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.
One of of the most hyped books of 2015 has to be Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, for a good reason, too. Two successful authors coming together to write an epic science fiction thriller with epistolary elements (and the hardcover ARCs helped too)? EXCITING. My expectations were high coming into this story; alas, it disappointed me in a lot of aspects.
THE BAD NEWS
Let’s get the lackluster qualities out of the way first, shall we?
+ The first 50% of the story is so slow (this book is 600 pages, by the way). SO slow. And confusing. There’s nothing worse than that combination! I had to push myself to keep going. I actually talked to a few of my friends on Twitter who told me that the ending gets better – which is the only reason why I kept reading.
+ Lack of connection among the characters: because of the dossier of documents from multiple perspectives, it’s difficult to latch onto the main characters, Kady & Ezra. There are about a million other character names that are dropped. Like did I really have to invest my emotions into the Lieutenant of the Alexander?
+ Even though I tried to get invested in the romance between Kady & Ezra, it wasn’t happening. They break up at the start of the novel, and because of circumstances, they’re separated. However, the relationship continues through IM. Through this, I didn’t feel any romantic feelings they had for each other – and to avoid spoilers, a certain something happens in the second half of the story that really invalidated their love for each other.
+ there is a robot/programmer thing named AIDAN that gets a perspective in the story. It can talk and control the Alexander spaceship, and it becomes really creepy (in a bad way). I did not like the AIDAN. *shudders*
THE GOOD NEWS
There are certainly great aspects in Illuminae!
+ the format is extremely fun to read; it makes the story more fast-paced. The little snippets of information scattered throughout is highly entertaining.
+ props to Kaufman and Kristoff for writing such a complex story! There are so many things to keep track of, I don’t know how they did it. *slow claps*
+ THE ENDING. Oh my goodness, the ending. Honestly, Illuminae picks up dramatically for the last 25% of the story, and I was gripped. The ending is pretty crazy, putting me in a very conflicted position: do I continue with the rest of the trilogy?
I’m happy to see other bloggers and reviewers claiming that Illuminae is a favorite of 2015. It’s epic and told in a super unique format. Alas, there are just too many aspects that fell flat for me to claim it as a favorite. I am hesitant about continuing with the series simply because of my lack of interest in the romance and connection with the other characters. In terms of recommendation, I do think everyone should give this one a try and see if it’s their cup of tea, seeing as so many other readers adored Illuminae.