Illuminae (The Illuminae Files)

Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
For fans of Marie Lu and James Dashner comes the first book in an epic new series.   “Brace yourself. You're about to be immersed in a mindscape that you'll never want to leave.” —Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy   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 one of the 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-01-14
this book was amazing. definitely adding the next one to my to-read list. hopefully it'll live up to the first one. Honestly, the layout might not be everyone's cup of tea but it's definitely mine. My only complaint: I wish it was an adult book instead of YA. Could have explored some stuff more realistically. But so good.
Reviewed: 2018-03-22
Okay, so basically I've spent a month since I read this book obsessing over how good it is, crying because I can now never read it for the first time again, and powering through my immediate TBR to get to sequel (IT WILL BE THE NEXT BOOK I PICK UP AND YOU WILL HEAR ME SCREAMING ALL ABOUT IT).

Now that that is out of the way: obviously I loved this book. I was expecting to like it but as I've never been huge on sci-fi and had recently 3-starred a book that was often compared to this onehref> I was not sure how much. Basically I was blown all the way to freaking Kerenza by the end of the book.


“Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”



Now obviously the format of this book is completely different to the norm. But honestly, for the story that is being told and the writing style that it is told with, this works. Despite the fact that this book is technically written in retrospect, there are so many action-packed scenes in which you'll feel caught up right in the middle of the action.

And even in the down-time moments, you will laugh and cry as you read the low-key IM conversations between friends or the encrypted diary and unsent emails of the characters you will grow to love.

Honestly, I can not believe how much I shipped Kady and Ezra. If you have ever read any of my reviews, you will know that I'm not a big fan of YA romance. It almost always feels trope-y and adds nothing to storylines. But these two broke me. More than once.


“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”



And then there was AIDAN. I have never felt so freaking ambivalent about a character. E v e r. I don't know whether I think of him as a good guy or a bad guy. I don't know whether I sympathize with him. And I don't know if I can even question these things (or call him a him) because I am talking about an AI.


“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.”



TL;DR This book is freaking fantastic and I'll see you all for the next one when I'm screaming and crying once again.



More reviewshref> | Twitterhref> | Pinteresthref> | I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. (J.L. Borges)
Reviewed: 2018-03-07
I don't even know what to say. I'm stunned speechless after finishing ILLUMINAE and am itching to start GEMINA, but I know if I do that I won't get any sleep tonight.

A brilliant use of the "artifact" type format, ILLUMINAE was everything I wished for and more. A space opera like no other young adult science fiction I've ever read, it blasted through my expectations and played with my assumptions in a perfect way.

More to come when I recover.
Reviewed: 2018-01-09
This series is unlike anything I've ever read before. There were maps, instant messaging scripts, and even words written like a winding journey. The typography was incredible. The story was compelling too. I could've done without the teen romance, but it was still an exciting story. I wasn't able to predict the ending at all. Can't wait to read the next one!
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 9/9/15: 4.5 stars, I think
THIS BOOK WAS NUTS in the best possible way. Holy cow, I went through quite the array of emotions and theories and I was totally hooked. The formatting was awesome and totally added some EXTRA creepy moments along with enhancing some characters even more. Some parts of it WERE a bit distracting (very few) but for the most part, it was all amazing!
LOTS of exciting moments, lots of suspense, lots of gore, romance, thrills, tears, laughs -- you name it.
The characters were fantastic and somehow the formatting an documents made them even more real and dynamic.
This is a good one, folks. Too bad I'm going to have to wait SO LONG for the next.....

Full review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 9/21/15: The hype for ILLUMINAE was already huge several months before the book came out so by the time I got around to reading it (you know… still three months before its release date), it was already a pretty intimidating book from all of the reactions, not to mention the fact that the ARC was pretty honkin’ big. ILLUMINAE (in advanced copy form) clocked in at about 600 pages and taking on that brick (and I mean that extremely lovingly) was a bit scary, especially when it’s right smack in prime sci-fi territory: future and space. Thankfully, I had absolutely nothing to fear because I simply couldn’t put ILLUMINAE down and it may be one of the best books I’ve read this year.

How to review a book like ILLUMINAE… well, let’s start with the formatting. The book is exactly what the series title implies: a collection of files. From transcripts of interviews to video surveillance reports to emails to data pulled directly from the ship, ILLUMINAE tells the story of Kady and Ezra — two teens attempting to survive and reunite once an attack on their planet evacuates their community into space. At first I wasn’t sure how I would handle the formatting but not only was it not detrimental to my reading experience but it enhanced it exponentially. It was so interesting to pick up the full story from all of these forms of files and it was incredibly creative! I loved how different it felt and the representation of so many different forms really brought the world to life even more. I was fully submerged into The Illuminae Files and didn’t want to be yanked out of that world once I got into it.

The formatting also heightened the level of emotion for me. I think there were a few factors contributing to this, one of which is being able to read direct dialogue in emails and chat sessions. There’s no “he said” or “she said” or extra helpful information within a paragraph that sometimes takes away from being the moment of emotion or action. The action sequences were more contained within reports from outside observers so the reader is able to witness action in a different way as well. I really think these methods of capturing and presenting information allowed me to stay in the moment and not have to read a lot of descriptors which can sometimes cause my minder to start thinking more about the structure again and stray from the emotional side.
The other main factor was that the formatting was just so visually appealing. The files presented to the reader came complete with headers, logos, different fonts, pictures, strains, wrinkles, and more. Other pages were structured to represent how a machine was working, a pilot’s flight path, or a character’s journey. Then there were some pages that only had one or two words on it to really drive a point or emotion home to the readers. It was so exciting to see something so different and that visual representation really added another layer to the book!

Aside from the help from the formatting, the story really was just so good. It took me a little while to establish the characters and get to know them but once I did (and it really didn’t take that long), I felt like I knew them inside and out. I grew very attached to them and really felt like I took this journey with them. The plot and storytelling were also incredible. The suspense was constantly building, emotions high, action going, and there were quite a few twists that totally took me by surprise!

I feel like I could go on and on about ILLUMINAE but the bottom line is that you don’t want miss this book. It’s totally worth all of the hype and buzz it’s received and I think a lot of people will be stunned by it! I’m a BIT sad that I read it so early because now I need to wait a very long while for book two… But you can bet I’ll be inhaling the rest of this series!
Reviewed: 2015-11-21

Great style, it was a such a page turner, i couldnt put it down.

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