Illuminae (The Illuminae Files Series #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files Series #1)

4.1 35
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

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For fans of Marie Lu comes the first book in an epic series that bends the sci-fi genre into a new dimension.
 “A truly beautiful novel that redefines the form."Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of Red Queen

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.


For fans of Marie Lu comes the first book in an epic series that bends the sci-fi genre into a new dimension.
 “A truly beautiful novel that redefines the form."Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of Red Queen

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 a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
“Prepare yourselves for Illuminae.”
[Y]ou’re not in for an ordinary novel experience. . . .
“A truly interactive experience. . . . A fantastically fun ride.” —
“[O]ut-of-this-world awesome.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred
★ “…stylistically mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred
★ “[A]n arresting visual experience.”—Booklist, starred
★ “[A] game-changer.” —Shelf Awareness, starred

“Brace yourself. You're about to be immersed in a mindscape that you'll never want to leave.”  —Marie Lu, bestselling author of the Legend trilogy
"Genre: Undefinable. Novel: Unforgettable." —Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & author of Unbreakable
An exuberant mix of space opera, romance, zombies, hackers, and political thrills.”  —Scott Westerfeld, bestselling author of  Zeroes and Uglies
Stunningly creative. Smart, funny, and romantic.”  —Veronica Rossi, bestselling author of Under the Never Sky
“This is one of those rare books that will truly keep your heart pounding.” Beth Revis, bestselling author of Across the Universe
This book is xxxxing awesome.”
Laini Taylor, bestselling author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/20/2015
Star-crossed lovers fight for survival in this visually stunning adventure, the first in a trilogy and told through myriad documents and archived information, including instant messages, email, interview transcripts, memos, and security footage. Following a devastating attack on their home planet, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, having just broken up, end up on different ships, part of a refugee fleet fleeing a cosmic dreadnought. Additionally, a virus is turning the survivors into bloodthirsty monsters, while one ship’s murderous AI takes extreme measures to protect the fleet. Though separated, Kady and Ezra rekindle their relationship while everything collapses around them. What starts off as a spacefaring action-romance evolves into a nerve-wracking horror story as the true scope of the situation becomes clear. Kaufman (the Starbound trilogy) and Kristoff (the Lotus War series) offer a stylistically mesmerizing tale, where story and art are interchangeable, and words act as pictures. The more experimental sections may require extra effort on readers’ parts, but the result is worth it. Ages 14–up. Agent: (for Kaufman) John Adams and Tracey Adams, Adams Literary; (for Kristoff) Matt Bialer and Lindsay Ribar, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Ambitious, heartbreaking, and out-of-this-world awesome." —Kirkus Reviews starred review

“Kaufman and Kristoff have created a fast-paced, quasi-political sci-fi thriller that is completely unique.” —Booklist starred review

