Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Review

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Title: Illuminae
Author: Amy Kauffman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files (#1)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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.

What I thought 

I was kind of hesitant to pick up this book, even when everyone and their mother was going crazy about it. I thought it would lack in comparison to the hype it was getting and despite it's gorgeous cover, I told myself that I wouldn't buy it and that I would read it, eventually, after the hype had died down a bit and I could just express my opinion about it. Never during this scenario did I stop and think what would happen if I liked the book. Strange how I thought all about how I wouldn't like it but never stopped to consider what would happen if I did. I'm a strange one, I'll admit to that much. Also, I'm really good at worst case scenarios. It's a character flaw, or virtue, or both. Verdict is still out on that one. The one thing the verdict is not out on is on how much I liked this book. Because I did, like a lot.

The story is sci-fi at its best. There's spaceships, and a lethal virus, and Artificial Intelligence. All things I've had a fascination with at one point or another in my life. So, why wouldn't I love this book when it had all these elements and had them in a way that made sense, wasn't convoluted, and felt all too real? Answer is: I don't know. I'm glad I saw the error of my ways and gave this book a chance because of all the aforementioned elements, but also because of the story at the core of all that sci-fi stuff.

The story is one of survival and what it means to be human and about doing what's right by many. It's the good sci-fi stuff, other than all the other good sci-fi stuff. And the characters, let us speak of the characters that drive this story forward. Teenagers thrust into situations no teenager should be in, but would still handle with more sense of justice and the right thing than a grown up might. Youth is kind of noble and self-righteous and perhaps a little bit selfish. Nothing wrong with that, because hell, at the end of the day you want to live. Kady and Ezra and even AIDAN are all like this. Beautiful because of it too.

Oh and the format of this book is pretty cool too, but it's not the most important thing about the book. Now that I've nodded at the special formatting let me just say that if you're hesitant to pick this book up for the same reasons I had, don't be. This book is worth it.

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Laura is a book lover. She has been since she can remember. She also loves to talk about books and other things like language, k-pop and k-dramas. She is a hopeless romantic despite her best efforts. When she isn't busy reading or trying to write she can be seen hanging out with friends or family, watching TV shows or just lying on the floor because why not, that or jamming out (or crying) to some music in public places.


  1. I've been wanting to read Illuminae! I have it on my shelf, but I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy it. I'm not a huge fan of Science Fiction. I REALLY WANT TO READ IT AND LOVE IT.

    1. You should give it a try. I find that the formatting of the book makes it easier to read if you're not into sci-fi. I was worried that I wouldn't like it, but walked away really enjoying it so I would say just give it a chance.