Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Published October 2015
Illuminae Files #1
THIS BOOK. WHAT.
I know everyone has seen the hype. Everyone has seen the random pictures scattered throughout bookstagram of the cover, of the slip cover, of the super unique black pages, of the set up. I am wary of hype, but this lives up to it. Illuminae is one of the more unique books that I have ever read, and certainly moves up into the favorite spots of 2016.
Do y’all really need a summary? I will put one here for coherency purposes then. 😉
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.
I mistakenly thought I could read this book in a day. I am a fast reader, and while it is dense, there are many pages with not that many words on them. But it took me about a week to finish. When I was reading, I was fully immersed. I was constantly flipping back and forth between conversations and memos, checking dates, checking names. Whenever there were maps of the ships included, I spent a lot of time studying them. I really felt like I was reading a dossier, and so I spent a lot of time making sure I wasn’t missing anything. I wanted to be very thorough. I was also turning the book around in my lap at some points, reading the words at different angles, because hey, uniqueness! I felt at some point I was really putting myself into these character’s places, a true “what would I do in this situation’ moment. For that, hats off to the writers!
Let’s just talk about these characters though. I never would have thought that the character development in this type of book would have been this successful. Kady was a freaking bad ass. I love, love, love strong female characters, and she was the epitome of that. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this was the best character development I have ever encountered, I am simply saying that given the format of the book, I would have thought it to be relatively nonexistent. Also, Kady and Ezra. My God. I ship it. I am totally 100% on the Kazra ship.
My only problem with Illuminae was that in the beginning, I really didn’t know what was going on. Like I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of flipping back and forth between pages. There was not a steady stream of characters that were introduced, or a slow unfolding of the plot. It was like: “here is all the info you will need for the whole book, right now, here ya go!” So, I did feel a bit overwhelmed, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “how am I going to get all of this straight?!” *Spoiler Alert*, I did.
That ending too! So twisty, so unexpected! I loved it! I seriously cannot wait to have Gemina in my hands. October, get here sooner, I have more 5 stars I need to distribute!