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Kady Grant has typical problems: school, parents, and a boyfriend she just dumped. But life spirals out of control when Kady's planet, Kerenza, is attacked by an unknown enemy. As destruction unfolds around her, Kady manages to escape her planet on one of three ships. Kady is considered lucky, with her mother on one ship and her ex, Ezra, on another. As the convoy flees Kerenza with the enemy close behind, it is clear that the problems have just begun. A deadly virus is spreading through one of the ships; AIDEN, the onboard computer of the lead ship, has gone rogue; and the enemy is in close pursuit in an attempt to destroy the last witnesses of the Kerenza catastrophe. Using a nontraditional writing style, Kaufman and Kristoff craft the narrative using illustrated screen shots of spaceship blueprints, interviews, data, and messages that make up the "Illuminae Files." Despite the minimal presence of conventional paragraphs, there is a surprisingly natural flow as elements are seamlessly woven together to create a satisfying dossier-style reading experience. The characters are immediately real and with harrowing accounts, unexpected twists, and gut-wrenching selflessness, they become even more endearing over the course of the book. While reminiscent of the works of Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card, this work is a distinct piece that stands alone. VERDICT A great recommendation for middle and high school science-fiction fans.—Paige Rowse, Syosset High School Library, New York
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-06-23
In the wake of an interstellar incident, a post-mortem dossier comprising interview transcripts, memos, instant-messaging transcripts, diary entries, and more is assembled in this mammoth series opener. Teenage colonists and exes Kady's and Ezra's lives are rocked by the 2575 assault on the Wallace/Ulyanov Consortium's illegal mining colony by their corporate rival, BeiTech Industries. They are among the lucky ones who manage to evacuate—Kady to the science vessel Hypatia and Ezra to the United Terran Authority's battlecarrier Alexander. The latter escorts both Hypatia and the freighter Copernicus in a monthslong race to safety while pursued by a BeiTech dreadnought, one likely to win should the ships engage again. Ezra's recruited as a fighter pilot. Kady avoids conscription by flunking tests and highlighting her defiant personality, which allows her freedom to hack the ships. What she discovers disturbs her and leads her to communicate with Ezra again—both for more information and because of their unfinished business. The two teenagers—a focus of the dossier due to their sleuthing—share and uncover disturbing information about an incident with Copernicus, the damage sustained by Alexander's artificial intelligence system, and a terrifying virus. The design's creative visuals take advantage of the nontraditional format, which gracefully juggles document types, foreshadowing, clues, voices, and characters. As the characters' time runs out, the story ambushes readers with surprises. The account completes the incident's history but not its fallout. Ambitious, heartbreaking, and out-of-this-world awesome. (Science fiction. 13 & up)
Children's Literature - Patricia K. Landy
When Katie Grant breaks up with her boyfriend Ezra Mason, little does she realize that this will be the worst day of her life. Katie lives in a futuristic colony, Kerenza, where an illegal operation has been mining and refining a valuable commodity: hermium. When the interstellar corporation BeiTech discovers its competitor, all hell breaks loose. BeiTech sends an attack fleet to destroy every man, woman, and child in the settlement. Chaos reigns as the citizens frantically board escape vehicles. The Hypatia and Copernicus are civilian vessels that are in no way equipped to battle BeiTech’s attack ship, the Lincoln. Adding to the drama is BeiTech’s release of a biochemical Phobus Virus that turns normal people into blood-thirsty zombies. The only ship to hear the SOS from Kerenza is the Alexander. Battle scenes overpower the plot, leaving Katie, Ezra, and their friends to face some deadly challenges. Even the artificial intelligence AIDAN which guides the Alexander struggles to help the teens, whose fate lies in the hands of a dying computer. Kaufman and Kristoff create an unusual plot by piecing together interviews, briefing notes from the characters, court martial lists, personal messages, diagrams, classified and censored information, and surveillance footage. The female characters are exceptionally strong and dynamic, and the language is unique in its balance between what is strictly military and what is teenage satire. Although the action-packed drama is in the foreground, the romance between Katie and Ezra is tender and enduring. Ironically, the break-up between the two brings them together. “Centrum tenenda.” Book one in the “Illuminae Files” series. Reviewer: Patricia K. Landy; Ages 14 up.
VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Suanne B. Roush
Kady Grant and Ezra Mason thought that breaking up was the worst thing that could happen until the ship from BeiTech appeared and opens fire on their small, ice-covered planet, Kerenza. It makes no sense because their settlement is not really legal, and no one is actually supposed to know about it or the small-time mining operation there. Before the day is over, the two teens find themselves aboard two of the three ships evacuating the few survivors and fleeing from BeiTech’s warship, Lincoln. Tested for abilities and conscripted, Ezra finds himself in an accelerated pilot program. Kady’s computer skills put her into training, but she is not recommended for conscription because she does not play well with others. The three ships are controlled by an artificial intelligence unit, AIDAN. All is not as it seems, and the AI orders the third ship to be destroyed. When a few pilots do not follow orders and save some of the survivors of the Copernicus, they are court martialed, even though the public relations memos hail them as heroes. Kady uses her skills to hack into the systems to find out the truth and uncovers more than a threat by the AI; there is a plague that has broken out and is mutating, threatening all of the personnel on the Alexander. An exciting roller-coaster ride, Ezra and Kady are characters readers will be rooting for throughout the book. The dialogue is whip-smart, sarcastic, and filled with black humor, and the device of telling the story through documents, emails, files, interviews and medical reports is highly creative. Although not overly descriptive, it is still very visual, and unfolds like all classic social science fiction. Recommend to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Battlestar Galactica. The length is going to be a stumbling block and it will take a sales job to get it into the hands of many readers who would enjoy it the most, especially reluctant readers, so it would be an advantage to have e-books where the page length will not be noticed. This title will fly off the shelf once word of mouth starts, and it would be a great book club selection. (The Illuminae Files_01) Reviewer: Suanne B. Roush; Ages 15 to Adult.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Illuminae Files Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the Starbound series. Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the Lotus War series. Collectively, they are 12’5” tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met, thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn more about Amie and Jay at and

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Illuminae 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the previous reviewer stated, this is an intetesting concept, but nook can't handle the content. The reader crashes and it won't skip ahead to avoid the pages causing problems. What I could read of the book (about the first 30 pages) was good. I was disappointed that I couldn't keep reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really creative and awesome book. But, much better hardcover becuz nook will crash or won't work very well on the creative/cool parts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book seems interesting, but that is all I can say because when I reached page 25 or so, where the pictures of the ships are, the nook just crashes and doesn't let you flip pages. I was able to jump forward to about page 35, but a few pages later the nook crashed again. Pointless to read this book on the nook, go hardcopy.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I need to start this review off by just saying that Annie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae is unlike anything that I have ever read before. From the plot to the actual storytelling—everything about Illuminae is unique. There wasn’t a moment spent while reading this novel where I wasn’t on the edge of my seat and completely into it. This book is everything. Honestly, if you don’t give it a read, you are missing out on something great. Set in the year 2575, when Kady breaks up with her boyfriend Ezra, the very last thing she expects is for her planet to get invaded by a megacorporation that is interested in starting a war. Narrowly managing to escape on a fleet of ships, both Kady and Ezra find themselves trying to outrun a warship—the Lincoln—that is dead-set on leaving behind no survivors. The threat the warship poses is nothing compared to the threats that are beginning to appear onboard the ships Copernicus, Alexander, and Hypatia. A deadly airborne virus has begun to infect survivors, leaving them feral and bloodthirsty. And the Alexander’s AI, the only thing that can save them from the oncoming warship, is showing malicious intentions. For Kady and Ezra, safety and survival have never been so far away, and there’s no telling if they’ll make it. I loved this book. I cannot emphasize how much I love this book. I had my doubts before reading (because the few things I’d read about it were nothing but people raving about how fantastic it was), but now I can tell you with complete and total honesty that this book is just amazing. The way that Illuminae’s story is told is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. There is no typical first person or third person point of view where everything is told through chapters of prose. Illuminae is told through transcripts of conversations, IMs, documents detailing videos from security cameras, and other ‘found’ footage. It takes a bit of time getting used to, yes, but the way that Kaufman and Kristoff present the story is immersive and innovative. The way that the story is told makes Illuminae all the more haunting to read. Readers will feel like they’re reading something that actually happened, something that was real, making Illuminae something forbidden to them. It’s a story that leaves you on the edge of your seat, hoping that your favorite characters make it to the very end and unscathed. There were far too many moments where I was left with a horrible feeling in my stomach as I watched some of my faves meet their utter demises. The protagonists of the novel, Kady and Ezra, are both such flawed characters. They feel very real when you read their interactions with one another and the other characters in the plot. Even though they’re both exes, you can watch as they begin to fall back in touch with one another, and readers will wonder if there’s hope for their romance yet. Will they be able to get back together even though Kady is on the Hypatia and Ezra is on the Alexander? We just do not know, but there’s hope. In the end, Illuminae is a novel that I’m going to end up holding on very closely to my heart. It’s been too long since I’ve read something as truly unique as Illuminae. The stakes are raised with every single new piece of information that’s offered to us. The characters are all amazing. The storytelling is on point. Nothing is ever what it seems, and I’ve shed far too many tears on the pages of this ARC. It’s with great excitement that I await the next installment to
Michael_A More than 1 year ago
As another reviewer stated, this Nook Book is messed up somehow. The Nook can't handle it, I could only get a few pages in before my app would constantly crash, and I can't skip beyond this spot either. It takes a long time to download, even on the PC app. The PC app has problems of its own, it renders the book badly, chopping off several inches of the edge of the page, making the book unreadable. It's disappointing, as the story seems very promising and I genuinely want to finish it.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Great story. Keeps you guessing through the end. But you have to listen to the audio version first. The briefing notes, characters, and humor in the face of tragedy come together so much better in audio. Audio first and then read the book. P.S. Serious Kady fan!
SheBookedIt 4 months ago
BeesKneesBookishKorner 5 months ago
This was such a fun book to read. Don’t let the 599 page count turn you off of this book. The story is told through instant messages, e-mails, official reports, and transcripts of video footage. Through these various documents, the story is told of Kady and Ezra who escape from a planet that is attacked by a megacorporation. Kady ends up on one ship trying to hack her way to the truth of what really happened and what is currently happening with the refugees. Ezra ends up on another ship, conscripted into their military, and becomes a pilot. Both are on the run from another ship, the one that attacked their planet and is trying to eliminate the last witnesses. This was a fast-paced, edge-of-your seat novel. Despite the dire circumstances, it was witty and endearing. Kady is so smart for her age that it’s hard to remember she’s only 17 until you hear her sarcasm and snarkiness come through in the different transcripts. Illuminae is such an entertaining and unique read. I really and truly do NOT recommend that you read this on any device. It needs to be read in its printed form. I can’t imagine how the different documents and images would translate to an eReader of any kind. Even if it formatted correctly (and I’ve seen people complain about it NOT in other reviews) you would lose something in the experience. Not only that, but it has the neatest cover (the hardbound dust jacket) of any book I’ve ever seen. Waiting for the next installment of this trilogy isn’t going to be fun.
