Monday, February 8, 2016
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Review
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Kady thought the hardest thing she would have to do this morning would be to break up with her boyfriend, Ezra. That afternoon her planet was invaded and her colony destroyed by two warring megacorporations. Kind of puts things in perspective. Both Kady and Ezra fight their way onto the evacuation fleet while enemy fire is raining down upon them. The evacuation fleet barely escapes, but the enemy warship is on their tail. Kady and Ezra end up on different ships of the evacuation fleet - she is on the Hypatia, a science vessel that was nearby when the fighting broke out, and he ends up on the Alexander, a UTA military ship which came to their aid (there is also a third ship in the fleet called the Copernicus, a freighter). The Alexander is leading the way, but unfortunately during the battle it's AIDAN (Artificial Intelligence Network Defense Analytics Network) was severely damaged as was it's ability to open jump gates. It will be a months long journey before the fleet can reach Jump Station Heimdall and make its escape. That is if the Lincoln, the enemy warship which was also badly damaged during the battle, doesn't catch up to them first. And if that wasn't bad enough, the AIDAN, the system which should be protecting the fleet, may have just become their worst enemy.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is easily the most stunning book I've had the chance to read so far this year! I had had my eyes on it for quite some time and had heard amazing things about it from so many others that I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. And, I'm a sucker for books that have a different kind of formatting. The best way to describe how this story is presented is that it's similar to a found footage movie in that it uses interviews, emails, documents, transcribed security footage, etc. to get the story across to readers. This style can be hit or miss, but it works to great success in this case.
The style can also make you feel more distant from the events and characters, but that wasn't the case here. I think it actually drew me in a little more having to work a little harder to figure things out rather than being directly in Kady's and Ezra's heads from the get-go. Although, I admit there were times I wish that would have been the case. However, the book reeled me in from page one and didn't let go until after it was all over. I think after it was over I just sat and stared at the wall for a good ten minutes processing everything! There's a little bit of something for everyone in this book and so much to like from hacker girls and pilot boys, a fast acting plague something like the Croatoan Virus from Supernatural, and an out of control AI reminiscent of HAL and Ultron. If you haven't read Illuminae yet, what are you waiting for? I need the sequel, Gemina, right now!
I read this novel from January 21 - 29, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.