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.
I would like to start out by saying that I read (or listened) to this book as an audiobook, which was a very unique experience for me. I’ve never been a fan of audiobooks, but this one was an amazing audiobook. I know that this book has very unique styles of writing with pictures and visual treats, so I did miss out on those and cannot talk about that.
Plot: This book has such a wild and crazy plot line, it is really hard to simply put it. Jay Kristoff described it as this: “Illuminae is the classic tale of girl meets boy… girl loses boy… and parents… and planet… and ends up on a crippled space ship… with a mad computer… and a deadly virus outbreak… in the middle of an interstellar war.” This has always been my favorite description of this book. It is a book that is constantly changing, moving, and growing. There are times you have no idea where it could possibly go. I will say that listening to this as an audiobook was a challenge at times. I had no idea what the format of the book was like beforehand and that would have definitely been helpful. There is a lot of technical jargon that makes it a little complicated at the start. But once you get some ways through, it is impossible to stop listening to. Not to mention, this book has one of the biggest twists of my life. Not going to spoil it, but I almost started crying in the car on my way home. It was crazy.
Characters: I think one of my favorite things about this book is the fact that because I listened to it, I got really connected to the characters. Each character had their own voice actor and I found myself falling deeply in love with the characters.
Kady– She is just a badass, zombie killing, computer savvy girl. She doesn’t let anyone bring her down or tell her what to do. In all honesty, she pretty much saves the day throughout the whole book. One thing I do like is that while she is the coolest girl ever, you get to see a little bit of her soft side as well. You get to see her heartbreak over being apart from Ezra and the distress over being alone in general. She’s headstrong, but also weak and scared at times. Kady is so real and awesome and just… cool.
Ezra- God. I love Ezra. He is probably my favorite character in almost any book ever. He is just such a sweet a strong character. What I found interesting was that Ezra was kind of a cautious person. Usually the boys in books are stupid, overly confident characters trying to single-handedly save the world. But he didn’t really want that. He wanted to go with the flow and just be with Kady and survive. He didn’t want the glory and the heroism. He barely even wanted to leave home in the first place. But he loves Kady with everything he has and overcomes a lot of his fears to be with her. Ezra is just… the best.
Cover: Because I never bought the actual book, I didn’t really get the full effect of the cover. I definitely do like the look of it.This book is written as though you’re looking through files. So you aren’t ever in a first-person perspective. The cover of this book kind of shows a preview of how that looks and feels.
Closing Thoughts: This is probably my favorite book of the year. A lot of people have complained that the book is too difficult to read, so my advice is to listen to the audiobook. It is a little different because it is written in a very strange way. I would say to at least take a peak in the book to see what I’m talking about. There are interviews, chat rooms, and different documents. It’s never told in the point of view of Kady or Ezra or anyone specifically. But once I got used to the unique format, I had no problem understanding it. This book is long, heavy, and crazy unique. But I think all those things are what make it so good. I could really go on about this book for hours and hours, so I just want to end by saying you all need to read this book. Even if this genre isn’t your thing (it isn’t mine either) I think you’ll enjoy it nonetheless. Plus, getting to the end is worth it… trust me.
Where to find Amie Kaufman:
Where to find Jay Kristoff: