Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Review - Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

23395680Title: Illuminae
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Published: 20 October 2015
Format: Paperback, 599 pages
Source: Jonathan Ball Publishers SA
Rating: 4/5 Stars

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, IM's, 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.


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Illuminae was a book that I've been wanting to read since it came out. Everyone and their mother had seemed to have read and loved Illuminae and it's unique type of narrative. I'm happy to say that the book did not disappoint.

When I first found out that Illuminae was written in the form of messages, files and documents, I was skeptical of how it was going to work. How was this unusual type of narrative going to let me get inside the characters head? How was I going to connect with them? How was I going to form an image in my mind of the place the book was set in? Illuminae was successful in making most of my questions possible. In fact it added so much more, it created an atmosphere that complemented it's characters and the series of hacked documents, messages and pictures created an entertaining way for the reader to delve into the world of spaceships and rivalries between mega-corporations.

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Our heroine Kady Grant, the hacker protigeé, was an inspiring character, who was sassy, badass and never gave up no matter what was thrown at her. She was a flawed character that was sometimes a bit of a know it all and a bit to stubborn, but that was what made her a delightful character to read.

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”

Ezra Mason was definitely my favourite character. He was the epitome of my perfect-hero-recipe but of course he was sprinkled with individuality, spice and all things nice. His sense of humor and big potty mouth made me laugh out loud instead of the usual puff out of my nose kind of laugh. I literally spent five minutes googling how to describe this action. 

“Interviewer: So. Tell me about your mother.
Ezra: You're taping this, right?
Interviewer: Audio only. Camera is faulty.
Ezra: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my… oh, dear… yes, it's my MIDDLE finger at Mr. Postgrad here.
Interviewer: Mr. Mason...
Ezra: Now I'm wiggling it.
Interviewer: Terminating interview at 13:58 on 03/19/75.
Ezra: Look at it wiggl-
-audio ends-”

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However, although I thoroughly enjoyed this book my only problem was that I somewhat felt detached from it. Don't get me wrong, I didn't really feel connected. I felt like I spent so much time thinking about what was going on that I didn't really have enough time to connect with the characters, and once I did make sense of everything it was too late, and unfortunately this left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied in terms of my feelings and connections with the characters.

On a more happier note the story line of Illuminae and it's constant twists and turns throughout it's course felt like a rollercoaster ride. The events of this book never failed to surprise me and I was constantly left astonished with my mouth gaping open like an idiot.

Overall Illuminae was a read that did not disappoint and captivated me but unfortunately at the same time it left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied. However I feel like this problem was more of a 'me' problem then Illuminae's problem, and I did still really enjoy it and I'm excited to read the next one.


What was your favourite part about Illuminae? Have you read Gemina yet, if so what did you think about it?


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