REVIEW: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


It’s time to prepare ourselves! One of the most anticipated book releases of October is almost here.

It’s time to prepare ourselves! Illuminae is bound to take every one of us on a crazy, fun ride set in a thrilling, sci-fi world!

The blurb:

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.

Let me start off by telling you whatever you think you know about Illuminae, based on the summary above, you don’t even know half of what this book contains. The whole concept of this story is awesome! Illuminae is told through these hacked documents – emails, IMs, files, medical reports, surveillance camera footage, drawings, and more. All of these make this story so fun to read! I have never read anything in this type of format, and it was so cool to read such a unique story like this.

As I was reading, I started to lose count of how many twists and mind-blowing moments there were. Just when you think you understand a certain plot point in the story, the authors switch everything around, and you are thrown in a completely new direction. I haven’t had as much fun reading as I did while reading Illuminae in a long time!



The story starts off fast, with Kady, our heroine, and Ezra trying to reach the evacuating fleet since their planet is under attack. Everything is a little confusing at first, because we aren’t really told why these two mega corporations (United Terran Authority and BeiTech) are even in this huge war. All we can assume is that we are most likely on the good side, so you just roll with what is happening. We don’t know a lot about our two main characters either, besides them being a couple who just broke up. I was immediately drawn to Ezra though because his personality really shines, whereas Kady is a lot more private. That didn’t make it hard for me to connect with either of them though, I found myself rooting for both of them easily. Okay, maybe I was rooting for Ezra a little more but I came out of this story understanding, and rooting for Kady over everyone.

Kady reminds me of a mix between Katniss and Tris, she has all the strong traits we all love in our heroines. There are a lot of things I can’t tell you without ruining the story for you, but I can tell you that the way each character (even the ones that aren’t as important) develops throughout the story was something really special. I didn’t feel like this was our ordinary dystopian world where the characters do predictable things. It felt real when these characters had to make tough decisions. There were moments where I had to stop reading because of things that happened. Some things weren’t sugar-coated and it was heartbreaking at times. It’s unreal how many emotions I felt while reading this.



As the story progresses we are introduced to AIDAIN, the artificial intelligence, who really brings out the sci-fi in Illuminae. It’s mind-blowing every time AIDAN speaks, he reminded me a lot of Ultron, in that creepy, scary yet awesome way. This character brings so much to the story, you’ll love it. Another thing you will love, is the romance between Kady and Ezra. When I first read some reviews on Illuminae, I wondered how there could possibly be this swoon-worthy romance in a story like this? It’s there though, and I found it easy to fall in love with their love.

All of the things that lead us from the beginning to the ending are crazy and intense. I can’t give enough praise to Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for writing this fantastic book. I appreciate all the hard work put into telling this amazing story, and in the way that they did. There is a scene in the book between Kady and AIDAN that is so heartbreaking and beautiful, it truly represents the whole meaning behind Illuminae. Kaufman and Kristoff really showed me that there is good in all of us, even if evil can take over, and if we are shown that goodness in others then it should remind us of our own. How amazing is it to find some truth of yourself in a story you are reading about other characters? Each character shows that no matter how much is lost, there is always hope and reasons to keep going, and I found that important throughout the whole story.

Illuminae leaves us with a huge cliffhanger, where your mind is completely blown! I had to go back and re-read the last couple of pages to make sure I was reading it correctly. It was such a fun and thrilling ride. You know those books where even when you aren’t reading them, you are constantly thinking about them? Illuminae is one of those books.



I recommend this book to all of you! Illuminae hits stores on October 20th, and I highly suggest you go pick it up then! It has all the ingredients of a great sci-fi, young adult trilogy, with NO love triangle! I can’t wait for the next book!

Can't wait for the next one


The plot and characters offer a rich read!

"And she is the reader who browses the shelf and looks for new worlds but finds herself." - I'm a writer who enjoys telling you all about the things I love, which includes a lot of books!

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  • Rebeca Flores • 9 years ago

    I’ve been waiting for this book forever! Your review only makes the waiting harder! haha