Book Reviews

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff



Illuminae is a unique, exciting and phenomenal read. From start to finish you are hooked and unable to stop thinking about the book, I finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it now. I am so glad that I have not got long to wait until Gemina is released so I can jump straight back into the world. If you haven’t read Illuminae yet, I would highly suggest you get a copy soon and dive in, you wont regret it.

Illuminae is set in the year 2575 and two mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice covered speck.  Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it.  With enemy fire raining down on them Ezra and Kady have to make their escape on the evacuating fleet.  But their troubles are just beginning.  A deadly plague has broken out on one of the space ships and it is mutating with terrifying results.  Their ships protection is seriously flawed.   No one will say what is going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth its clear only one person can help her. Ezra. And the only problem with that is they split up before all this trouble started and she isn’t supposed to be talking to him.

I think the best way to read this book is to go into it blindly. I didn’t know anything about Illuminae apart from its set in space and told in many different formats. This is book is not just for people who love books set in space, this book is also for people who want to read a book in a different way. One of the main differences with Illuminae compared to other books is that Illuminae is written in a series of Instant Messages, Emails, Security feeds and many other formats. I have read a couple of books before using similar sorts of formats and I found them okay to read, but Illuminae blows them all out of the water. You are able to connect with the characters even though you are just reading their IM’s, you still get to understand the whole complexity of the story just through the emails and security feeds. I didn’t lose any part of the story just because it wasn’t written in the normal standard format.

Both Kady and Ezra are brilliant main characters and even though you only learn bits about them, you still connect and relate to them. You only learn anything about the characters if they say something about it in their IM’s and I think that’s one of the reasons I loved this book because it kept you wanting more and wanting to find out more about these characters you’ve become attached too. The way in which these characters interacted with each other made me go through so many emotions, I was laughing one minute to feeling heart broken the next. There are of course other characters in the book, but I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything. Just don’t be put off in thinking that the characters would be flat and boring because Illuminae is written in a different format, because they are as fully developed as any other characters in a well written book.

The plot for Illuminae left me speechless by the end. When I had finished I felt like I had  binge read a whole series of books because there is so much packed into the 600 pages that you will be exhausted by the time you finish. There is so many different twists and turns and storylines written in Illuminae that you come out of it a little shocked. I did leave it a day before picking up another book because I needed time to process what had happened in Illuminae. I don’t think I have ever read a book where I’ve been on the edge of my seat so many times. I couldn’t put the book down, especially the last 200 pages, I shut myself away and said to myself I am not leaving until I finish the book. Also don’t let the size of the book put you off either, I know its a thick book but you will fly through the pages in no time.

I can not praise Illuminae enough, I have recommended it to all my friends, even to those who don’t like reading, because I think they way in which it is written can appeal to none readers also. Both Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have written such an amazing book and I am dying to read what they have in store for Gemina. I would highly recommend Illuminae to everyone who wants to read something new and refreshing, this has definitely become one of my favourite novels and I can see myself re-reading this every year.


I rate this book 5/5 stars




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