Jay Kristoff, co-author of Illuminae, describes this book perfectly:
“It’s the classic tale of boy meets girl, girl loses boy…and parents….and planet…and ends up on a crippled spaceship….with a mad computer…in the middle of an interstellar war…”
Kady Grant and Erza Mason broke up the morning their home planet, Karenza, was attacked by a warship sent by the power-hungry corporation, Bei-Tech. Grudgingly and with much fighting, Kady and Ezra help each other escape their ravaged planet on one of three Karenza fleet shuttles. Kady – an intelligent loner who’s a brilliant computer hacker – and Ezra – an outgoing athlete -type (who is secretly still pining for Kady) struggle to understand what happened to their planet and why while being pursued by the very warship that attacked them. Meanwhile, a terrifying and mutating virus has been discovered on-board the Karenza fleet. To make matters more complicated, AIDEN – the fleet’s artificial intelligence starts questioning the humans’ ability to protect themselves as “HE” becomes increasingly volatile. Kady and Ezra will have to set aside their post-breakup feelings and work together to stay alive on the packed fleet shuttles with a population that may be losing its mind.
Illuminae is an epic space opera set in the year 2575. Shrouded in conspiracy, it’s part sci-fi, mystery, snappy wit, horror, with a dash of romance. If you like any of these genres, you will love this book. I’ve never read anything like Illuminae (and I read a lot of books!), and I was blown away. This book is achingly beautiful, and it will rip your heart out – and put it back – and rip it out again, but you will love every minute.
Not only is the story amazing, but the physical layout of the book is a new experience in itself. Classified files, journal entries, video surveillance, IMs, AI messaging, and ship schematics add to the mystery and intensity of Illuminae’s story. Pair this book with the audio version to increase the story’s intensity. Performed by a full-cast – the space explosions, technology blips/beeps, and horror ramp up. I was listening to this story while walking outside one evening and it kept making me look behind my shoulder nervously!
Although this book tops out at 599 pages, it reads very quickly with short suspenseful chapters peppered with photos and illustrations.
Out of 5, I give it 20 glorious stars. Treat yourself and pick up Iluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff today – because it will give you time to read it at least five more times before part 2, Gemina, comes out in October!