No spoilers in this review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff!
I give it 4 stars.
The format alone was very intriguing to me! The Illuminae Files are a compilation of hacked documents presented to the reader as just that. There are emails, government reports, schematics, instant messages, and more. You will even find “attached” notes in the corner of some documents where the Illuminae group made their own observations about the findings. I was worried that this book would not flow well or that it might feel overly official but I was very wrong. While it did take me about 25 pages to get used to the format, I quickly became hooked and could not put it down. (Sleep was lost.) And the delivery was not excessively dry because, for instance, the documented conversations between some of the teens are particularly humorous and the Illuminae employee who made transcripts of video footage added their own snarky humor.
The story is set in the year 2575 where two mega-corporations are at war over an illegally mined planet known as Kerenza. Unfortunately, our main characters, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, who call this place home, are caught in the deadly crossfire. They escape with an evacuating fleet but are hotly pursued by a battle carrier that wants to eliminate any survivors who might tell this horrific tale. No one will tell the civilians what is going on, there is a deadly virus spreading, and their ship’s artificial intelligence system may be acting without the captain’s permission to “protect the fleet”. Ezra is drafted into the military and Kady uses her own hacking genius to find out what is going on.
My only hangups with Illuminae were with the reasons and motivation behind some character’s actions. Particularly those inflicted by the spreading virus. Everything else was pretty much awesome!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Illuminae will keep you on the edge of your seat as you feel like a detective who is slowly illuminating all of the lies and secrets. If you are looking for something a little different, a step outside of the YA norm, I highly recommend Illuminae.
Let us know what you think about The Illuminae Files in the comments! If you have read it did you like the format or did you find it distracting? No spoilers on this page, please. 🙂
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