Illuminae I Review #28

“Am I not merciful?”



Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Pages: 599

Publisher: Rock the Boat

Official Synopsis

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.


Next time someone asks me for a sci-fi recommendation – Illuminae will 100% be at the top of my list. With such an intriguingly unique layout even if I hated the book’s content I would have probably still continued reading because honestly this book was just nice to look at. Despite the fact that there was a lot of scientific content towards the beginning of the book which sometimes went over my head it never got to the point that it frustrated or annoyed me.

Character wise I loved both main characters from the very beginning. Kady is a very headstrong girl who prides herself in her hacking skills and all round talent at anything to do with a computer – in her time aboard the ‘Hypatia’ rescue ship she spends a lot of her time (if not all of it) trying to access secret files and messing with the ships controls. On the contrary, Ezra who was evacuated onto another ship the ‘Alexander’, is someone who is more comfortable sticking to the strictly regimented rules given to everyone aboard the ‘Alexander’ fleet. Both characters were fun to read and at times yes even made me cry (although the plot twist near the end did throw me a lot and I don’t know if I would have cried as much knowing what was revealed then)!

Honestly, I have so many more words I could use to describe this amazing novel. It completely and utterly captivated me and drew me in – I honestly can’t wait for the next book to come out in October!

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