Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Authors: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: Oct 20th, 2015
Book Jacket Description:
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.
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*Review copy received from the publisher at BEA in exchange for review. This doesn’t affect my opinion or review.*
I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. Illuminae is utterly, completely, totally….GLORIOUS. From sarcastic characters, to a jaw-dropping moments, to an action-packed plot and brilliant twists, Illuminae pretty much has it all. This one will definitely be a hit among YA readers.
The day that Kady breaks up with her boyfriend, Ezra, her planet is invaded by the megacorporation BeiTech. The survivors are rescued, and Ezra and Kady are separated onto different ships, and throughout the course of this book, they frequently communicate through hacking chat rooms. This book has a unique format: it is told entirely in IMs, military records, drawings, and interviews. I was a little worried about the execution, but there was really no reason to be! I was blown away by how well the authors expressed this story in such a challenging format.
I loved the two main characters, but Kady in particular was fantastic. Kady is so fearless and daring and loyal. She takes charge of her situation as she tries to figure out a solution to their problem. Kady is definitely no damsel in distress! Her personality and sarcastic sense of humor shone through the pages. Although she is a totally different situation from the average teen, she is still easy to relate to and care about.
Ezra is her ex-boyfriend. They broke up the morning before BeiTech invaded their planet and tried to wipe out their entire colony. What I liked most about Ezra was that, unlike many boyfriends in YA, he knows that Kady is independent, and that she can take care of herself. He cares about her a lot, but he never tries to be overprotective. He was just a nice guy. I didn’t like him quite as much as Kady, but I still enjoyed his character.
After Kady and Ezra are separated, Ezra is enlisted into the military, and Kady pretends to be useless so that she can sneak away and hack the computers to find out what is being kept from the civilians. I loved reading about the different space ships they were on, and how they worked. I totally loved the personality of the computer system AIDAN (yes, you read that right!). AIDAN was just as confused and realistic as any human, and I loved it.
“Am I not merciful?”
I’m not much of a sci-fi reader. I haven’t read much about the military, and some of the more complicated tech and military descriptions were lost on me. It’s really a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” There were two or three tech/ military/ battle things that took me a while to figure out (MY BRAIN CANNOT HANDLE SO MUCH INFO) and there were a few spots where the plot seemed to slow down, but it wasn’t too much of a problem.
Illuminae is 600+ pages, but I flew through it. This is partially due to the formatting (some pages had very little text), and also because of the non-stop (almost) action. There’s something about this book that makes it easy to read. I really cared about these characters and what was going to happen to them.
One-of-a-kind formatting, brilliant characters, a lot of heart, a fantastic concept–Illuminae has it all. What are you waiting for? Pre-order it now!