Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: Illuminae

Title: Illuminae
Authors: Amie Koffman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files
Volume: 1
Genre: Science Fiction

A Quick Introduction: In the morning Kady broke up with Ezra. In the afternoon their planet was attacked and she saved his life, and that's just the beginning. They make it out alive on separate ships, but enemy ships pursue the evacuating ships. Couple that with a damaged AI, a mutant plague, and secrets being kept by high command.

Out of Ten: 9/10

Review at a Glance: A showstopper of a first book in what promises to be an fast-paced science fiction trilogy.

Review: This novel took a lot of my favourite things and combined them in a way I didn't know I wanted. I mean; outer space, AIs, existential terror, sarcasm, and emotional trauma all wrapped up in an oh-so-gorgeous package? I'm there. I'm all over that.

Okay, so let's review this thing. This is, hands down, one of my favourite books of the year. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff chose to tell this story as a collection of found documents- a series of journals, interviews, military files, medical reports, transcripts of emails, and computer data- and it works really well. It opens up interesting possibilities for the storytelling choices, and the authors take full advantage of them. They make the story fast-paced, and full of twists. I loved way that this story was told. And it is SUCH a visually beautiful book. (Seriously, I don't say this often, this is a book that you really want in hardcover. It is so beautiful.)

Kady and Ezra are both enjoyable characters to read- they're both very human, and I found myself rooting for them. Their dynamic is interesting- they're clearly two people who care a lot about each other, but they definitely have their conflicts. There's a whole cast of more minor characters, and an Artificial Intelligence that could almost be considered a main character itself.

This book had a lot going on- and I mean a lot. The plot is complex and multi-layered, and builds quickly, growing more complex with each event. It starts off fast and gets faster, and the authors sure aren't opposed to killing off characters. Behind the flashes and bangs, there's a very human element to the whole story (read as: lots of heartbreak, humour, and sadness). I'm really looking forward to seeing where this series goes next!


  1. Kelly every time I see that someone loved this too I squee a little. Did you see Jeann @ Indulgence made phone wallpaper of the cute. I downloaded on mine. Great conversation started.

    1. I saw Jeann's post! If I had a phone right now, I would probably have one of those in the background.

  2. AHHH I LOVED IT SOO MUCH! I finished it last week and afjdklasd I still have all the feels. I'm so excited it's going to be a movie too!! Because I think it'll translate to screen perfectly. Ahem. But oh oh, it was so heartbreaking. And ADIEN. BAD COMPUTER but seriously one of my favourite characters somehow. XD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. I don't know if you can tell, but I was trying not to just gush while I wrote the review... but it happened. (Movie! Excitement! I'm really curious if they'll do it in a "found material" way or not.) AIDAN really did become SUCH a character by the end!