Friday 20 November 2015

Clare Reviews: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Title: Illuminae
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Format: Hardback
Pages: 599
Rating: 5/5
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.

“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”
 I was not properly emotionally prepared for this book. I was told it would make me cry and laugh and basically just bring all the feelings but still. Not prepared. I'm not sure there was ever any chance I could be. I made the mistake of starting this book at 11pm and I am now writing this review at half 3 in the morning. I am emotionally and physically exhausted and I probably should have slept first but I feel like I need to get my thoughts down.

I was in love with the main characters by page 32 and thoroughly captivated by the story by about page 10. This is not a book you can just dip into. Or at least I couldn't. Once I'd started I was hooked. Ezra and Kady were both great characters. They were both sarcastic and intelligent and I just adored them. I will admit that for the first half of the book I was a little more in love with Ezra but by the end Kady had stolen my heart just as much. 

Because of the way the story is told, through documents and emails, you don't hear as much (although there are some parts) from the other side characters. However this in no way lessens their impact. There's one part of the book where a number of people die and I cried like a baby despite the fact not one of them had appeared in the book before this point. And AIDAN - I didn't know I could be this attached to an artificial intelligence program. I mean sure I hated it for a bit there in the middle but I warmed up!

The story had the potential to be dry. I'll admit I was a little nervous about the documents. As drawn as I am to unusual formats I was worried this would stop me from connecting with the characters and the plot. Fortunately it did not. There are statistics and diagrams that somehow never bored me. I was on the edge of my seat, figuratively, from the first page to the last. There is so much going on and even when you think one thing is resolved up pops something else but I loved every minute of it.

There were some funny moments too - the laugh out loud kind. And of course their is the relationship between Kady and Ezra which was so realistically and wonderfully done without ever overpowering the overall plot. I am very excited for the rest of the series and I highly recommend Illuminae. This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2015.

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