I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Ember on April 25, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon| Buy on Barnes & Noble
It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart.- --Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of The Red Queen
Read the New York Times bestselling blockbuster that critics are calling -out-of-this-world awesome.- The first in an epic sci-fi series unlike anything else out there.
Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. 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 biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
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.
This is one of those books that I’ve wanted to read since the moment I saw it’s cover, way before it was even a book on a shelf. And yet, here I still sat (well, when I signed up for this tour at least), a person who had yet to read the awesomeness. So, YAY for a paperback release tour, because dang was that book something I needed in my life.
First of all, I need to talk about the audiobook. I started the audiobook once upon a time, never reading the book and couldn’t keep up with the story. SO, when I started reading for this review, I was reading the print version of the paperback that is being released. And man, it is GORGEOUS. The book itself is a freaking work of art and I cannot even imagine how many hours went into making it look that way. But, as I got into the story, I got desperate. You see, I would have to stop reading and come to this thing called work and the only books I am allowed to read during work hours are audiobooks. So, I gave it another try. And boy am I glad it did. The production value of this audiobook is one of the highest I’ve ever seen. The voice actors were phenomenal and at times I felt more like I was listening to an old school radio program, because this was almost like a dramatized version of the book. Almost as in basically was just probably isn’t labeled that way. There were freaking commercials and special sounds and music and voice actors ACTING out certain parts of the book (My favorite part had to be a drunk message from Ezra to Kady. Classic). I honestly don’t know which version I liked better, the print or the audio.
So, Illuminae is straight up science fiction, but there is SO MUCH happening in the way the story is told. You’re getting it through files, instant messages, e-mails (deleted, sent, drafts, etc.), blacked out security/govermentesque reports, pictures, etc. (So, if you think a 600+ page book is daunting, remember, it’s not gonna be near as many words as you think. Which, becomes bad when you want MORE of the story. Good thing book two is already out!) And what could come off as kitchy if not done with the proper finesse, is just a freakin work of art. Seriously. I feel like I’ll spend just as much talking about the way the book was made as I will the actual plot of the book. Because, it’s just that good.
The only way this book could actually PULL OFF all this quirky formatting and not be a gimmick is if the characters and story itself were good. And they were damn good. The story revolves around two teens, Kady and Ezra, who break up the morning of an invasion on their planet. They both survive and are sent to different ships. But of course, they still are in love and it’s still way awkward. Kady becomes an underground hacker and Ezra gets conscripted. They are both hilarious with razor-sharp wit and sarcasm to boot. And it’s hard not to like them both almost immediately. Kady was SMART and not just off the charts brilliant, but smart and rational for a teenager. She asked questions, thought through decisions, and didn’t just leap off into a void unknowingly if she could help it. She is a character that quickly became a favorite for me. Ezra was funny and relatable and totally in love with Kady. And their romance was super fun, because it wasn’t conventional. They weren’t together – quite literally on different ships – and yet, you could still see how much they meant to one another.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the third main character, AIDAN. Yes, AIDAN is AI, specifically the AI that is supposed to be protecting the fleet. And while some would say it is just a computer, I say IT IS SO MUCH MORE. AIDAN brings it’s own life to the story in a hilarious and psychotic way and while I can’t say more, I will say I kinda totally 100% dug it.
This book will mess with your head. These authors aren’t afraid to make the big plot twists that leave you audibly gasping. It’s definitely a wild ride you’re about to go on when you start the book. It starts out slow, but when you finally look up, you realize there’s no way you can put it down and stop until you’ve finished.
I know this book isn’t going to be for everyone. Like I said, it’s straight up sci-fi, but I think if people can put that aside, they will see it is totally worth testing the waters of this genre for. And the formatting is going to straight up piss some people off. For those people, I say listen to the audiobook. You’ll hear a drama rather than seeing a bunch of crazy pages and it might make it better. But really, I cannot recommend this book enough. It stands on its own as a really rad, fun, wild read.
Since the moment I picked up These Broken Stars when it was a galley, I’ve been a fan of Amie Kaufman. I didn’t know how well she’d collaborate with another author outside that series, but obviously she has the gift, because her and Jay Kristoff are book writing magicians together.
See What Others Are Saying
Brace yourself, because you’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.- –Marie Lu, author of the bestselling Legend series
Prepare yourselves for Illuminae.- –EW.com
You’re not in for an ordinary novel experience. . . .- –Bustle.com
A truly interactive experience. . . . A fantastically fun ride.- –MTV.com
Three lucky winners will receive a paperback copy of Illuminae, US Only!
4/24/2017- A Gingerly Review– Re-Post-Review
4/25/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview
4/26/2017- Mary Had a Little Book Blog– Blogger Content
4/27/2017- YA and Wine– Review
4/28/2017-Such a Novel Idea– Review
5/1/2017- YA Bibliophile– Interview
5/2/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Re-Post-Review
5/3/2017- Book Briefs– Review
5/4/2017- BookHounds YA– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content
5/5/2017- Novel Novice– Interview
5/8/2017- Page Turners Blog– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content
5/9/2017- YA Books Central– Interview
5/10/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Review
5/11/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
5/12/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content