I actually wrote this review back in April (not sure why I haven’t posted it earlier!) and I have now finished the rest of the books in the trilogy. But I wanted to share my thoughts on the first book as they were back when I had just finished reading it so here goes… 

I finished Illuminae last night, and wow is it incredible. I know that this book has been out for a while. In fact the third book in the series Obsidio has just been published. I was actually cursing myself for not reading this series sooner. But now that I am finished with the first book I am so glad I waited.

Illuminae Book Review

This is because I literally don’t know what I would do if I had a long wait for the story to continue. I was so tempted to start reading Gemina last night the second I had finished Illuminae. Even though it was well after midnight when I finished the last page of Illuminae. Even though I had to be up early. And even though I felt so tired I was fighting to stay awake… such is the lure of this story…

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Title: Illuminae (Illuminae Files 01)

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Synopsis: 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.

Pages: 602

Categories: Sci Fi, YA, Fiction

Publication Date: 20th October 2015

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Ok so I have read 15 books this year, and we are only at the beginning of April, but I already know that Illuminae (and hopefully the rest of the series) are going to be right at the top of my best reads 2018. Illuminae is simply that incredible. If you haven’t read it, I would seriously recommend it, like, right now! I had high hopes for it, as I loved Nevernight and Godsgrave which are fantasy books by one of the two Illuminae authors, Jay Kristoff.

Illuminae is like nothing I have read before. As you can see from the synopsis, it is made up of a compilation of all sorts of ‘hacked documents’ we have emails, chat logs, interviews, medical reports etc etc. I loved the changes throughout of the book, and I have to say that the constant change of style makes Illuminae a really interesting read. The black pages comprises of the data from the AI were the most interesting reading for me.

The overall plot is incredible, filled with suspense, drama and plot twists you really do not see coming. I really did not want to put this book down. I needed to see what happened to both Kady and Ezra, who are the two main characters, whose experiences string the files together. I am going to try to avoid spoilers (though there is so much I want to say but can’t!)

The book is incredible, heartbreaking, through-provoking, shocking, and heartwarming. I found myself close to tears in parts, especially when faced with page upon page of casualty lists. I found myself laughing out loud at the exchanges between Kady and Ezra. Kady is one of my favourite fictional characters, she is feisty, determined, stubborn, honest and I would definitely want to be her friend.

The level of detail on each page of Illuminae is incredible – there are so many wonderful little ‘Easter Eggs’ – I was so happy to find a little reference to Arnold J. Rimmer, one of the main characters from the cult classic TV series Red Dwarf. I asked the authors of confirm my suspicions on Twitter and I was rewarded with the best answer! I am sure that there are more little references that I haven’t caught on my first read through of Illuminae, but hopefully I will spot them on my later rereads. And there will be later rereads as I love this book so much I am sure it’s not going to be long until I read it again.

I love sci-fi and have done forever, but recently I have spend most of my time reading fantasy. Illuminae was a bit of a change of pace for me and it was not only one of the best books I have ever read, it is also a book which reminded me of all the reasons why I love sci-fi. I can’t wait to carry on with the story in Gemina and Obsidio. I will be rereading this book (and probably the whole series) as I know that there is so much I have missed – those little details which make Illuminae an incredible read.

I hope I have sold Illuminae to you as it’s a book I am going to be recommending to everyone I speak to. It’s so totally unique unlike anything I have ever read. I have also heard amazing things about the audio books for this series too.

Illuninae is available from most bookstores, including Amazon*.

If you are looking for more reading recommendations then you can check out my other book reviews here.