Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 602
Format: Hardcover/Own

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.

Review: Oh my god guys. Why did I wait so long to read this? It's freaking amazing! I really loved the unique and fun way the story was told. The briefings, reports, analysis's, journal, IM's. It was so cool and really fun to read that way. It kept me pretty engaged. I actually read this incredibly fast. Total I spent about 3-3.5 hours reading it. I was just so engaged in it I didn't realize how fast I was getting through it! So so good! I definitely think this is my favorite sci-fi novel now! This review definitely isn't going to do this book justice, but here it goes! 

So we have Kady and Ezra who just broke up before their planet got invaded and evacuated. After being evacuated, Ezra ends up being conscripted into the UTA, their military, and Kady eventually becomes a tech person, but her main pass time is using that knowledge for hacking. Mostly to get answers for things. So Ezra ended up on the Battleship Alexander and Kady ended up on the science vessel Hypatia. A lot of the book revolves around the Alexander hiding information from the Hypatia's command and people onboard the Hypatia then hacking into the Alexanders systems to try and find out the truth about what's going on and why they are hiding things. I thought this was so interesting. I understand that the Alexander is a military ship and they think they are following the rules by keeping things hush hush, but in that particular situation, I think regulations need to be tossed aside and info given so your allies can help you! Geez. They could have avoided so many issues had they been forthcoming with what was going on. But whatever. The hiding stuff just made for an incredibly fun read watching Kady work her magic on the systems. I loved seeing how good she was at hacking! The systems she uses, the things she plants, all the coding. I'd never be able to figure out how to do that. I'm not that good with tech. And I love how as the story goes on, Ezra became more and more willing to help Kady get into the systems on the Alexander since he witnesses and hears about things they are doing and hiding from the Hypatia.

I also enjoyed seeing Kady and Ezra's relationship rebuild throughout the story. It starts with Ezra sending her emails once he's healed up from where he got shot during the invasion. He sends and sends and she doesn't answer. Until around the Copernicus incident. Then she finally decides to respond to him. We find out later on that she lost someone on the Copernicus which is probably what triggered her to finally reach out. They finally talk about what caused the break-up to begin with and come to find out, it isn't enough to really give each other up for. I really loved seeing them work through their issues and then work together to find answers for all the stuff going on. And I especially loved seeing that Kady was willing to risk her own life if it meant saving Ezra. A, it kinda proved she loves him much more than she was letting on, and B, it showed just how much she didn't want to lose anyone else she loves. She lost her mom, she's got a good intuition that her dad might be dead too with whats going on and she has no idea if her cousin is alive after the invasion on the planet. For all she knows, Ezra is the only person she has left and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he doesn't die too. This girl is so strong with everything she has to do and deal with in this book.

I thought the AI, AIDAN was interesting. It's programmed to protect the fleet. But then it took damage during the invasion and seems to be working against them. But yet it thinks its still protecting them by hurting them. It's so confusing. I mean, I kinda understand what it did to the Copernicus and how that could be seen as protecting. But what he did on the Alexander. That was literally the opposite of helping. That was destroying a lot of people who could have possibly fixed it and gave them a better fighting chance. I thought it was incredibly interesting that the AI somehow grew an attachment to seeing Kady survive and even helped her. And the fact there's still a small piece of it left in Kady's datapad after the ending of the book. Hopefully if it does rebuild itself from that, its not in the state it was throughout the book.

I have to say I'm not super surprised by the ending. I had a feeling a certain person whose mentioned as being a very bad person would show up at some point. I just wasn't sure exactly how. Now we know! I definitely can't wait to read the next books and see where the storylines go next (I know Gemina is on the space station).


  1. Great review! I love this book, too. It’s very different and refreshing. I still have to read the third book, but I should probably reread the first two. I have a terrible memory.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you! :D That is seriously one of the things I loved about this! I loved how different and refreshing it is! It made it so incredibly fun to read! I need to get my hands on the next books! Don't feel bad. I have a terrible memory too! Lol. That's why I haven't finished a lot of series I have on my TBR still.

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! Illuminae is one of my favorite books ever. And still my favorite out all all three. Don't worry, Gemina is amazing as well! :)

    1. Yes!!! It has definitely earned a place on my favorites shelf as well! Good!! I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on Gemina and reading the next part of the story!!! :D


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