Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Sci Fi
Originally Published: October 20th 2015
Format: Paperback (599 pages)
Synopsis: 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 Rating: ★★★★★
I almost hate myself for waiting so long to read this book because it was absolutely bloody brilliant! It’s a bit of a whopper at just under 600 pages which I think had been putting me off reading it but I eventually reached the point where I couldn’t resist and I FLEW through this book. It is fast paced, exciting and gives a real adrenaline rush.
Illuminae documents the story of Kady and Ezra, two teenagers who recently ended their relationship before their world is torn apart and both end up on separate shuttles in space after narrowly escaping the destruction of their home. We follow their journey to reunite and save one another as we skip through the ‘verse and back and forth between Alexander and Hypatia. When Alexander is overrun by AIDAN (queue the cool AI of the book), it is a fight until the end to stop the Phobus virus from wiping out all of its citizens.
Honestly, this book is just incredible. I loved Kady as a character, I thought she had plenty of sass, was strong minded and ballsy. Ezra just seemed like this adorable love sick puppy that I wanted to protect, but I didn’t have a problem with that. I liked their dynamics in the book and I didn’t feel that their romantic relationship took anything away from this book, in fact I was rooting so hard for them to succeed.
If I could give this book 1000 stars I would not hesitate. Not only is the story exciting and fast-paced, as readers we constantly are being tossed and turned by all of the plot twists and I almost felt that I too was fighting for my life up in space.
This book also happens to be the MOST BEAUTIFUL book I have ever laid my eyes (or hands) upon. I don’t think I will ever get sick of just flicking back through this book, it is honestly the most unique thing I’ve seen and is certainly the most unique book on my shelves. I loved that this story was told through surveillance reports, instant messages, AI coding, diagrams, beautiful space designed pages, signals and all sorts of methods. It really threw me into the story and I loved how quickly I was absorbed into it. The format also made this big book a very quick read and I really feel like I devoured Illuminae.
What did I love most about the book?
One of my favourite things about the formatting of this book was the way in which swear words were blanked out but the sentence gave enough context that as a reader you could make an educated guess at what Kristoff and Kaufman want you to insert. I love the idea that every reader could potentially be reading these lines in different ways and I thought it was such a clever idea.
“You have me. Until ever last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.”
“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”
“You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.”
“Am I not merciful?”
If you like books with unique (and beautiful) formatting, a space setting and a young adult tone then you really cannot afford to miss out on this experience!
Are you a fan of Illuminae? Do you have any recommendations of anything similar?