ARC Review: Illuminae

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: YA sci-fi
Rating: 🌟 🌟

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.

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.

So I’m looking at all the five star ratings, and asking myself… did I read the same book?

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Illuminae is told through a collection of emails, interviews, images and hacked documents. It’s an interesting concept, one I was really excited to read about. Unfortunately the uniqueness of it wears off pretty fast.

Visually this book is amazing, I thought the images were beautiful, but there were also those awful Unipedia pages that I could not stand.

The year is 2575, Kady just broke up with Ezra and their planet got attacked.

The story mostly revolves around Kady and Ezra, and after the planet was attacked and they made it off the colony, they find themselves stranded on two different spaceships. Illuminae follows each character and their activities on both ships, Ezra is drafted into the military and Kady works with a computer hacker. But because of the way this story is told (emails, images etc.) we don’t really learn that much about them as individuals or their relationship, so I just couldn’t connect to any of them and, ultimately, didn’t care about them at all. And the IM’s between them sounded robotic at times.

I thought the beginning was really slow and I considered DNFing this book so many times, but then I kept remembering all the glowing 5 star reviews so I forced myself to keep going, hoping it’d get better. I ended up skimming the last half of the book, so by the time all the twists and turns and
finally showed up I just didn’t care.

The fact is this book leans more toward YA romance than actual sci-fi. And unfortunately it held more style over substance for me. But I guess I am sort of the black sheep when it comes to Illuminae, so if this does seem interesting to you I guess I’d give it a try.

two stars

8 thoughts on “ARC Review: Illuminae

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