Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I received this book for free from Random House Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Random House Children's Books
Buy on Amazon

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.

It’s not often that I read a book in one day. Especially huge books like this monster. I just couldn’t put this one down though. It loved the fast pace of it, the heartbreaking story, and even the format it’s told in. I loved reading this story through instant messages, documents, and case files, along with other things as well. It was almost impossible to put down because I was so interested in what was happening, and was quickly attached to the characters. The main one being the AI. I loved getting to know it. While books have been written in documents and such things before, this one has so much more. I especially loved the pictures that are done in it as part of the story. They really help set the tone. I was emotionally up and down while reading this and it was pretty fantastic! You’ll have to excuse if my review is lacking since I read this right upon getting home from BEA and have put off writing it until now. (In my head I had a really awesome review going, but when I sat down to do it I lost it all lol!)

Kady is super smart, but also stubborn and impulsive, and other things that teenage girls tend to be. The story starts off with her and Ezra breaking up. It’s not that she isn’t totally in love with him, but she fears for their futures taking different paths. I thought that Kady did grow a lot through the book, but she was pretty awesome to start. She has a big heart, and most of the time really logical thinking along with being a super tech wiz. She was able to do so much on her own that really amazed me, but of course saving the planet or whatever can’t be taken on single-handed. She did have help along the way and I loved getting to know those who were closest to her.

Ezra is all sorts of charming. He’s witty, smart, and also still totally in love with Kady. He is also really brave and is willing to do anything for Kady. He made my heart melt, and my emotions go into overdrive at so many points in this book. He was such a deep character that I felt we didn’t even get through many layers of. Not to say we don’t get to know him well, but I just wanted more. I’m greedy like that. He wasn’t afraid to let his emotions show or to let people know what he was thinking. He was very much a you get what you see person, except maybe when it came to Kady.

Okay, so I don’t even know what I can say that isn’t all fan girly and this book rocks! I don’t tend to love books that are so hyped up, so this was a pleasant surprise. Obviously I thought it was pretty amazing to have devoured it in a day. I loved getting to see Kady and Ezra realizing they are still in love, even though they are on different ships and may never see each other again. The AI system communicating and “telling” us what was going on were some of the best parts. The story of the attack and the war raging was so intense, and the ever looming doom to them all made me almost literally hold my breath at times. This book was beautiful, adventurous, fun, heartbreaking, and anxiety inducing. After finishing it I felt wrung out and mentally exhausted, but in the best of ways. (Perhaps that was also the fact I read it for many, many hours.) I don’t tend to get super excited over books as much as I used to, but this is one that I absolutely could not shut up about for weeks after reading it. It’s sci-fi, action, and romance all in one awesome mash-up. I can’t wait for the next Illuminae Files book to come out, and hope that it is as fantastic as this one.


4.5 Hot Espressos

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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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9 Responses to “Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff”

  1. Tanya

    I started seeing a lot about this one after BEA this year and was instantly intrigued! The story itself is interesting but it’s the presentation that has me super excited. So original and unique! 🙂

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  2. Vane J.

    Books told through documents and such are usually really difficult to get into. I remember when I read World War Z: I felt detached from the story and the characters for this same reason. Needless to say, it’s so great that this book manages to deliver emotions despite that! I’m really excited to read it and fantastic review. 🙂

  3. Caroline @ Just Another Bookish Blog

    You have NO idea how long I’ve been waiting to read it!! I’m so glad that the people reading the ARCs of this have been enjoying it so much! October is barely a month away, and the day it’s officially published, I’m totally going to order it! 😀 Nice review!

  4. Carina Olsen

    Yay 😀 Awesome review Amy. So so glad you liked this book a lot 🙂 I loved it to pieces. <3 Think it will do really, really well. I hope so 😀 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. <3 Agree with just about all of it 🙂

  5. Olivia Roach

    Everyone seems to be reading this book and loving it, which means I am definitely going to have to read it very soon! I love the sound of the plot, it being so fast paced and sucking you into the story. I am someone who is very for the traditional writing style so knowing this is different is going to be something. But because you have told me how wonderful this story is I am still going to give it a shot!