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Book Review: Illuminae


Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Published: October 20, 2015
Pages: 600
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Received: Amazon
Rating: 5 stars


The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations 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.

Spoiler Free:

I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many emotions running through my head. First off I can say that I absolutely love this book and I would recommend it to everyone. I have the second book, Gemina, ready and waiting for me to finish this review. So let’s get to it.

First I want to say that the way this book is formatted is so genius and unique, very few other books have similar formats. The story begins a year after the events take place, and the whole book is written in IMs, emails, classified documents, military files, interviews, you name it. It takes some getting used to, but it’s pretty easy to pick up. And once you do you’ll dive right into the story as if you’re actually there while everything is going down.

We follow two main characters; Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, who right before their planet got invaded, just broke up…talk about AWKWARD. Their planet is being attacked by a rival corporation and they must escape to safety on one of 3 ships; the Alexander, the Hypatia, and the Copernicus. The rest of the story goes through the struggles everyone on these ships must face against an enemy ship, an insane AI, and a deadly disease.


I finished this book in one day…it was just that good. From the very beginning Amie and Jay pull you in to the drama and mayhem going on the planet Kerenza. So we have this recently broken up couple, Kady and Ezra who must escape their school together in order to reach safety in one of the 3 ships awaiting them. All the while worrying about their families and if they survived or not. Kady’s cousin and Ezra’s father unfortunately didn’t make it off the planet. That’s our first hit at the ‘ole feelings, trust me there will be more so brace yourself.

So of course, Kady and Ezra get separated onto different ships. Kady on the Hypatia, and Ezra on the Alexander. Immediately we learn that one of BeiTech’s ships the Lincoln has survived the battle and is hot on their tails to destroy everyone that is left and to leave no witnesses. Besides an enemy ship, there is a deadly virus (that BeiTech released) that is spreading on the Copernicus and must be dealt with immediately. Oh and we also have an AI named AIDAN who wants to destroy everything thinking that he’s actually helping. Well then, these guys can’t seem to catch a break.

I’ll end here without spoiling too much because this is definitely a book where you want to discover everything for yourself. All the secrets, the lies, and the emotions that will leave you guessing until the end. I would definitely recommend this book, and I would definitely read it again. In fact I’m extremely excited to get reading Gemina which continues the journey with new characters and old ones making an appearance with a whole other mission.

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