The Illuminae Files #1
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published on October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
Illuminae is like a venus fly trap and I am the fly. It acts all innocent and harmless until, before you know it, it has you in its clutches and won’t let go. I struggled a lot in the beginning to grasp what everyone was talking about when they said it was so amazing. I got through the first 100 pages and didn’t really *feel* anything towards the characters. I didn’t care if they lived or died and I wasn’t particularly blown away by the writing. I mean…it was *good* but it wasn’t blow my socks off amazing. However, I kept going and I’m glad I did.
Illuminae is given to us in the form of a case file. The story is told to us through a series of IMs, surveillance summaries, maps, and emails. It’s a lot to follow, but once you get into the thick of it, things become much clearer. You start learning the character’s personalities and what drives them. You start loving and caring about the characters until you reach the end of the book and go…”I want more.” Now…I didn’t particularly like Kady. She was kind of annoying and she didn’t give a shit about what consequences her actions would have. I mean…She went to an infected, desolate ship on her own without even making sure it was in fact Ezra she was talking to! I mean I guess they needed it for plot reasons but gah! She’s kinda stupid for being so intelligent.
AIDAN on the other hand I really liked. Even though he was an insane AI who killed thousands of people, I still liked him. I liked the life that Kaufman and Kristoff gave him. It was so interesting seeing inside the brain of someone who isn’t supposed to really think for itself. I think that is what ultimately made me love Illuminae. The way Kaufman and Kristoff captured AIDAN’s essence was so amazing. Ezra too…I liked him way more than I liked Kady and I think Ezra deserves so much better. I loved reading his chats with McNulty because you could totally see what type of person he was through just his chats. You could see that even though he’s a jokester, he actually cares deeply about so many people.
The ending was action packed and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I mean I kinda guessed what would ultimately happen because they needed a reason to write a second book (though having different characters be the main character would have been kinda awesome…though I have read zero reviews for Gemina so who knows what’s gonna happen!) but I was still biting my nails wondering how they would accomplish everything they needed to. I think the Afflicted was the main thing that had me jumping any time Kady had to make a run for it. They were insane, but they could still think rationally (at least some of them) enough to come up with a plan to catch and kill someone. I’m a little intrigued to see if they come into play again in Gemina.
I totally recommend this book! It honestly doesn’t feel like 600 pages at all and it will keep you hooked until the very end. I work two jobs and I managed to read this in 3 days, so you can definitely wipe this off your TBR very quickly, even if you’re a slow reader!