My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Illuminae

Synopsis (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 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.

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.


When I first picked up the book Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff at the library, I was intimidated.  At 599 pages, here was a monster of a book.  But then I opened it up and discovered this book is told in a variety of formats that make the pages fly by.  I'm a little stumped as to how to describe this book.  Is it a graphic novel?  Not really.  But it is not a traditionally written novel either.  There are memos, transcripts, visual poems, and art work that all come together to create an unusual, entertaining book.

The story begins on the day high school students Kady and Ezra break up.  Oh, and the planet they are on is attacked.  Both escape, but wind up on  different ships fleeing the attackers.  What then transpires is a twisted tale of out of control corporations, biological warfare, paranoia, and survival.

I loved the imaginative way this story was told.  There is a wonderful (and sometimes, confusing) mix of instant messages, interviews, transcripts, and basically any other type of communication represented.  This gives the feel that there is an investigation going on.  But what is the crime?  That is only part of the mystery.

Besides Kady and Ezra, there are many more intriguing characters to round out the story, including Zhang (a brilliant programmer), and Ezra's fellow soldier James.  I particularly loved artificial intellegence AIDEN who controls all the ships.  As the months progress in space, those in command begin to question AIDEN's abilities and methods.  One can see parallels between this and 2001 A Space Odessy's HAL, and it makes for scary fun.

There are many plot twists that surprised me,  But I hate spoilers, so I will not get into them here.  Just know that the story goes off in directions you may not expect.  These were really gripping and made me read even faster.

If you haven't had a chance to read it, put Illuminae on your TBR list NOW, before the next book comes out in October.


Release Date:  October 20th, 2015

Source:  Public Library

Format:  Hardcover Book

Recommendation:  An imaginative book that redefines how stories can be told.  If you like scary stories set in space, you will love it.

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  1. Nice! I had heard a lot of amazing things about this one. And I 'm now finding myself curious to read it! Will have to check my library and see! Nice review!

    1. Thank you, Jessica. I have also heard that the audiobook is really well done, too. I think I may get that from the library and take a listen.

  2. Well after reading your review I am even more excited about the fact that I have this book sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read!

    1. Hi CassieRose! You should read it this weekend. So creative and fun! I hope you love it.


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