Illuminae is the 2015 co-authored adventure from the minds of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – and it is out of the world (literally, sorry!) good.
Honestly, I went into this with two minds – it was so incredibly hyped up everywhere I looked and if you’ve read it you’ll know; it is not your regular book.
Illuminae follows the story of two, seventeen year olds; Kady Grant and Ezra Mason – however as I stated already, this isn’t your usual book. The story is told via message excerpts and a various compilation of documents and records. It seems a tad strange to unravel the story this way at first, but it is an absolute thrill ride once you get to grips with it.
This review is spoiler free!
I enjoyed this book tremendously. I was slightly put off by the concept of the book – the whole ingenious way the story is told; but I got a-hold of that and I thoroughly relished in the difference, it was refreshing. It laid the story out in snippets and clues and relied a tad on the reader to piece it together, bit by bit – just as the protagonist does in the story.
Those parts that are told from a point of view from both Kady and Ezra are told through messages and private journal entries – it’s a very interpersonal way to get to know the characters that you wind up desperately, wholly rooting for. I very much enjoyed reading between the lines and piecing it all together. Seeing them avoid certain topics with each other and dodge questions that you know they found the answer too, a few pages prior. I cannot remember a book that garnered my interest so quickly.
The amount of effort and imagination used to create this novel is astounding. To create a perfect image in the reader’s mind, even though they never directly describe it in the traditional sense. It is one hell of a Sci-Fi novel, one has dragged me into the genre even though I’ve never really had all that much interest before – other than Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I can finally and completely understand the hype this book has received and I am fully aboard that train. I will happily drive the train, conduct the train, ensure that train goes on forever and ever. I am a very big fan of this book.
It’s pacing and world building were both done fantastically also. The story begins fast and then continues to build upon that – it’s not all go go go, but it’s not static or lulls – it’s a well-paced, well thought out novel that will keep you on the edge of your set the whole way through.
Considering it’s set in space, and many a book can be over-whelmed by this fact in itself – it does well to convey the feeling of being lost in the vacuum whilst also stuck on these ships.
I cannot recommend this book enough, and I cannot wait to read it’s sequel in Gemina. This is a thoroughly great read, so if you like YA, Sci-Fi, or anything in that realm, go and pick this up!