Good Afternoon Lovelies!
So February has been off to an okay start so far. I’ve been a little slow on the go with reading, but I’m determined to read-on through and not stress about what I don’t get done :) I hope you’re having a good reading month so far! Today’s review was on a favorite book so far this year and I cannot wait to share my thought with you all below! Also stay tuned for some exciting news coming up at the end of this week :)
I received an ARC of this novel (from BEA 2015) in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review, thoughts or opinions in any way.
Okay, on to the review :) If you’re sort on time, then check out my Need to Know section for a quick summary of my review!
Genre: YA Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: Oct. 2015
Price: $18.99 (Hardcover)
Place: Amazon, B & N, Book Depository, GoodReads, IndieBound
Welcome to the Illuminae Files. I hope you’re in for a ride!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Kay Krstoff follows Kady Grant, a seventeen-year-old girl living on Kerenza–an illegal colony–in the year 2575. The story starts off with an interview transcript involving Kady detailing her survival after the attack from a company called BeiTech on her home colony. Now Kady and the rest of the survivors are holed up on three ships: the Hypatia, the Alexander and the Copernicus. While en route to safety from the pursuit of BeiTech’s attack ship, The Lincoln, crazy shit starts happening. Soon Kady, hacker-extraordinaire-in-training, begins to search for the truth of what’s going on. Working alongside a mentor and with help from her former boyfriend Ezra Mason, Kady works to expose the truth that the fleet command isn’t telling.
Wow okay, let me be honest and say that it’s really hard to write a semi-summary of the book without giving it away! Hopefully the paragraph above gave you some intrigue and understanding of what this book is about. Illuminae ended up being such a wonderful read for me! I thoroughly enjoyed it (hence the 5 star rating!). Kaufman and Kristoff tell the story through interview transcripts, instant messages, video footage analysis, emails, journal entries and some word art/mix media. There are also some great blueprints of the ships to help with visualization! I found this style of storytelling to be so interesting. However, it did cause a slower pace in the beginning as I adjusted to the various formats and pieced together the situation. Once I settled into the world and storyline, I was gone!
I soon found myself turning page after page trying to get to the end, to get to the truth! It was such a twisty ride and by the time I got to the end I was left with round eyes and a need for the second book to be in my hands, like yesterday. I found the ending contained some twists that I wasn’t entirely expecting (a new thing for me!), which made me really love this book. I really love to be surprised.
The book overall contained a lot of action, intrigue and some zombie-esque horror. The genre definitely left me wanting to seek out another thriller/sci-fi novel (leave me some recs below!). There were some slow moments sprinkled about, especially in the beginning as I mentioned above, but otherwise the story moved along fast. The slow spots coupled with the various formats might turn some readers off. But I really hope you give it a few pages before being deterred away :)
I felt Kaufman and Kristoff did a nice job of world building. I really felt that the story was believable for the time period. Also the setting of the confined spaces on board ships was really fitting to this storyline and made it possible to be told in these multiple formats. There wasn’t a whole lot of me questioning why something was or why someone would act that way which I’ve found happening in other novels.
Moving on to characters, I definitely liked Kady. She was a strong character that lead most of the book and I enjoyed her sarcastic attitude and determination. While I felt she was a strong character, her actions sometimes had me shaking my head! Overall, I’d put her on my Survive The Apocalypse Squad for sure! Additionally, Ezra and the rest of the secondary characters were also strongly developed. Readers gain insight into a few secondary characters and Kaufman and Kristoff do a good job of making each character distinctive. I felt like I caught glimpses of their individually personalities and that made the book even more enjoyable. Ezra and Kady’s relationship was a little lack-luster for me. I didn’t always believe the direction their relationship took, but then I’m not sure if you’re really supposed to? Anyway, their relationship wasn’t exactly the main focus of the story so it wasn’t a huge bother to me. The last character I want to quickly touch on is the AI system known as AIDAN. Man, this character was so well written and definitely creeped me out at some points. I don’t want to go into too much detail about AIDAN because the character plays a big role throughout the novel and I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll just finish by saying I was really impressed by AIDAN and applaud Kaufman and Kristoff for their writing and character development :)
I seriously could probably go on and on about this book and I might do a discussion post so that I can talk spoilers. I think ultimately I was just blown away by the novel. I absolutely loved the writing style and the differing formats of the book (even though it did take me a little time to get used to them). There were some moments in the book that were so poetic, other moments that made me laugh and some moments that made my heart rate jump up. Overall, Kaufman and Kristoff brought to life a thrilling world that I cannot wait to explore more of! So um, yeah, can you move up that release date please?!
- Illuminae follows 17-year-old Kady Grant after an attack on her home colony Kerenza. Kady, like the rest of the survivors, is now holding up abroad one of the three ships (Hypatia, Alexander and the Copernicus) now fleeing to safety from the BeiTech attack ship, The Lincoln. Soon crazy shit starts happening. Kady, hacker-extraordinaire-in-training, begins to search for the truth of what’s going on. Working alongside a mentor and with help from her former boyfriend Ezra Mason, Kady works to expose the truth that the fleet command isn’t telling.
- Kaufman and Kristoff tell the story through interview transcripts, instant messages, video footage analysis, emails, journal entries and some word art/mix media. There are also some great blueprints of the ships to help with visualization!
- The book overall contained a lot of action, intrigue and some zombie-esque horror.
- World-building and character development were a huge success!
- The slow spots in the beginning coupled with the various formats might turn some readers off.
- I gave it 5 stars because I absolutely loved the writing style, the overall storyline, and Kady’s characterization. Mainly, it was a strongly written story that left me on the edge of my seat at some parts and at the end left me wanting more, more, more!
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read this book and your thoughts on the world building, character development and writing style! Have a favorite part, quote, or character? Let me know! :)
As always, Happy Reading!
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