Book Review

REVIEW: Illuminae

February 24, 2020
Illuminae Book Cover
Illuminae Illuminae Files #1 Young Adult Science Fiction Allen & Unwin Paperback 599 pages

One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.

The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra’s planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all-consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy; and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realises that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

Literally everyone is always raving about this series, so last year during a Whitcoulls sale I picked the first one up. Then Cait mentioned it to me again and told me I need to read it thus reminding me of it and so I moved it closer to the top of my radar. Recently after reading three ARCs, I wanted to read something from my TBR instead and I saw this sitting on my TBR cart.

Despite this being a 600 page book, it’s a really fast read due to the mixed-media format. Before I dig deeper into the story I want to talk about the mixed media aspect. I liked it at first and found it interesting and a unique way of telling the story but in the end, I found it more distancing than fun. In some parts especially towards the end I found the format confusing and hard to read. I think I would have enjoyed the story more and this would have possibly been a 5 star read if traditionally written.

But that’s just me.

The story was a unique one and it felt very similar in some ways to Divergent most specifically Tris and Kady seemed very the same. I really can’t say that I was all that interested in Kady as a person, I found her annoying. I think part of this is being a bit over the chosen one trope at this point. I think it doesn’t help that the way this story is presented gives us an almost clinical perspective of our characters.

I did love the overarching plot and the exploration of AIDAN and what is life, and living. This isn’t really a surprise to me because my favourite Sci-Fi author is Phillip K. Dick, and this harkened back to many of his themes. As much as I enjoyed this, I’m not sure if I will continue the series, due to both time and really enjoying where this book left us and not having a burning desire for more info.

I could be wrong though.

I give Illuminae:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was published on 1 November 2015 by Allen & Unwin. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, Unity Books, or wherever you like to purchase books.

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1 Comment

  • Reply littlemissstar55 February 24, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this on the whole! 💜

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