Thursday, October 29, 2015

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Like the rest of the world, I adored this book. I knew I would. It’s one of the coolest ARCs I’ve had the pleasure to read. Seriously, the ARC had a cover jacket. And all the blacked out stuff that’s on the official book’s cover is there on my copy too. I may have gone to Barnes and Noble to make sure I wasn’t missing anything too important with my copy…
This book has so many good things going for it: the format, the characters, the love story, a zombie-level plague (they kind of spell it out in the summary so I don’t feel like I’m spoiling), bossy AI, computer hacking, genocide, space ships, insane plot twists and plenty of witty commentary.
The format has been talked of before, but I’ll share more details. It’s written in emails, Instant messages, illegal documents, security footage, etc. There is no straight narrative. I actually have read similar styles before where the whole novel is a series of emails and IM’s. Though, I have never read it done quite like this before. This is kind of a higher tech version of all the things done before. And it was super exciting to be reading it.
The characters were awesome too. They each somehow managed a clear voice in all of these illegal documents and hidden conversations. Kady is strong, sassy, smart, and brave –what you come to expect from a good YA heroine. Ezra is a bit of jokester and a flirt. He’s also brave, loyal, and brilliant.  I shipped them together the whole time. I did not like them being broken up. The side characters were pretty great too.
What can possibly be worse than escaping the genocide of your planet and being chased by the spaceship who destroyed it?  Well, let’s throw in a zombie like virus that slowly kills the survivors. Oh, and an AI who may or may not have the survival of everyone as it’s main priority. And let’s make that evil space ship that is following pretty close on the tail of it all! This book was nuts. There is so much violence and action.
There were twists too that I just did not see coming! I literally had to go back and re-read things to make sure the authors weren’t pulling my leg.  There were a couple of moments where I really thought it just couldn’t get any worse for these characters, and it did. I loved being surprised, shocked, and hooked.
Also, finally, there are realistic teenagers who swear! I find it so hard to believe that out of all the YA I read, almost none of the characters ever swear. I found this believable, considering all the situations. And it’s not just to get attention, either. It makes sense in the context. There is so much sassy/witty back and forth dialog between the love interests, between certain characters and the captains, between certain characters and the AI. Seriously, the snark alone makes this worth the read.
This is probably one of my favorite books of the year. I give it a 10/10.


  1. YAY for realistic teenaged swearing! Like you, I think it's ridiculous that teens never swear in YA - like,hello, I swore like a sailor in my teens just because it was fun and it made me feel like a grownup and I KNOW I can't have been the only one! Beyond that awesome little detail, I can't get over all of the glowing reviews that this book is getting! I remember how it was EVERYWHERE at BEA and I kept thinking: man, this is MASSIVE hype, the book will never be able to live up to it. But then, it DOES. I can NOT wait to crack open my copy and bask in it's awesomeness XD Fantastic review Nori^^ ♥