Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: Hardcover, 599 pages



This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do today. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

Thea year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations 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, exes Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship is 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 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 am not a huge sci-fi fan. I’ve enjoyed the Star Wars and Star Trek movies but I would never go so far as to say that I was a fan. So when I first heard about Illuminae, I had my reservations. As pretty and interesting as I thought the book looked – the jacket design and everything – the synopsis of it wasn’t really attracting me. However, there seems to be quite a following for the novel on social media and I decided to give it a chance and got a copy from the local library.

I loved it. That’s the simplest way to describe all my feelings towards this novel. The concept and way in which the story plays out is new, unique and so fun to read. The characters were funny, honest, sarcastic, and witty. The plot was captivating and I could never guess what was going to happen next. The minute I finished the book, I put in my order for both Illuminae and Gemina because I know that this is going to be a trilogy worth having on my bookshelves.

I highly recommend Illuminae – it is, without a doubt, one of the my favourite books read this year. If you’re like me, with certain reservations when it comes to sci-fi, I can only say that you might be pleasantly surprised.


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