• Page Count: 599
  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • My Rating: 5 stars

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)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.


I put this book aside last year when I was weirded out by the format, but the way it’s told through various reports and instant messages actually turned out to be one of my favorite parts! I couldn’t believe a collection of word graphics and documents could create such a strong world and pull me in so that I cared that much about the characters.

And oh my goodness… THE CHARACTERS. Ezra & Kady were both so incredibly vulnerable, witty, brave, and totally broke my heart. Ezra is straight up hilarious and one of the most lovable guys I’ve seen in SO long. I wasn’t sold on Kady right away, but she was easily in my list of all-time favorite characters by the end with how freaking tough she is. Picture a hacker version of Delilah Bard facing her death in space.

But honestly, my favorite character was AIDAN. I don’t know if I’d call him a villain, but that crazy piece of artificial intelligence had me glued to the book. It was all just so incredibly well done aaahhhh. He was creepy and insane but in an almost sympathetic philosophical way where what he said made sense?!

The whole format is so clever because you have to actually live the story with them. I loved the maps of each spaceship, the countdowns to how many of the people left alive on the ship have been infected with the disease, and how the fights in space were written in little swirly lines around the page so you have to tilt your book and get totally into everything. And for some reason seeing the pages of thousands of pictures of people made the mass casualties more meaningful. I know I’m so late to this party, but I still want to freak out over how creative so many parts of this story were.

I can’t believe it took me this long to get to this book!! The middle did take me a bit to push through when I started to not care as much about who was on which ship, but the end was SO AMAZING. Plot twists like mad.


8 comments on “Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

  1. This was one of my FAVORITE books of last year!! I can totally understand why you would be scared of the format because I was too! I actually read an eARC so the format was even weirder for me. I agree with everything you said though! The characters were fantastic! I’m so glad you loved this one! 😀

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    • Oh yeah, I bet this particular book would be super odd in a digital format! But I’m so glad you love it too!

  2. I loved this book so much! I can’t wait for Gemina! I do t usually read books not in a story format but it made it wayyy more interesting in here!

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