Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Not Like The Others

Title: Illuminae
Author: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository 
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.

There was a small part of me that was tempted to not write a review for Illuminae - it's probably why it has finally taken me this long to get to it. I wasn't going to write it for the simple fact that it is just going to be another glowing review in a sea of literally thousands. This book is getting praise heaped upon it and it is deserving of it all. This is one of those books that I would happily call a cool read, just because it has such a unique style to it. The book actually saw me miss a whole night of sleep - no, I'm not kidding! - because I started it just before bed. BIG MISTAKE! I had to go 48 hours with sleep because of that but it was totally worth it.
The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.

This book in two words. 
I've not read a book like Illuminae before, and I think that is a huge part of the reason why I loved it so much. I read over 100 books a year and sometimes a lot of them can just kind of blend together because they're so similar and don't really offer anything new. Illuminae definitely offers something new, something that we haven't seen before, from the unique was they tell the story, to the interesting formatting of the book itself. I'd sum up what Illuminae is about for you, but I think that one of the authors, Jay Kristoff, summed it up best on Goodreads.

Yup. Sums it up pretty perfectly. I don't think I can even describe how badly I want to just recommend this book to every single human on the planet. The experience of reading this is truly something I feel I can't sum up into words. This isn't a fun, light-hearted read though, it's very dark and, at times, completely fucking depressing. It involves characters stuck about space crafts, whilst a virus is infecting and killing passengers, making them crazy and do things you don't even want to imagine. This is definitely a dark and disturbing read, but I kind of love that about it, which probably says far too much about me as a person!
Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.
Basically me reading this book! 
The story unfolds through emails, reports, messages, CCTV footage and audio files - the series is called the Illuminae Files for a reason. The book is like a dossier about the incident on Kady's home planet and all that happened on the spaceship fleet after that. When I first started this book I had been a little nervous that this would make it hard to connect to the characters. But it didn't at all! I was completely sucked into this story, it was tense and gripping and could be genuinely quite frightening at times. It gave me feels, even if they were the nail-biting, stomach-turning, teary-eyed feels.

One of the best things about this book is ALL THE HUMOUR!!!!!! This book actually had me in stitches from the very first page with this little bit of perfection:
Sure, the story kicks off with the death of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?
Thank you!!! I couldn't stop laughing at that because it is just so true. It's like publishers are more than happy to publish a book that has children killing children in it, but freak out at the slightest mention of the word fuck. I mean, seriously, have they met any teenagers - I work with them and the majority of them say a lot worse. It's just weird to me, it's like they're saying swearing is worse than murder. The humour continues throughout the book, even during the really dark times and I love that about it.

Now time to talk characters!

  1. Kady: At the start of this book, she has literally just broke up with her boyfriend when her settlement is attacked. She then has to escape with him.... #awkward has never felt more appropriate! Now I am rather fond of Kady. She's short - huzzah! As a fellow short person, I applaud this and am very excited. We need many more short main characters - who then don't proceed to get an actress cast in the movie adaptations who is anything but (*cough* Tris *cough*). She's also smart, super smart. She's computer hacker smart and I bow down at her superior knowledge of technology. She's fierce, daring, strong and so bloody resilient. Plus, she's funny. And loyal. And I love her.
I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short.
  1. Ezra: He's a little darling! I have such fond feelings for Ezra. He's also very brave and strong. And he is so in love with Kady that it is just utterly adorable. 

  1. AIDAN: AIDAN is a computer, an AI who I was both in love with, and afraid of, He's one funny computer, whilst also being a tad psychotic. Although, it's not even that he is mental. He makes his decisions based on carefully calulations, the weighing up of options. He won't make a decision based off of feelings. 

5/5 Butterflies

This is a fantastic story and I am just a little obsessed! It was gripping, tense and a book I couldn't put down. I am beyond desperate for the sequel and will be counting down the days. 


  1. Ahhh I loved this book so much too! It's so weird because I was starting to wonder if there was going to be a love triangle between Kady, Ezra, and AIDAN. I really began to love AIDAN, so I hope he shows up again later in the series!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. I am reluctant to read this book because visually it is so unique and different I am scared that is all the book has to offer. Not to say that the story with in couldn't be good, but I am slightly worried that the praise is more connected to the visual uniqueness rather than the story itself.

    I hope that made sense, other wise I just made an ass of myself. :p

  3. Oh wow, a whole night of sleep? I now have been warned that when I do read this book to start it on a day where I have nothing that I need to be doing! Everyone seems to be loving this book and I just want my hands on it now! It also looks absolutely beautiful and is it weird that I am so excited for the formatting of this book as well? On top of all that the characters and the plot sound epic too <3

  4. I've heard so many extraordinary things about this book. And your review and gifs have only made me more excited to read this one. The formating is so damn cool in my opinion - and you're right, this one certainly stands out from the crowd. Lovely review c:

  5. Isn't it hard to say something that no other reviewer has mentioned?! God, I thought I would go out of my mind trying to find something different to gush about. This book definitely is unique, and I can't wait to read the next one. Awesome review!

  6. This is on my must read list of this year, so many have loved it, happy you did as well!

  7. I think I've come across this book before... didn't much interest me then, but you've sold it to me now. =] Sounds really, really interesting. And of course I just adore protagonists you can warm to. =D

  8. I juuuust picked this up today! Good to know it's worth it!

  9. Completely agree with your review, I LOVED IT. And like you, I was not sure I would connect with the characters given the format it was written in, but I totally did. This is one of those books that I want to reread now that I know what I know. You get that, right? Don't want to spoil anything for anyone. So glad you loved this one and yes, it deserves all the praise it is getting. ~Pam

  10. It sounds completely awesome! Glad you enjoyed it so much. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  11. IS IT BAD THAT I SHIPPED ADIEN ADN KADY THOUGH?!? XD I mean, I loooved Ezra, so basically I was making my own love triangle and one party isn't even human. *ahem* But neeeeedless to say I FREAKING LOVED IT TOO. And I totally get what you mean about it standing out amongst the hundreds of books one reads each year. I loved it SO MUCH for that. Like the first 200 pages were like "WHEEEST OVER MY HEAD" but then I got into the flow and I love love loooved it. I CANNOT WAIT FOR BK 2

  12. Ahahaha to Cait's comment ^^. SHIP 'EM!
    Have you seen Jay's write up of his new book? It's even more funny.
    This book is definitely unique in a sea of same. I adore it so much. One of my favourites of 2015. Top favourites actually.
    Kady had me crushing on her from the first page.
    Fantastic review!

  13. Yayyy I am so glad that you loved it! That's how I feel with big books and happy reviews too -- how can mine stand out? But I always love reading people's reactions to awesome books! Now how long do we have to wait for the next one again??? Haha!

  14. Oh, I can't sympathize with you enough! Had my co-blogger not begged for it, I NEVER would have reviewed Illuminae - partly because it's like praising Mad Max post-Oscars, and partly because I LOVED IT TOO MUCH, AND I CAN'T WORK OUT HOW TO CHANNEL SO MUCH LOVE INTO A REVIEW? (I wrote it. It was decent. But it still failed to reflect even a smidget of how in love with Illuminae I actually am.)

    I also can't agree with you enough about EVERYTHING ELSE! AIDAN is ADORABLE and TERRIFYING. Kady and Ezra are beyond cute - but, more importantly, beyond CAPABLE individually. (Go, Kady!)

    You come for the format, you stay for EVERYTHING ELSE. Really, I'm in this state of fright where there's a real possibility that no other series-starter will measure up to how I felt about Illuminae this year. ALL THE LOVE! Both to the book and to this review. <3

    - Lexie


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