Saturday, March 10, 2018

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ~ Review

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Source: Gifted.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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.

BRIEFING NOTE: 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.

I've kind of been avoiding Illuminae for a while. Why? Because the hype is stacked mile high. It's intimidating. Everyone loves this book. I don't have a single friend who's read this book and said "you know, it wasn't as great as everyone says -- it was meh/only okay/not that great." So when hype is that loaded, I tend to be veeeeerryyy slow to pick up a book. Sometimes, it's merited. This time, however, I am kicking myself for not picking Illuminae up sooner because this book is SO WORTH THE HYPE, Y'ALL. Goodness gracious. It's so worth it.

First of all, there's the characters, of which there are many and while obviously the mains are Kady and Ezra there are also others that wormed their way into my heart. It took me a hot minute (aka about 100-120 pages) to really connect and get into the story, but from there on I was so down for these characters and their journey. Kady and Ezra and their situation(s) along with their romance had me hooked -- as did so much about this freaking book with these freaking characters. I laughed and I cried and I had MANY FEELINGS.

Speaking of those feelings, I was basically on the verge of a heart attack for a majority of this book. The pacing is so top notch, it was truly impressive. The stakes are high basically the entire way through the book, making this beast (really, have you SEEN how large this book is??) impossible to put down. It was such an intense and enjoyable experience.

Another magnificent aspect of Illuminae was the format of the book. It's not written in prose. It's written through documents and transcripts and...more. This was something I wasn't entirely sure about when I began reading -- would I be able to connect to the characters and their stories through this medium? But I needn't have worried since not only did I connect just fine -- I'm absolutely certain I connected even MORE, because Kaufman and Kristoff worked with their mediums of storytelling so well. And honestly, there are some STUNNING pages in this book. Both in how they looked and also in how they hit me in the moment. It was amazing.

Overall, Illuminae is one novel I am glad to say is well worth the hype. It's intense and beautiful, and my poor heart will never be the same. If you've been eyeing this one for a while but were unsure because of the format or the hype or whatever reasons, I definitely recommend giving Illuminae a shot! And if you had no idea Illuminae was a thing until right now -- hey, you should give this book a shot, too! It's an incredible reading experience that I cannot recommend enough. Pick it up, friends! Read it!!

5 stars - A beautiful, unique reading experience well worth the hype!!


  1. I loved the first and second books. Can't wait for Obsidio!

  2. I have the first book but have been waiting to read it -- really prefer to wait until series installments are finished before reading! It makes me much more likely to finish the whole series.