Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

October 13th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 88 Comments

13th Oct
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by: Random House
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

2015 FAV BOOKLOVE FED-THE-NERD scifi Young Adult

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is a young adult science fiction thriller that is perfect for fall and will have you holding your breath. Completely riveting I consumed this 600-page tome in less than two days. Off planet, space ships, artificial intelligence, hackers, a romance and war. Eek gads Illuminae has it all!

Caffeinated Breakdown of Illuminae

  • The year is 2075 and we have two rival mega-corporations at war over an illegal established planet. On the day of the attack Kady and Ezra who broke up the night before are in class when the planet is attacked. They are separated but saved by the same fleet of ships. Incidentally, the enemy is pursuing these ships.
  • The ships are now over capacity and damaged. With the enemy threatening a decision is made to recruit all non-military civilians with any usable skills.
  • Ezra is enlisted as a pilot. I liked him and found him to be loyal. He is very much a team player but has rebel streak. Kady? Let us just say Kady is not a team player. She does however put her considerable computer skills to good use hacking into the system to find out what is being kept from them.
  • The second chance romance is sweet and I liked their playful banter. Their reason for initially splitting up is explored and I loved how romantic Ezra was. While it is not the focus, it is a powerful thread that will have the reader emotionally invested. I shed tears people. Real tears! The two of them communicate secretly online. Who says instant messaging and email isn’t romantic?
  • In between chapters the tale is enhanced using dossiers, emails, instant message, hacked documents, schematics and military files including medical, interviews and so much more. All of it held me captive and amplified this science fiction thriller.
  • As if being pursued by a warship capable of destroying everyone on board isn’t enough, this fleet of ships has to deal with a mutant virus. This thread felt plausible and the documentation on the progression of the virus was freaky. The authors provides just enough detail to have the reader pulling the blankets a little tighter. It was frankly, creeptastic!
  • This writing team brought us an action packed story with twists and turns the kept the suspense high and the reader guessing. While I was able to guess a few twists, it was all brilliantly done and geektastic. The characters are strong and Kady is a serious badass. The story despite all that is happening had layers of humor, sweetness and comradery. I became attached to these characters, feared for them, and loved seeing them in action.

Illuminae had me emotionally invested in the story and characters providing me with an exhilarating book high. For fans of thrillers and science fiction, this is not a trilogy to miss.

Personal Note: I struggled with the ARC version of this book. I was unable to expand some of the dossiers and the print was too small to read, as were some of the images. I ending up popping them open for a closer look in Adobe Digital Editions. Therefore, I totally recommend you buy the physical book of Illuminae. Unbelievably the physical copy is actually cheaper. Perhaps the finished digital copy will enable the reader to enlarge images. Having stated that, Illuminae was brilliant, suspenseful and original.

Classified Document

Illuminae Dossier

About Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He’s also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi… thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016. Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Stay Caffeinated!

Never miss a post by adding Caffeinated to your Inbox

Your email address will not be shared with anyone

88 Responses to “Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff”

  1. Jenny

    I love the sound of the plot and of course the second chance romance, but I’m wondering if I’m going to struggle with the format Kim! Of course I did just read The Dead House that had a similar case file-style where the story was told through various documents and that worked out well, so maybe this won’t be as big of a challenge as I’m expecting!

  2. Heidi

    I am reading this one right now, and just getting invested into it. I love both of these authors. Seriously, you need to read Stormdancer. I am enjoying the snark and the way the story is being submitted to the reader. I am reading this on my ipad, and it works fine to blow up the documents and such, I can see how it would be tough on an ereader.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I received the audiobook for review, and will let ya know. I am so glad you loved it too. Opening up the images on the laptop was a pain..but worth it

  3. Katherine

    I can definitely see how this would work better as a print book with the dossiers and other file types. Thanks for mentioning that. This sounds good and I like the relationship aspect and the sound of Ezra. This definitely sounds like an action packed read!

    Katherine recently posted: The Canterville Ghost - Review
  4. Sarah

    Good to know about the ebook format! I have an eARC copy but I have already reserved it at the library (for when it releases) so I can read the physical copy until I can get a chance to buy it. I don’t think I have read a bad review of this book! So glad to hear you loved it so much you read it in two days! 600 pages is no laughing matter!

  5. Kristin

    UGH! I steered clear of it b/c of Jay and his Twitter rants but I should have known better. Damn it! Now I have to go take it out of the library (ie. make sure they ordered it!) and then rack up the overdue charges to read it. Jay has some crazy opinions I don’t agree with but I should of just ignored them. I always chastise my hubs for his ban on Dave Matthews Band in the house when I love their music, tree-hugging status aside. UGH…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Cyn, they are a combination of Ashley’s UBB Icon add on and Parajunkee’s Flat Book Blogger Icons. I am not even going to lie..I have so much fun deciding which ones to use. They are like little mini-reviews

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If you just pull the images up that way, you should be fine. This is my first time with both authors, and I have not tried Across the Universe.

  6. Mandy

    I’m super excited for this one. You just confirmed that I can’t wait to read it.!!! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing I can’t wait to get it!!!

    Mandy recently posted: The Sunday Post
  7. Brona

    Ohhh I just unpacked our delivery of Illuminae at work before I popped home for lunch. It looks fantastic. I haven’t read any YA for ages, but this one could tempt me I think.

    Brona recently posted: Stories & Shout Outs
  8. Olivia

    I have actually heard that most people who had an ebook ARC were struggling with it, so I am going to make sure this is a book I buy in print when I do get it. I am actually trying to get it because it is on my TBR. I am someone who is all for the traditional narration as well, so I am going to try and go beyond my comfort zone with this one. Glad you liked it!