 100. The AI, the hacking, the bio-something stuff I’m really not that good with fancy words, you guys! and the even the spaceships! I think it was intense mainly because we’re not just reading for teenager’s perspectives, but adults as well. How do you know things get serious? When the grownups are involved! My favourite part of Illuminae has got to be AIDAN, the AI. I can’t properly describe why (and I don’t want to spoil!) but it added something to the story. It (he?) wasn’t really a character but at the same time, it was. It also definitely added to the intenseness of the book.

The way this story was told was super original and a whole lot of fun. The trilogy is called the Illuminae Files for a reason. There are interviews, reports, transcripts, chats, journal entries, computer texts… Even schematics/maps and illustrations of the spaceships! I really enjoyed all of them. The only “issue” I have that some bits were difficult to read. Like, the way it was put on the page and sometimes in small fonts really didn’t do it for me. There wasn’t a lot of it, but it still made me like the book just a little bit less. The other – better – parts totally made up for it, though!

My Rating

Illuminae was an epic read. I was hooked from start to finish. There are a few things that didn’t really work for me, but other than that I really recommend it to everyone! Whether you like sci-fi or not, it’s a must-read.

About Illuminae

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents, Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about the price of truth and the courage of everyday heroes

The year is 2575 and two mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice covered speck.  Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it.  With enemy fire raining down on them Ezra and Kady have to make their escape on the evacuating fleet.  But their troubles are just beginning.  A deadly plague has broken out on one of the space ships and it is mutating with terrifying results.  Their ships protection is seriously flawed.   No one will say what is going on.

As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth its clear only one person can help her. Ezra. And the only problem with that is they split up before all this trouble started and she isn’t supposed to be talking to him.

A fantastically original, heart-stopping adventure where everything is definitely more dangerous than it seems.

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Have you read Illuminae? What did you think?

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