[Review] Illuminae by Amie Kufman

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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.

 

I would like to start with a subtle image of how I felt about this book:

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Oh I’m sorry. Was that not subtle? Oh well. This book was freakin’ awesome.

I’ve been super excited about it since it came out and it’s been sitting on my shelf for the last month, but for some reason I was struggling to pick it up. There was that voice whispering, “But what if it doesn’t live up to the hype? Won’t that be disappointing?” and the longer I put it off the more worried I became to start it.

Well, I am so, SO glad that I finally read this book. For those of you who have not seen the inside yet, Illuminae is beautifully composed of interviews, briefing notes, drawings, audio transcripts, IM messages, and more. You might think that they spent more time on the format and less on making the story cohesive, but don’t you worry – it comes through so perfectly. It does take a little bit to figure out the characters and who’s on what ship but once you get going, it just grabs you and never lets you go.

There was not a single thing I didn’t enjoy about this book. It had me laughing and cringing and even gasping a few times. There was never a dull moment and I was constantly fearing for the lives of those on the ships (little piece of advice: don’t get attached to characters).

As I was reading, I could totally picture Illuminae becoming a movie, and guess what folks? The good news just keeps coming! Warner Brothers and Brad Pitt have bought the movie rights. You can read more here.

Illuminae will be one of those books that I obnoxiously push on people. Sorry (not sorry) to my friends and family in advance.

Traci

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