8 Dec 2015

REVIEW: ILLUMINAE (THE ILLUMINAE FILES #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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. 
I think this is one of those cases where hype killed the book for me. But I guess I was just anticipating something more. Having read a lot of science fiction books, I was hoping for something new and groundbreaking from how everyone was talking about it, but this is like a mishmash of all the good science fiction tropes in existence. If you have read or seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, then you have basically read this book. Add in a disease and a semi-zombie apocalypse and there you go book done.

The format was cool and unique and it made for an easy read, but the plot freaking killed it for me. I skimmed half the book waiting for the twist and HOPING that it would be different than what I've read before but alas it was not. I know I'm a black sheep on this one but I don't care that much. I think if you haven't read a lot of science fiction, you will love this one BECAUSE it is all the best parts of science fiction put together. But if you have exhaustively read science fiction, then you will not be too surprised by what happens and the outcome of this story.

The romance was okay. I liked Ezra and Kady as people but I didn't like them as a couple. Based on how the story was told, I think it was pretty obvious what the outcome was there. But hey, whatever right. This was just a bunch of cliches all together. And while I usually love cliches, these ones just didn't sit right with me.

If you have read a lot of science fiction and you're still curious, check it out at the library. If you haven't read a lot of science fiction, I hope this sparks your interest and that you start reading a lot more of it. Science fiction offers so so much and it is just SO good. And this has a lot of the cool parts of the genre in it but there are a lot of other things to still see and read.


  1. I enjoyed Illuminae, but I haven't read a whole lot of science fiction novels. I'm a big fan of sic fi movies/tv—the usual sort, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who etc etc. I totally understand where you're coming from though. It didn't live up to the hype for me either, but it was enjoyable enough :)

    Ely of Tea & Titles

  2. AWWWWWWWWWW! I definitely know what you mean about hype. I tend to read books waaay early so either the hype hasn't hit, or I'm part of the hype-monsters LOL. With this book, it's been going strong since before BEA, so the hype got to many people. I adored this book, and can't wait to read the next one! I'm sorry you didn't quite enjoy it BUT I'm glad you gave it a shot! I love science fiction so this was going to read no matter what!

    Fantastic review, Jamie. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. Aww. :( I'm sorry to hear the hype kind of got to you on this one. It's never fun to be a black sheep about a book. That's the pain about hype - it makes you think something is going to be better than it is, and it makes it that much worse when you end up not liking it. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing your thoughts! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

  4. I completely understand how you want to like it, but it just isn't as special as you were hoping. I haven't read 2001: A Space Odessy, so maybe it will seem fresh to me. The ebook was an absolute disappointment, so I am hoping that when I do read the physical edition, I can give it a proper review. <3


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