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.
BRIEFING NOTE: 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.
Illuminae definitely made for an interesting read. It was told through interviews, IMs, reports, and a bunch of other media. There were even some posters thrown in there.
The beginning of this book was pretty slow and confusing, and I actually had to start it a few times before I could really get into it. But once I figured out what and who everyone was (actually I’m still a bit confused about who some people were…) the book started to make a lot more sense, and started to get a lot better.
I was worried that this book wouldn’t give me an emotional story because of how it was told. But, I was surprised, and actually got a pretty good story out of it. There was a bunch of comedy relief, and the broad range of media used to tell the story was entertaining, and made the 600 pages a lot less daunting.
The characters in this story had quite a few dimensions, but a lot of them felt like they had the same voice. There was a lot of the same kind of humor given by each of the characters, and even in “professional” reports it felt like they were written by my little brother. Actually, I think I read this whole book in his voice in my head, because it felt like every character was him. It was a pretty weird experience.
The last quarter of this book is what saved it in my eyes. The “twist” didn’t really surprise me, but I did find myself on the edge of my seat. I did feel a tug at my heart, so there definitely was some emotional connection with the story… just not as much as I wish there were.
I think I will end up reading Gemina (the sequel), and hopefully after the first half of this book (which was spent setting up this complicated universe) it will be a lot more entertaining and way less confusing.
I would recommend this book to people who are looking for an interesting YA science fiction, and are willing to put in the time to learn about this complicated universe.
I am going to give Illuminae three out of five hearts.