Author Amie Kaufman,
Series: The Illuminae Files, #1
Released: October 20th 2015
Publisher: Knopf BfYR
Length: 599 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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.
We’ve all heard about Illuminae, a wonderfully original new book co-authored by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. After all, the hype has been almost incredible – rarely do we see such a strong and intense publicity campaign. For months before its release, Illuminae was practically everywhere. For those of us who keep track of all things bookish, it was a must read we coveted for far too long.
I must admit that all that advertising made me a bit nervous. I have a black, cynical soul, inherently suspicious of all things “wholly unique” and “utterly captivating”. I was wary of this book, reluctant to start it, somehow sure that I would end up completely let down. I was never happier to have been wrong in my life.
Illuminae IS unique and captivating, told in a series of transcripts, IM sessions, e-mails and various other documents. It has very little in the way traditional narration and that in itself is something to celebrate. Visually, it is a stunning work in which each page brings a new surprise. I can’t even begin to imagine how much effort went into compiling this book, how many hours of thinking and planning, how many drafts and ideas were discarded along the way. Illuminae is an endeavor that required brilliance and bravery, both of which Kaufman and Kristoff possess in abundance.
I’d rather not say too much about the plot, as I went into this blindly and I wish the same for those of you who haven’t read it. I’ll say this, though: Illuminae is a thrill ride with something in it for everyone: enough science fiction and technical jargon to satisfy even hard core sci-fi fans, enough action to keep the easily bored glued to their seats, and certainly more than enough romance to keep my little heart happy and content.
Another thing I want to mention is that I read this book in two formats, switching between print and audio whenever I felt like it. One would think that such a visually interesting book wouldn’t be suited for the audio format, but a full cast audio shouldn’t be dismissed so easily. Both formats bring something new and different, and both have their advantages. Whatever you choose, you can’t possibly go wrong.
In any case, Illuminae seems to be almost universally loved and I’m happy to join in on worshiping Jay and Amie. Give it a chance if you haven’t already. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Oh, and also, they named a character James McNulty, and anyone who honors The Wire is definitely a friend of mine.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.