The Illuminae Files #1

Reviewed by Melanie on March 20, 2017


I typically enjoy fantasy books and with the unique format of the book, I hoped this would be one of my favorites. I regret to say that while I enjoyed it, it’s not in my top ten, but is worth the time. I found the romance forced and was irritated by Ezra’s infatuation with Kady. In the beginning of the book he seems hung up and I rolled my eyes at the unrequited love aspect of what I thought would be a fast action story.

The time between the initial attack and the end of the book seemed unnecessarily long. The time jump had me thumbing back to check dates on the transcripts to make sure I was still following along with how long it had been between the interactions.

Overall, the book wasn’t horrible. I especially enjoyed the last 200 pages. The unique format of the book makes it difficult to follow at first, but once you’re adjusted, the story will pull you in and you’ll have a difficult time putting it down.

I enjoyed the quick reads through IMs when trying to get a few pages in here and there. I loved that I was never left hanging trying to finish a long chapter before I would be able to pick up the book again.

Don’t pick it up if you’re hoping for a quick read. At 599 pages, and half of it being life on the ship, this was a slow burn for me.

Illuminae Book Cover Illuminae
The Illuminae Files #1
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
October 20, 2015

Description from GoodReads.

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.

BRIEFING NOTE: 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.

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