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ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae cover
ILLUMINAE by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


What is Illuminae about?

>>>First, survive. Then tell the truth.<<<

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 spaceships and it is mutating with terrifying results. Their ship’s 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, it’s 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.


Source of Blurb: Illuminae book cover

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction (but I’m adding it to my blog because I count all stories that happen in any kind of made up fantasy world, fantasy. But more importantly, Illuminae is just too good not to bend the rules to add 😉

Series: The Illuminae Files (#1)


My Thoughts:

You know that feeling you get when you go watch a great action movie? When you walk out of the cinema and you feel like you want to pump your fist in the air because you feel so inspired to be bolder and braver, and do epic things. Well, Illuminae is the book equivalent of one of those movies.

However, I must say that this book was a struggle to get into at first. This book is written in a very unique way: It has no chapters, but instead the story is told through reports, pictures, and emails. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked this format at first. Initially, I found it a bit confusing, and it didn’t really help that there were a lot of names being thrown around of spaceships and corporations. And then they switched to using abbreviations for all these names, which I was already struggling to remember in the first place. It felt like there was info dumping and I wasn’t sure what information was important and what wasn’t important. I only really felt like I understood what was going on, and who all the big players were, after reading the report on page 25-28.

But please don’t let this put you off from trying this book because you might not have the same experience as me. And even if you do have a similar experience, I have these words of encouragement to help you plod on: I don’t know exactly when, but at some point the book just gets easier to read. You get sucked into the story and you have this cool big budget movie playing out in your head. And it’s so totally worth it!

Illuminae has great plot twists, and well-written realistic wartime scenes that will make you feel like you are right there with the characters in the middle of the action. The pictures also add that something extra to the book. Basically, it is clear that a lot of hard work, thought, creativity and collaboration went into producing this book, and the end result is a very high quality book.

One of my favorite things about Illuminae was the strong cast of characters. The bold characters who were willing to do the right thing even if it cost them big time, characters who were loyal to the point of being willing to risk their lives, characters who believed that some things are worth dying for, and characters who know that if you turn a blind eye to injustice that it will haunt you for the rest of your life. I did, however, wish we could have gotten to know the side characters a little bit better. And I did kinda feel like the main character, Kady, was a little too brave to be relatable in the beginning of the story, but fortunately that did change as soon as the stakes got raised for her.

Something that struck me as a bit strange though, was that most of the side characters were much older than the two main characters, which kind of didn’t make it feel like I was reading a true YA book. But I guess because of the nature of the plot, it would have been unrealistic to have a full cast of teenage characters.

One thing that brought down my rating slightly is that I didn’t like all the bad language. I did appreciate the fact that they blotted out the swear words, but there was just so much of it blotted out that it was hard to skip over without filling in the blanks sometimes. They also didn’t blot out blasphemy, and I didn’t like the dirty jokes (although they were kept to a minimum). This book would have most probably gotten a five star rating from me without these things.

Overall, Illuminae was an enjoyable read. This book made me feel emotions; it made me think about deep things. I finally understand what all the hype is about.


Happy Reading!

Published inScience Fiction

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