Illuminae by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

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.

The Review:

How did it take me so long to read this book?! I mean wow! I have seen this book around the blogging sites and Booktube for a while, and I never thought to pick it up.

This book has a weird unconventional narrative to it. It is told mostly through reports, dossiers, security footage, reports and not as an actual book. At first, this confused me because I thought for the first couple of pages I was reading a prologue or background, but than you find out that it is the entire book, and I was still surprised on how it still managed to tell a compelling story.

You the relationship of Ezra and Kady through a series of chats and IMs, and you get a sense of character through those means, and that is what made the book very interesting. Kady is a great protagonist, she is a go-getter and risk taker and is willing to do everything and everything to find out the truth. She reminded me a lot of June from the Legend Trilogy.

The book is also visually amazing. As someone that grew up and is still reading comics, I just loved all of the images the book presented. I say ship designs, propaganda posters, and other great illustration.

The plot centers around trying to find out the truth about what happened on the planet Kerenza, with Kady trying to figure out the truth. It reminded me a lot of Battlestar Galactica, in which this is more of a political story that just so happen to be set in space. The plot also never slowed down, which is a good thing, it was fantastically paced, and the book was on go mode from page one.

As a political story set in space you see a lot of the moral implications of what happened on the planet, and wondering if they should do a certain something. That’s where my comparison to Battlestar Galactica comes in.

I also felt that the world building was really good, and with its use of reports it gave me a sense of the world where it is set in and a lot of the background information that is needed to follow the story. While it does take a while to get through the format of the story, it was still a great story.

In the end, Illuminae was a very great book, that I can fully recommended to any fan of space operas. Its use of an unconventional story telling format can keep you engaged in the story for a long time, and I will be reading Gemina very soon.

Grade 5/5

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