Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


I spotted this book on many bookstagram accounts and immediately fell in love with the cover and the artistic style of the book. Written in extracts of conversations, instant messages between crew members, computer accounts and security camera descriptions, the plot is pieced together lending some artistic license to the reader.

Set in 2575 Illuminae tells the story of a war between two corporations who are fighting over a planet. Starting a battle on this planet forces civilians to flee to evacuation ships that blast of into the depths of space. The Copernicus, The Alexander and The Hypatia are all fleeing from an enemy fleet known as the Lincoln and passengers are forced to fill the voids of crew members. Not only that but a plague is breaking out causing passengers to slowly lose themselves and turn savage. Amongst all of this readers follow the story of Ezra and Kady who on the day of the battle break up, yet as Kady tries to find the truth in the databases she needs help and the only place to get that is from her ex-boyfriend, Ezra.

Describing this plot is crazy; girl and boy fall in love, break up, war begins, escapes into space, a mad computer, a plague breaks out, ship breaks down and wow, it would probably be easier to explain what didn’t happen. Kady is a strong female heroine and pretty talented with technology, mentored by a computer whizz she slowly picks up how to hack into the databases and learn the truth. I really liked her character because she was smart, witty, honest and strong. Ezra on the other hand copes with losing those he loves by applying all his energy into the military where he has been recruited. Making friends along the way it isn’t long before he is contacted by Kady for help, I really liked Ezra’s character as well as he is funny, charming and sweet yet pretty badass with a gun. I enjoyed reading how their relationship grew over the course of the action.

At times I enjoyed reading this book in it’s quirky style, however I felt the plot didn’t have the same strong connection. I wanted to skim read pages and try and flip to the next big bit of action but I forced myself to be meticulous with the plot. The first half of this book was a little slow, however it isn’t long before a plague begins, a killer computer kicks in and it all rides on Kady and Ezra’s shoulders. Due to the strange style of this novel there are many characters that I found hard to keep track of but this book is unique and I desperately want to read the next one because of it.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads because it is so unusual, interesting and one-of-a-kind. My only criticism is that I found the end a little confusing, I had to reread the last few pages to fully understand what was going on and even now I’m still a little unsure so I’m hoping the next book will make it a little clearer.


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