Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Pages: 599

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.

4 Stars

Illuminae will suck you into an exciting sci-fi world where a teenage hacker, spaceships on a nerve-wracking escape, artifical intelligence, and a shocker of a plot twist will blow your mind. Welcome to the year 2575, people, it’s time to buckle your seatbelts end enjoy the ride. Much like the book itself, this review will be presented as dossiers of documents.

Command Transmission Sent 03/30 at 2:00
ALEXANDER hails HYPATIA: Hypatia, Hypatia, Hypatia, this is Alexander, Alexander, Alexander. Do you copy? Over.
ALEXANDER: Hypatia, WTF did I just read? Over.
HYPATIA: Star Wars meets Dawn of the Dead. Over.
ALEXANDER: Roger that.

Surveillance footage summary, prepared by Analyst ID 120904-05-NR
First tape. We’re on Kerenza, some douchy little planet with an illegal mining station on it, sometime in the future (approx. 2550). Then the sky explodes. An attack. They’re blowing the place up. Two teenagers escaping in a van (side note: girl can’t drive). Apparent fight, boy gets out of the car to find his dad. Next tape. Oh, boy is down, I repeat, boy is down (side note: still looks pretty hawt, even covered in blood). Incapability of girl’s driving confirmed: Girl runs over people to get to boy. [Inaudible crackling] What? I’m just doing my job, boss! Ouch! Ok, let’s see: Girl and boy are separated and land on different spaceships escaping Kerenza. Enemy spaceship is on their heels. Groundwork for plot is laid.

Aerial shot

interstellar war photo: Skipper-Class Destroyer Skipper.jpg

⪻Insert message⪼
Nina: I found an author on the casualty list.
Simona: Now I’ll read the whole list, who knows who we can find.
Simona: Anyways, I found Joe Abercrombie and Leigh Bardugo in the casuality list ahah xD

Log entry by Fangirl – Date: 2016-03-29
The writing feels very realistic. There’s a lot of teen slang and military jargon and spaceship vocab. There’s not a lot of world-building since the story takes place on two spaceships but the authors clearly did a lot of research. The details packed into this book are fascinating.

Radio Message: Hypatia initiated – Hypatia/Shuttle 49a
⟨ Participants: Fangirl, Captain (Acting) / Critic, 2nd Lieutenant ⟩
Fangirl: Critic, this is fangirl, fangirl, fangirl.
Critic: Fangirl, I read you. Over.
Fangirl: Initiating squeals over main character Kady Grant. A badass with computer-hacking skills and faint pink-dyed hair.
Critic: A 17-yr old who supposedly has pretty decent IT skills and then starts hacking into every server on-board and somehow manipulates a whole spaceship like a fucking pro? Please. Is there a reason we can’t have adult protagonists doing adult-y stuff? Ugh.
Fangirl: Fine, you party pooper, then let’s talk about her relationship with Ezra Mason.
Critic: Oh yes, let’s talk about a teenage romance that runs sooo deep, the fool doesn’t even notice he–
[Radio message terminated]

Log entry made by Fangirl – Date: 2016-03-29
Critic is a sarcastic ass. I don’t know why I even put up with him. The layout is unique and creative af. The characters are pretty decent. I thought I wasn’t going to connect with them because we get files instead of text but this wasn’t the case. Granted, we did not get to see a lot of Ezra but we get to see entries in Kady’s diary, which made it easier to relate to this main character. There’s a lot of fear and homesickness and heartbreak. I think readers will love her.

⋘Insert quote⋙
“I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

I also thought: How am I going to enjoy this romance when it only takes place in instant messaging? How am I going to get the feels?

⋘Insert quote⋙
“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies.
You have me.”

Ah, hello feels.

⪻Insert message⪼
Nina: I am laughing my ass off.
⟪ Hasty note made by observer: This message may be either referring to Kady’s constant sass or the ridiculous yet cute hygiene flyer that is posted in the spaceships when a virus breaks out

Official statement by the Captain
✝ Current death toll aboard the battlecarrier Alexander since attack at Kerenza: 1,576
⟪ Note by Fangirl: Rest in peace, J.M. & B.Z.

⪻Insert message⪼
Simona: I was about to cry 🙁

Aerial recording – battlecarrier vs. cyclones

spaceships photo: Prometheus Prometheus-Moving.gif

⟪ Note by observer: Matching audio recording found. Critic can be heard yelling “Yeah! Hit them hard, those bastards!” – Content was censored.

⋘Insert quote⋙
“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.”

Log entry made by Critic – Date: 2016-03-29
The artificial intelligence machine AIDAN is by far the most interesting element in the book. Screw the characters. The passengers aboard a spaceship are being frickin’ massacred by [SPOILER ALERT] and the fucker plays the D-Moll Mozart concert. Also, I’m glad to be finally seeing some swear words again because this book was the Bible of Censorship. I shit you not, reader. All the swear words have been crossed out. Now, how is that fair? But well, at least we get a lot of little space shuttles blasting each other out of the air, and blood and goriness, and panic. I love panic.

Command Transmission Sent 03/30 at 4:32
HYPATIA hails ALEXANDER: Alexander, Alexander, Alexander. We have a bit of a situation over here. Do you copy? Over.
Alexander: A situation of which nature?
Hypatia: Major mind-blowing plot twist.

⋘Insert quote⋙
[Kady] “… You’re kidding.”
[AIDAN] “You just expressed displeasure at my humor. Why would I attempt it again?”
[Kady] “Um, because you’re loopier than flaky McPsycho, Mayor of Crazytown?”
[AIDAN] “My databases show no record of this Crazytown of which you speak. A brain the size of a city burns inside me. My intelligence quotient is beyond human scale. I would prefer if you did not refer to me in such fashion.”

Radio message: Alexander initiated – Shuttle101
Critic: Ok, I admit, that plot twist was smooth af.
Fangirl: [Squealing in the background] I did not see that coming, either.

⪻Insert message⪼
Simona: I was about to scream. Couldn’t believe it!
Nina: *heavy breathing*
Simona: Emotional roller coaster

Last log entry made by Critic before blow-up of spaceship – Date: N/A
The ending was a bit too rushed for my taste. I would’ve liked to see that played out (Yes, mainly because I’m an asshole and I don’t believe the authors really thought this through and it was way too convenient. Yes.) I don’t like it when details are left concealed for the plot’s convenience, so sue me.

Last log entry made by Fangirl before apocalypse – Date: Who cares?
I know Critic is brain-washing you right now. Don’t listen to him. The ending was one complete mindfuck of the sort that makes you want to sell your soul to get your hands on the next book.

⪻Insert message⪼
Simona: Like WOW.
Nina: Hahaha I know! Shocker!