Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

October 13th, 2015 Kimberly Review 88 Comments

13th Oct
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.

FED-THE-NERD scifi 2015 FAV BOOKLOVE 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

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Nicole

    I had a physical ARC, but it looked a lot different than your digital version. I’ll be interested to see how the “real” book looks. I pretty much agree with all of the reviews that are pouring in for this one – a definite win!

  4. 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!!!

  5. Christina T

    Nice review!

    I’ve got an ARC of this to read soon. I think I’ll try reading it on my laptop instead of my phone. I am glad to hear you liked it. I loved her Starbound trilogy and the premise of this book reminds me of a cross between that and Beth Revis’s Across the Universe.

    • 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. Cyn

    I’m beyond excited for this guy (already pre-ordered it!)! Two authors I love and so much sci-fi-ness! the virus sounds so cool! Can’t wait, happy to see you loved it!
    PS. I love your little icons at the top of the review (:

    • 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

  7. Ramona

    Wow, that document sure looks interesting! I’m ordering the physical copy right now – thanks for the tip, Kimba 🙂

  8. Braine Talk Supe

    Thanks for the screenshot, it does look like this will be better to read in final print than in arc version. Speaking of JK, I need to pick up his Japanese steampunk series! Gah! Just read the first book 🙁

  9. Christy

    I really want to read this. I saw there is audio for it and wondered how they pull that off with the way this book is formatted.

  10. 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…

  11. Lorna

    You make this sound so good. I am glad you loved it, but it’s such a long book! This would be a someday book for me. It sounds like it would be a really good movie as well 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. Teddyree

    Squeee awesome review … now I can’t wait! Thanks for the heads up on the print version. I really liked Kaufman/Spooner Starbound series too.

  14. 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!

  15. Kristin

    Great review. I saw this book at Comic-con but was unable to snag a copy. Even though I have not read anything by either author it just sounds like such an awesome story. Thanks for the heads up on the eCopy.

  16. Candace

    I’ve been really curious about this one. It sounds really intense! I like scifi once in awhile and I think I’ll have to try this one for sure!

  17. Christine

    I love books that use extra documents and things — so intrigued! Also a 600-pager in two days is a pretty compelling recommendation! 🙂

  18. ShootingStarsMag

    I have this one to read ASAP. I got a copy at BEA and I keep hearing good things, so I’m excited. Looking through it, I would say people need a physical copy as well. It makes seeing all the details easier.

  19. Brittany

    YES I loved this book too! Eeek that would be hard to read an egalley 🙁 There’s an audiobook for this too and I’m sure they’ll do a great job on it but I also think it’ll be hard to show some of those beautiful images! It will definitely be a different experience for sure.
    So glad you loved it!!

    • 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

  20. 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.

  21. sherry fundin

    I am looking for some different kinds of reads. I think I am getting a little burned out. LOL I am liking the sound of this one. Thanks for the great review.

  22. kindlemom1

    I love that you said this had you holding your breath Kim, what a wonderful description. Sci fi usually isn’t my thing but I have seen a lot of good reviews for this that are making me super tempted to read it.

  23. Debbie Haupt

    Ok, Ok I’m convinced if you cried Kim I’ve got to read it and wow what a premise. I Love Sci-Fi but am usually a no go on YA, but you convinced me 🙂

  24. Wattle

    This one is getting such good reviews! I think I’ll definitely have to find myself a physical copy, I like that it has documents and other files to help flesh out the story. It always makes things more fun (and feel like you’re part of it too!)

  25. Megan

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this it has had so much hype and it just looks fantastic. Great review. I will be buying the hardcopy as some books just need to be read in print form and I think this one definitely does.

  26. 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!

  27. Nick

    I was a little bit wary about this one because of its format but I ended up devouring it! It was so good! And all the surprising twists! I agree with you on your personal note. I started the e-ARC and it wasn’t very user friendly. The physical book is worth the purchase.

  28. Greg

    I’ve been curious about this one. I like the idea of the documents telling part of the story, great idea. And the virus running loose- sound cool! I’ll be definitely getting this one. Nice reviews Kimba!

  29. melliane

    I’m not that much into sci-fi I confess but this one sounds a bit different and fun so maybe. I’ll keep an eye on it! thanks for the review!