Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

by - April 02, 2018



Genres: Sci-Fi, Horror
Pages: 599
Publisher: Knopf Books
Release Date: 20/10/2015
Find The Author (AK): (Website/Twitter)
Find The Author (JK): (Website/Twitter)
Find The Book: Book Depository/AbeBooks UK/US

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.


Illuminae is sci-fi at it's best. This is the sort of book that I'll binge read, then shove it at everyone in the hopes that they'll love and read it too, which is not something I do often. It's 600 pages long, but it's much shorter due to the format - the whole book is comprised of files, web chats, ascii art and cleverly drawn speech that makes you feel like you're flying through space yourself. I honestly think it's a masterpiece.

There's no single person main character here due to the format, but we know our main characters are Kady and Ezra as these are the people that the files follow. We hear from techies who were watching Kady weave her way around the ship, read Kady and Ezra's web chats and get right into the head of an insane AI computer that's developing human emotions. It's one hell of a ride.

 “The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.” 

 I love both Kady and Ezra because they are the teenagers that save the world but the book doesn't skim over that, it shows us exactly why they are capable of doing so. Ezra is some sort of Marine/Fighter pilot type while Kady is a tech genius and spends her days rummaging in people's dirty laundry online. Of course, she finds out stuff she's not supposed to know and of course, she can't just pretend it didn't happen.

 Aside from the sci-fi we also get a good section of full blown almost-zombie horror and it's glorious because who would not want a (almost) zombie hoarde wandering around a ship attempting to commit mass murder? Why are you looking at me? Stop looking at me. STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME STOP LOOKING AT ME


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