Monday, November 23, 2015

YA Review: Illuminae

Illuminae (Illuminae Files, 1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, October 20, 2015. 599 pages. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Library.

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.

First Sentence:
So here's the file the almost killed me, Director.

To be honest, I was not going to read Illuminae. I did not know what it was about but the fact that everywhere you looked online it was lurking, waiting to clog my feed. I guess you could say I was put off by seeing it mentioned everywhere. So, why did I decide to give this (overly) hyped book a shot?

Okay, so, even though I had seen Illuminae everywhere I had no idea what it was about. I know, odd but entirely true. It was just mentioned so much that I found myself too annoyed to even bother seeing what it was about...then, well, then I spotted it at the library and its monster thickness just called to me like a siren singing. Yet still I avoided peeking at the synopsis (as well as reviews). I figured that if I was going to give it a chance I wanted to go in blind.

So, the format while vastly interesting was somewhat off putting at first. A lot of the pages were so crammed with little things that it bothered me...and then, then the story started pulling me in and I was a goner. While the characters themselves were, well, on the annoying side, it was the overall plot line that really intrigued me. Even though 100 pages in I had everything figured out.

While the formatting was interesting and definitely unique, it did bother me at times because there was so much going on. And, since I was reading it whilst sitting in the back of a moving car, well, yeah, it got rather annoying because the text on a few pages had me turning the book every which way. Even though it was quite engrossing I would not recommend reading it in the car...especially if you're not used to reading in the car.

In the realm of the story, well, it was probably one of the most interesting sci-fi books that I have read in a long time. The plot was pretty riveting and the quick pace in which it was told pulled me right in. I really enjoyed how everything took off right from the start with no build up. It was rather refreshing to not be waiting half the book for something to happen.

Illuminae was rather thrilling to read. I especially enjoyed the fast pace and how there was never a dull moment. It was the perfect book to pass six hours worth of riding in the car (over two days). But what really made this an interesting read was seeing how everything came together. Sure, I guessed really early on who was behind things and some of the other big plot points but that didn't take anything away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

As for the writing, I was impressed with both Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's storytelling abilities and how well their writing blended together. Having never read either author before, I was unsure as to what to expect. The only thing I did not enjoy about this book was the language, or should I say implied language since some of it was redacted. The other drawback when it came to Illuminae, after the language, was  some of the dialogue between Ezra and his military was rather crude (at least to me).

Final Verdict: Illuminae- It's like nothing I have ever read before...and I mean that in the best possible way!

Illuminae earns

this book was borrowed from the library because the thick tomb of a book called to me. All thoughts are my own.

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