Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
<Briefing Note: I wrote this review in 2015 prior to quitting the blog>
The Skinny: 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. -From Goodreads
BFF?: Kady and Ezra… both of them were absolutely phenomenal. I think what was particularly interesting was that we got to see MANY sides to them, and each side seemed genuine. Since Kady was more of the main character, I’ll focus on her. She was, at times, a little rough around the edges, which I don’t always like. I found myself really liking her though and thought she was incredibly clever, from her computer skills to her sneakiness. One thing I really loved seeing was how her personality altered over the course of the book. While she still had this edge to her and retained some of her snark, you could definitely see her becoming a little less confident, a little more aware that she didn’t know it all. I loved that she was resourceful and didn’t take anyone’s word for anything; she went out and found answers on her own, even though sometimes it caused some trouble. She seemed pretty resilient even when she was aching, which is always a plus in my book! Definitely looking forward to more from her in this series!
Readability: After flipping through this one, my first thought was WTH is this? I’m a fan of books written as journals, but this seemed like a mass of gobbledy gook. However, I quickly caught on and really enjoyed this unique way of story telling! The voices throughout the book were so fun to read.
Crush Level: 6ish
I talked about Kady in the BFF section, so let’s talk about Ezra now. While he was a main character, I think his role ended up being more of the love interest. I could be wrong. Meh…
Ezra was a total boy. As I mentioned we get to see many sides to the characters, and what I loved most about Ezra was his many sides. It cracked me up getting to dive into a boy’s mind, seeing how he talked to his guy friends and the jokes (often times crude) he made with them. I loved seeing him talk to Kady, to see how he would let his guard down while talking to her, but at the same time not moving too far from his own personality. There were so many times I found myself smiling over him… not in a swooning “isn’t he dreamy” kind of way, but in a way that reminded me of how I smile over my real life crush(es). He was funny and brave and daring and sarcastic. To be honest, I would say he was probably the most realistic boy I’ve ever read.
I could count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that are set in space. Something about it never quite appeals to me, but then I read a book set in space and I like it. There’s something so… empty about it. Like the entire world is infinite and silent, and you are alone. Which yeah, sounds a bit depressing, but I dunno… I find it a bit peaceful in a way. Also there’s always wicked cool technology and that’s something.
I won’t go into too many details about this… but this book just proves my fear of robots taking over. (kidding… slightly) But regardless, the intelligence that is in this book is really exciting! And scary…
If AIM is coming back in the future, I am major pumped. I don’t think it’s actually AIM (obviously technology has come a long way), but there is some program in the future that is essentially AIM/GChat combined with texting. Reading the various conversations were really fun.
Commencement Speech: For any of you who went to BEA, this seemed to be THE BOOK everyone got. I’m not exactly sure WHY it was such a hot book, other than they were handing out copies of it like there was no tomorrow. But if you’ve ever seen this book, you know it’s got the most eye-catching cover. That bright orange really makes your head turn, but once you get up close and see all the craziness that it is… it’s like it screams READ ME!!!
If you’re not a fan of books written in letters, diary entries, emails, etc., you could potentially find this one tricky. I personally love books written like this, so I found it really fun. There were so many different ways the story unfolded: interviews, transcripts, memos, emails, instant messages, and a few more outlets that I’ll let you discover. Each outlet felt so unique.
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
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