Published October 22nd 2015 by Oneworld Publications
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young adult, Sci-fi
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“So, here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”
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 Goodreads review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really wanted to love this. I’m not much of a sci-fi reader, but I saw this book everywhere and wanted to give it a go. The form looked interesting, and I’m all for exploring new genres and experiments with form.
It didn’t live up my expectations, I found the sci-fi terminology hard to understand or connect with. The characters were okay, but there were a lot of them! I didn’t become hooked into it, and I wasn’t blown away by the various forms the story took. I quite liked the ending, and although Kady is pretty much the main character, I didn’t feel she was believable as an 18 year old student.
I’ll read the next book in the series, but I’m not as excited or itching to start it as I was with this one.
This was a ‘bookstagram made me buy it’ book, because I saw it EVERYWHERE and just needed to have it because it seemed like a really great reading experience in an experimental form. After reading it, I have to say I’m a bit let down. Sci-fi isn’t my favourite genre, so that might be why I didn’t enjoy it as much.
The technological terminology was overkill. I didn’t understand much of it and wasn’t really interested to read it. So that meant it took me a while to get into it. I thought Kady, at the start, was a bit too concerned with breaking up with Ezra, when there were more important things going on. I don’t care that you’re not supposed to be talking to him, there’s an invasion happening! So to begin with I felt her to be a bit unbelievable, and immediately liked Ezra more. In fact, I wanted a lot more of Ezra throughout the entire book, and I enjoyed his bits the most.
What to say about the form? I didn’t like the surveillance footage summaries. AIDEN got on my nerves a bit but then grew on me. I never really connected with Kady, which was a shame as she features so often. I thought she was arrogant and too clever. Clever is good, but she knew she could do things other people couldn’t, she knew she was better. Yes, it was all in good faith, but she doesn’t half like to rub people’s noses in it with her brilliance. So one one hand she’s a strong female character, but on the other she is a bit unlikable. Somehow, she manages to give off a narcissist vibe whilst putting her life on the line for thousands of people. It’s a paradox, but I guess that’s suitable for sci-fi!
My favourite bits were the Instant Messaging sections. I like Kady and Ezra’s conversations, and Ezra’s conversations with his ‘chums’, but other than that, I felt like I was just reading it to get through it, and thanks to the form it meant that occasionally I would get through a few pages in under a minute.
It’s a very odd book, but if you are into sci-fi then you’ll love it. It’s brilliant in its own way, but as I’m not a fan of this genre, I couldn’t appreciate it in the way it probably deserves.
Link to the book on Goodreads: Illuminae