Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
THIS BOOK! Wow. Just. Wow.
Okay, first let me briefly tell you what this book is about.
“Sure, the story kicks off with the deaths of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?”
(FYI – All of the swear words in the book are blacked out, and it’s kind of hillarious.)
When Kady Grant broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra Mason, she thought that was the worst thing she would have to go through that day. Turns out, her planet being attacked and thousands of people dying would just slightly overshadow that. Kady and Ezra manage to escape the planet when rescue teams arrive, but they end up on separate spaceships. What follows is a battle beyond imagination, not only with the megacorporation trailing them and wanting to blow them out of the sky, but also with a deadly plague that has broken out on one of the ships, and with the AI who may just be the worst (or best?) threat of all. Kady, who turns out to be a genius hacker, must fight to save her life, and the lives of those she loves, including her ex-boyfriend…who she swore she would never speak to again.
“I mean, when you say ‘I’m never going to speak to you again,’ you don’t think your planet’s going to be invaded that afternoon.”
Trust me, my version of the synopsis really doesn’t do the book justice. This book is exciting, fast-paced, unique, and strangely hilarious!
The book is written like a very large file filled with interviews excerpts, reports, hacked files, IMs, and more. It was a little strange to get used to at first, but it ended up making the story much more interesting.
“You have me. Until the last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.”
Kady and Ezra were such brilliant characters. Though they had their own separate stories, they’re interactions with each other were hilarious. I mean, imagine what it would be like talking to your ex via IMs while on separate spaceships fleeing from another spaceship that wants to blow you up. Yea, I can’t imagine that either, but it was very entertaining. And you have to remember, they are teenagers! Their bickering and drama is hilarious! I remember being like that… but my planet was never attacked like that, so I never had to talk to them again.
“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”
The AI, AIDAN, was definitely interesting, if not a little predictable in its motives – only because I’ve seen AIs in other stories/movies behave similarly. It still had an element of uniqueness in its… development? No spoilers, so just read the book and you’ll understand!
My favourite thing about this book was that despite being about a war in space between spaceships and megacorporations, it was funny! I mean I laughed out loud at several points in this book. And it was good, realistic humour. Well done, Amie and Jay.
There were also several really good twists in this book. I mean jaw-dropping, where-did-that-come-from, holy smokes, twists. To be fair, I’m not brilliant at predicting twists like that, but I still feel like these were pretty amazing.
Trust me, you will enjoy this book. Excuse me while I go run and buy book two: Gemina.
“Am I not merciful?”
What did you think of Illuminae?