HNS Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff



Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 599
Year:  2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Amazon l B & N  l Book Depository l 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 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.

Reviewer’s Thoughts:

An overly hyped book with no substance.

In a sea of books where everything seems familiar, I could see why everyone is bewitched with Illuminae. It is told in a unique formatting. Oh, the allure of a fresh narrative. I for one was initially impressed by it; however, the gracefulness ended right there.

Illuminae follows the story of Kady and Ezra, a teenage couple who recently broke up in a midst of a colonial attack. They are getting invaded and with the chaos surrounding them, they got separated into two different army fleet. And, when a lethal outbreak feast through their armadas, Kady find herself snared in a web of lies. It is told in a lens of hacked documents, military files, reports, illustration, interview and so on.

The story started out in a remarkable note. This kind of formatting hasn’t been done before, at least not that I know of. It makes the narrative fresh and somewhat entertaining. I guess that greatly contributed to its success. Readers crave bizarre storytelling. I appreciate where the sass is going. It got me laughing from the very start. However, the “fun” part died eventually.

There are countless of pages that has been wasted on nonsensical, tedious matters that doesn’t serve the plot in anyway. It’s mentally exhausting to comprehend. I was partially detached with it. I almost abandoned it, but I resisted the urge because I wanted to see where the story would go. The climax is disappointing. It didn’t do anything for me.

The romance is cute. It’s one of the things that I find remarkably enjoying about it. But in the long run, it started to drift into a juvenile sense of buildup. That’s the proof, romance can’t take you that far off.

I would have liked more Illuminae if the characters were well crafted and embedded in the plot. Unfortunately, the core focus is the odd storytelling and confusing mesh of random files. Though, I find it so ironic that the intelligence system has more scenes and development than the actual characters.

I wouldn’t recommend Illuminae to readers who are looking for a flesh-out characters. If you find yourself getting bored with the technical articles of it, I hardly doubt you’ll feel optimistic about the latter portion.

Review also posted at Goodreads.

About the Author

7dVr3HIhSue discovered the magical world filled with words at a young age. They have been her constant companion ever since. In addition to being a full time bookworm, and a dessert enthusiastic, she also runs the first fansite for Vampire Academy’s Lucy Fry called Lucy Fry Source. When she’s not tucked between the pages of her books, you can find her at her personal blog. You can also follow Sue on instagram and goodreads.

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