Illuminae | Book Review

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


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.


First off, do you see how absolutely beautiful this book is?! Without a doubt the most beautiful book I have purchased to this date (after my multiple copies of Peter Pan and The Brothers Grimm).  The unique format is what really makes this book stand out, but even without that aspect, it’s still a fantastic read! Going into it I didn’t know a whole lot, but I’d only heard praise, and after reading it, I GET IT. So many awesome elements and surprises–I had no idea where the story would end up, but I loved getting there.

I love how the authors were able to write such a variety of different scenes and voices, for example how the Artificial Intelligence unit of the spaceship having a completely unique and separate tone than that of the sassy main character. I surprisingly really liked the hint of romance that was in this, and more than once I was giggling out loud at scenes where the characters were joking around in chat rooms. The only reason I took off a half star from this book is that because of the POV, I felt like you lost a little bit of the character descriptions and explanation of the plot. It takes a while to really figure out what’s happening and in the end I was left slightly confused about what the Illuminae is and it was hard to visualize a couple of action events due to most of the narrative taking place strictly through dialogue.

I spent the first, nearly, 200-pages not loving it. I was confused and then…and then. SUDDENLY I JUST ADORED EVERYTHING. The layout of the theme and storyline is a bit confusing unless you have a bit of background in spaceship and science (which I don’t), so it took a bit longer for me to fully get into the story.

Overall, if you are looking for a new and fun sci-fi genre type of book, this should defiantly be your next read.

-Read On Darlings!


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