Early Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

IlluminaeIlluminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
The Illuminae Files #1
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Dystopia
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books
 

Synopsis 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.

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Wendy’s Review

Wendy’s reading progress –
Sept 28 – read 145 pages
thoughts – okay, strange but interesting
Sept 29 – read 463 pages until finished
thoughts – wtfomgO.0ahhhhhh

What the heck!  I did not expect to be so consumed by this book!  Illuminae was my first read by both Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, so I have no comparison for either author.  I’m not sure if it was the co-authoring that was magical, or what, but there was something pretty spectacular about this story.

First of all, you get absolutely zero time one on one with either character.  You have no inner-dialogue to fall back on, because the entire story is told through transcripts, emails, military reports, IM’s and computer printouts.  It didn’t even matter though, because even without the inner dialogue you had no problem getting a clear picture of both Ez and Kady.

Actually, I was pretty surprised by how strongly both of their personalities came across.  Ezra was so witty and funny, and Kady was so capable and pragmatic.  The animosity between them hid how much they really loved each other.  It was always so evident, even in a Artificial Intelligence readout.

Actually, now that I’ve completed Illuminae, I have to say that I think the story was better because of all the avenues that gave the reader all of the information and emotion that was contained in the story.  Reading it felt like… like how you feel reading a memoir.  We don’t actually know the main characters, we’re being told a story.  Yeah yeah, I get it.  That is the definition of a fictional book, if you want to get technical.  However, most readers would never ever describe reading that way.  You read a fictional book and you feel like you know the characters.  They become friends.  You go through everything with them.  In Illuminae it’s just different.

This isn’t even the first book I’ve ever read that was written this way.  One of my favorite books ever is Last Days of Summer.  The two books are not comparable in any way other than the format in which they are written, and the fact that they are bloody brilliant.

Anyway, to say I can’t wait for the second book in this series is an understatement, honestly.  I finished this book and immediately felt sadness that, technically, Illuminae itself isn’t even out yet.  That means I have more than a year before I can get my hands on a sequel.  That is a damn tragedy.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  1/2 = A

Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for providing an advance copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

 

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