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Illuminae ~ Book Review


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Illustrated by: n/a

Translated by: n/a

Series: Illuminae Files Vol. #1

Published: 2015, Rock The Boat (an imprint of Oneworld Publications)

Edition: Paperback

Length: 599 pages

Narrated By: N/A

Genre: Science Fiction,

Where Did I Get It? I bought it along with book #2 at YALC 2017 after resisting it at YALC 2016. I may also have acquired book #3 already too…

Blurb: 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.

Opening Line(s):

So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.


My Review: I picked this up during a long reading slump, expecting to abandon it after a few pages, the same as I had every other book I’d picked up for the last couple of months.

I was so wrong.

I didn’t want to put it down, I raced through it and it left me battered, soggy (all of the crying), inspired and energised. It was simply incredible.

Unlike any book I have picked up before, the fact that there was no ‘standard’ prose – it was all different mediums throughout – was just amazing. It made it feel incredibly real, it made me pay much more attention to details as I inspected ship blueprints and studied images. It painted a huge picture and not always with a lot of words. Always just enough.

It made me cry, it made me laugh and it made me rage (seriously, humans can suck) – sometimes it made me do all three at once which is the sign of a great book.

I love sci-fi anyway but I particularly loved how futuristic this felt whilst also being very familiar and easy to slip into. The story is brutal and the characters are all very human, you don’t necessarily like them all but you recognise them all as people. I think that is a very important thing to get right in science fiction, because it makes it accessible, even to people who ordinarily wouldn’t pick it up.

I have loaned my copy to a friend who has also found herself stuck in a reading slump and she had the same reaction as me – and now it’s off to her sister to see if it can do the same again! (Third time’s the charm and all that.)

Stunningly beautiful, fast-paced, dramatic, punchy science fiction with a difference – I recommend it to everyone, because I think it’s amazing.

My Rating: 5/5*


Sound like your kind of read?

Buy a copy of Illuminae: Paperback £6.47/Kindle £1.89

(Prices correct at time of writing)


Linking this review with MamaMummyMum’s Read With Me

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