Review #28: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

a forwardsandbookwords review

BookIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Description: First book in a YA, Sci-Fi trilogy
Publishing Information: Released October 20, 2015 by Random House Children’s Books
Pages: 609
First Sentence: So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.
Related Post(s): My Waiting on Wednesday for this book
Barnes & Noble          Goodreads          Amazon         IndieBound

synopsis
(taken from Goodreads)

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.

pros and cons

Cover Review: This cover is stunning. Everything about this book is stunning. If you’ve somehow managed to not see any pictures of this book yet, the white parts of the cover are actually clear on the dust jacket and those words are printed on the actual, hard back cover. It’s just perfect, okay?
I don’t know where to start with this book. It kind of completely destroyed me. I actually finished it in the very early hours of this morning, and I had to give myself some time to process before I attempted to write this review.
It didn’t help.
I mean, it’s not every day you stumble across the pages of what will quickly become a new favorite, right? It’s not everyday you read hundreds of pages of things blowing up in space and your heart blows up with it.
GAH.
I don’t even know what to say.
This book is fantastic, if you hadn’t gathered that already. You don’t even feel like you’re reading the book – instead, you’re experiencing an adventure or poring over evidence or sobbing in your giant giraffe Halloween costume (maybe that one is just me).
This book has everything. There’s a cutesy romance with hilarious banter and suspense and heartbreak and villains that you hate.
I haven’t even talked about how it’s told yet! This book is told entirely in government documents. There’s interviews, lab reports, instant messaging, security footage analysis… that’s how the entire story was told.
I was really worried that this unique way of telling the story would make it hard to get attached to the characters, or super confusing. Trust me, you might get a little too attached to these characters (considering their slim likelihood of survival and the fact that you have to wait a year for the next book).
I’m not going to lie and say that I was never confused. If you follow my Goodreads updates, I wasn’t completely sure of what was going for the first 150 pages or so. That sounds like a really bad thing, but it wasn’t really. You’re figuring out everything and putting the pieces together alongside the main characters, and it’s not like you could ever be confused and bored, simply because the story itself was so unique. Going into this one, let yourself get to page 200 before giving up on it due to confusion. Don’t overthink it. Just allow yourself to love it.
Another thing I loved about this story was that hidden in some of the documents I found some names of other authors, like Marie Lu, Beth Revis, and Laini Taylor. It was subtle, so it didn’t really impact the story in a negative or positive way, but it was fun to find because it felt like I was in on some secret.
I liked that the ending of this one was satisfying, as well. Obviously not everything is resolved, but it wasn’t a huge cliffhanger, which I appreciated. It also was kind of plot-twisty, but not too ridiculously plot-twisty, you know? Like, I had my suspicions, and then they were confirmed and something else that was crazy happened. (I’m trying not to spoil anything, so sorry for the ridiculous subtleness).
Cons? Um… Did I mention that the sequel doesn’t come out until next year?

final thoughts

This book was everything I wanted and more (and that’s saying a lot – my expectations were ridiculously high). I hate adding to the oodles of hype surrounding this book, but I really think it deserves it. Obviously not everyone is going to absolutely love it as much as I did, but if the synopsis sounds interesting to you and you’re interested in reading in this unique formatting, definitely pick this one up. It certainly delivered.
5/5 stars

Thanks for reading!
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9 thoughts on “Review #28: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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