Published: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 608 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 of The Illuminae Files
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. (goodreads.com)
* Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's for proving an eARC in exchange for an honest review *
Where do I start with this book? I have no idea because, even ten days after finishing it, I still don't know how to put my thoughts regarding this book into a coherent stream of words that would make sense to everyone and not just me.
Illuminae is a book unique in so many ways, not only due to the extraordinary way through which the story is told, but also thanks to the brilliant writing of Amie and Jay who created characters that felt like they are actually real, documents that made me feel like I'm some agent reading through actual secret files and a AI that made you both hate it, fear it and pity it. Illuminae blows fresh wind into the genre of sci-fi which one should definitely not miss out on.
When I first heard about this book months ago, I wasn't sure if it would be my thing but once I heard more details and saw early reviews of it on BookTube I was already in love with it and knew I had to get my hands on it. Of course, situations like that oftentimes come with the annoying factor of high expectations which can ruin a book for you, but not this one. If I was expecting a 8 out of 10 when I opened the book, I finished it knowing it deserves at least 20 out of 10, no joke.
The story itself might seem simple: It's the story of two teens who live in 2575, who broke up the day their planet gets invaded. Luckily, both manage to get onto one of the rescue ships (different ones) and flee, but war is coming. As simple and classical as this might seem for a sci-fi novel, it is about WAY more than that. The story has so much depth, relatable and hatable characters, tough decisions, a beautiful love story and AIDEN, on whom I will not elaborate to not spoil anything.
"Am I not merciful?"
(That quote probably will seem weird until you'll read the book, so go and read it)
The two main characters, Kady and Ezra are captivating. Kady is a huge nerd but she also kicks total butt in the best way possible while Ezra is swoon worthy and just the perfect counterpart to Kady. Reading their conversations and rooting for them is amazing, though most of the time it's anything but rainbows and puppies. Don't forget there is war and war has the not very friendly side effect of people dying or at least getting hurt. Seeing them deal with the situations they have to face is amazing.
But the best thing about this book is the plot which was created by two masterminds who exactly know how to create a scene which will make you hold your breath while the scenes unfold in front of you. There are so many plot twists in this book that I didn't see coming, that were impossible to even imagine as reader and the ending blew my mind because THAT I really did not see coming. Where did Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff take their brains from?! Please masters, teach me the art of awesome!
Anyway, I could go on and on about how brilliant this book is but that would require spoilers which I definitely want to avoid because you guys simply have to go and get it the second it comes out, seriously, it's totally worth every dollar!
All in all, Illuminae is mind blowing, extraordinary, feels causing and just nothing you've ever read before. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished hardcover copy (which mind me I rarely buy those so when I do, you know the book is special, or only out as hardcover but pshhh no one has to know).
I give Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 5 out of 5 stars.