Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I finally finished this monster of a book! All 599 pages of it. So, what interested me in reading the book wasn't what it was about, it was the fact that it is compiled of dossiers. It is chats, e-mails, surveillance footage, and other hacked documents. The physical book itself is interesting. And based off of the synopsis, it sounded a little outside my realm of usual books, but still something I could get into. So here it is, the first of The Illuminae Files.


It is 2575 and mega-corporations run the world and they have attacked the planet. Right before the attack, Kady and Ezra, two high school students, have broken up. Now, they rely on each other. Despite being on separate spaceships, they communicate back and forth while their ships, the Copernicus and the Hypatia, along with another ship, the Alexander, are trying to outrun the bad guys, Beitec, their ship is called the Lincoln. Through the course of the book, Kady fine tunes her tech and hacking skills; Ezra learns about being a space pilot and builds friendship with other crew members.

Through their time on the ships, there are space battles, homicidal AI systems, and a plague that causes people to suffer from extreme forms of PTSD and kill everyone.

Important Characters

Kady Grant: Heart breaker, tech genius, rule breaker, badass, sarcastic. I'd say that these 5 words sum up Kady pretty nicely. She does lose the heart breaker name tag about 40% into the book. Honestly, I love Kady. Although she does lean on Ezra, she is very independent. She and Ezra break up because she wants something different out of life and she knows that it wouldn't work out between them. (And then the world they know ends and they end up realizing they love each other and it will work out because nothing is the same.) But Kady spends the book improving her tech skills to find out about Ezra, her mother, Ezra's friends, and save everyone.

Ezra Mason: Funny, flirty, and hero. Ezra is my kind of man. In the first part of the book, he tries contacting Kady a few times apologizing for everything that happened between the two of them; he tells his friend about her and how he screwed up and wants her back. On two occasions, he is part of a team that saves the lives of multitudes of people. And he really is just incredibly, wonderfully sweet.

ADIAN: The homicidal AI system that is on the Copernicus who creepily falls in love with Kady. Maybe it wasn't meant to come off that way, but that's how I read it and it really gave me the eeby jeebies. In the end though, ADIAN was really just damaged and wasn't that bad, but I don't fully trust technology that tells people what to do. I've seen enough movies about things like that to know it's not safe.

What I Liked
  • I loved all of the characters. I was worried that with the way the book was set up, I wouldn't get to form an attachment to the characters, but I sincerely cared about all of them and wanted to know how everything would play out for them.
  • The actual book. It is so cool looking!
  • The multiple plot twists. The last third of the book is twist after twist. I didn't know how anything was going to end.
  • A love story is perfectly intertwined in all of the craziness.

What I Didn't Like
  • There were definitely a few things that went over my head when talking about the tech stuff. The fact that I have learned how to put together this blog is amazing. I know other people aren't as technologically impaired as I am, so others may not see that as an issue, but for me, it was too much.
  • The world was not explained enough. I didn't get that they were on a completely different planet other than Earth until a good two thirds into the book. Maybe I'm just used to the worlds of my books being set up more, but this one, you are put right into the action and are left to figure everything out, and I mean everything. They mention G-ball a million times and I have no clue what it is!
I do have a confession to make. I was almost done with the book when there is a huge plot twist that made my stomach drop. Despite the few pages left, I couldn't wait and I committed the ultimate book lover sin: I looked up end of the book spoilers. It definitely ruined the ending. I wish I hadn't looked it up. But, I am very happy with the ending and I promise I won't do it again! 

Overall Thoughts

This book was very fast and slow. It started off with a bang...and then it dragged off...and then picked up again...and dragged off. The parts where it was moving, I loved it; the parts where not much was going on, I really lost interest in it. I think my excitement for how awesomely the book was designed is what pushed me through it. I am excited for the next one to come out because I want to know what happens from here, but I hope the pace of it is a bit more consistent.

Rating: 6/10
Pages: 599 (Hardback)
Books in Series: 3
Genre(s): Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Would I Recommend It?: If Sci-Fi is your thing, yes 100%; if you want to read something a little different, yes; if you want a book that is cut and dry, no.


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