BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Published: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

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“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.”

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 REVIEW:

5 of 5 stars to Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

★★★★★

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NOTE: It’s better to get into this book blind so you can just enjoy the adventure, its twists and turns, as it is.

If you scroll down the reviews for Illuminae, you will see some low ratings (mostly 2 stars) from popular reviewers and I’m here to tell you, please do not be deterred by these and give this book a chance.

The book was off to a good start. It opened with the Kerenza being attacked and our leads running for their lives. It was action packed. There were so many questions you want answered immediately so you fly through the pages… but then it kind of drifts from then on. I myself had a hard time reading the following chapters because there was very little progress to the story and the IM’s and file reports are getting boring. The style of writing was also something I have to get used to and there was so much information/details to remember (names, dates, ranks, relationships, etc) but I pushed through mostly because I really hate not finishing a book. And I’m so glad I did because I found another five-star worthy book. Halfway into the book, things got so intense I had a hard time putting it down (I wouldn’t if I could but work calls).

Illuminae’s premise is much like Starbound trilogy–trouble in space, couple/heroine out to save the day–but it’s different in the way that I felt so much more. The story took so many surprising turns. The stakes were so much bigger.. the scale grander. My emotions were all over the place. I was on the edge reading on thinking of the worst case scenario and basically preparing my heart to be shattered because this book has no qualms about breaking readers’ hearts. I went into this not expecting to be gutted but it happened. It made me feel miserable, I didn’t cry but somehow it’s so much worse because the pain was left deep inside (LMAO I sound so dramatic but this is what it really felt like)! *****SPOILERS HERE***** It was so cruel that they’d make you love the characters, including the supporting roles, and then just ruin you by killing them off. It was agonizing. And then.. and then.. in the end when you have accepted that there really is no happy ending for this one, they blindside you and give you a freaking reunion so beautiful and heartfelt you’d feel cured after all that death and loss. *****SPOILER END*****

Our heroine, Kady, was a total kickass computer geek. She was so amazing having to do all the work by herself. This is what I love about Kaufman’s heroines. She makes them so independent and capable you’d have no problems rooting for them. And then Ezra, our hero. He was not much of help but he is a great support for Kady and even though we really do not get much romantic exchange from the two, somehow, their love still seemed believable.

Another thing I love about the book is the amazing characterizations. The key characters were all four dimensional. They had nuances, layers to their personalities that make them realistic. Also, I have to mention the freaking ZOMBIES. Man, I love myself some zombie action. It’s my favorite kind of movie (lol) and it’s my first time reading about them.. and in a YA-Scifi novel no less. How ingenuous! The addition of zombies really upped the thrill and excitement in the book. It was spooky reading about them and imagining what they look like but even without the visuals, the chilling and suspenseful factor were still magnanimously present.

Lastly, the ending… it was healing, hopeful and empowering. It’s amazing how in the last few chapters the authors managed to make the antagonist likeable after all the sh*tstorm he/it caused. Once again, the writing was, handsdown, impeccable.

This book is so good that I bought the next one (Gemina) immediately the next day. I don’t want to share anymore spoilers. It’s better to get into this book blind so you can just enjoy the adventure, its twists and turns, as it is.

**Cover Art: 5/5 stars! I love the originality of the cover. The hardbound version (which I own) has an orange plastic jacket and the actual left hand attached cover has writings on it that you can see over the wiped out parts of the orange plastic.

I truly enjoyed reading this one. Book 2 “Gemina” is already available and I also have read it. I will post my review of the book tomorrow including my casting which I edited with so much love. 🙂 Please look forward to it!


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