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Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files, #1)

“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.”

What I thought:

Well, this was insane. Naturally, my only notes are useless, so this’ll have to be it. Bye, then! 😛

I’ve never owned such a beautiful, delicately designed book before! There are no chapters, but there are diary entries, chat messages, emails, security footage, and the mind of an insane AI. Oh, also a list of names of people who died followed by their portraits (this takes up six or eight pages), a countdown to inevitable doom, and the final messages of people who know they are about to die to their loved ones. The latter got to me more than the rest, even, but let me make it clear: Illuminae is one insane, emotional ride. I needed to recover when I was done, and then I jumped straight into Gemina (Book #2), because apparently my feels haven’t been stepped on enough already.

“Tell them I was thinking of them. At the end.”

They pile onto him. All snarls and teeth and fists.

But as he falls, I am holding his hand.

Easing him into his long good night.

“I will tell them, David.”

The last words he will ever hear.

“I promise.”

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Am I not merciful?

This will tear your heart out and laugh while you’re bleeding. I’ve popped it straight onto my forever shelf in case I ever need a sudden burst of inspiration/tears.

Most unexpectedly of all, it’s answered all the questions I couldn’t about my sci-fi WIP. Sometimes you read one sentence, hear one song, talk to one person, and it fills all the plot holes in your own work. Illuminae did that for my sci-fi WIP. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve struggled with every aspect of it since shortly after I created this blog. Illuminae fixed it, so if that’s not proof it’s made of magic… 😛

… was going to propose when I got home, and I’m sorry for waiting so long. I’m sorry for the whole mess with Amalia, and for everything that happened at Kara’s birthday, and…I’m just sorry. I thought I had more time to make it better…

In case you haven’t guessed it from the quotes – a lot of people die in this book. George R. R. Martin has nothing on these two, you hear? Nothing. So don’t get attached to anyone, and get your tissues and chocolates ready.

If you want to read a book that’ll make you feel something (granted, most of those feelings will be pain…), read this one. I read all 599 pages in four days. I read an entire third on Monday, and another whole third on Tuesday. This is good, friends. It will hook you; just don’t forget it’s only doing that so it can destroy you later 🙂


Have you read Illuminae? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

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