lrhubble 7 months ago
Amazing Futuristic, Sci-fi, Young Adult Kady thought breaking up with Ezra this morning was the hardest thing she’d have to do. Instead this afternoon her planet was invaded. In the year of 2575, two megacorporations that are rivals are warring over a planet that’s little more than a speck on the edge of the universe. Kady and Ezra are barely talking to each other and they are dealing with enemy fire raining down on them and are being forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit. Their problems are just starting, though. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results. If that wasn’t bad enough nobody in charge is telling anyone what is really going on and the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy. Kady soon realizes that the only person that can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she would never speak to again as she hacks into a web of data looking for the truth. This is a book that readers will race to finish to find out just what is going on and how things will turn out for Kady and Ezra. Knowing this is the beginning of a trilogy will thrill readers but also have them upset to find out they need to wait for the next book to come out. Told in a very unique and original way the story pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go even after they finish the book. It will be very interesting to see how the next two books read. The characters are very interesting and they move the story along at a lightning fast pace. Anyone that enjoys space and sci-fi will love this book and even those that don’t will fall in love with this book.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I purchased the Nook version, it won't even download. Note that other Nook titles are downloading fine. BN has terrible support and there is no way to get help. What kind of 21st century company runs things this way?
Reading_With_Cupcakes 11 months ago
Illuminae is a book I put off reading for a long time. I had access to it before it was even released, yet I couldn't bring myself to read it. Was there a reason why? It could have been because everyone was in love with it and I was afraid that the hype about it was going to ruin it for me..or it could have been because I tend to put off books I really want to read. If I read them, then they are over....and what if I hate them? Or it could have been a bit of both. Or it could have been because I just never picked it up. Eventually I did though. I actually read it as a part of #ARCApril. And now, here is June, and I am finally writing something up about it. Procrastination? Maybe. Waiting for the right words to describe this book to come to me? Maybe that too. But if I keep waiting for those perfect words to come to me, then I will never ever write anything up about this book. Those words are never going to come. This book...there really are no words for this book. Illuminae is actually set in space in the far out future. A small, illegal mining company is attacked by another mining company. Their home is destroyed. Thankfully there was a fleet nearby to help save some of those who lived in the colony or else there would have been no survivors. Of course, even though the ships got away, the attackers continued on in pursuit. They didn't want to have any one left behind. There were only 3 ships with survivors...and things started to happen...and no one was talking. I really cannot go into much more of a description of the story than that. I do not want to accidentally give away anything. There are so many aspects to Illuminae, it is mind blowing to say the least. Illuminae has a little bit of everything to it. There is romance. There is war. There is espionage. There is There is There is. It is so hard to explain. It will definitely keep you on your toes the whole way through though. You will never find yourself bored or wanting to put it down. And then there is the formatting of this book, which only adds to the brilliance that is Illuminae. Illuminae is far from being formatted like a normal book. It is meant to be a collection of files on an incident. There are conversation logs, emails, files, and more to it. In my opinion, this book should not be read as an ebook. I think reading it digitally will take away from some of the magic that the formatting lends to the story as a whole. So do yourself a favor and order it or head down to the store and get it. You might not be able to start it as quickly as if you were to download it onto whatever device you have, but it will be well worth it in the end. So was there anything that I didn't like in Illuminae? Yes. That it ended. And that the second book Gemina isn't released yet.... But other than that? No. I loved it. I wish I could read it again for the very first time and experience all brand new over again. My Rating 5 Stars Find more of my reviews here: This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
description description I am so so glad that I decided to read this book, I hesitated a little bit before buying it because I knew that it was told through emails, chats, reports, images and many other formats, so I thought maybe I wasn’t going to get the whole experience because I wasn’t going to be reading from the main characters PoV, but, boy was I wrong!! The way is narrated allows us to get the entire picture of what is going on in the story, we get to see how the event are affecting different characters, and I never felt like I couldn’t connect with them, on the contrary, I felt that much more connected to them and the story. I don’t want to say much about what it about because if you go into it blindly like I did you are going to be really surprised by some things that happen. I can’t wait to read Gemina!
Th3bibliophile More than 1 year ago
just finished reading Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and am super excited to write this review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first got the book. It is written in a very unconventional way and has a lot of very different-looking pages. But it also looked very interesting and so, without knowing much about the story, I dove into it. The book tells the story of two teenagers in the year 2575, who are dealing with typical teenage love stuff in the midst of interstellar war and killer viruses. I don’t want to give too much away, but Illuminae was an incredibly compelling read! It’s a pretty thick book but it did NOT feel like a long read at all. The story was so intriguing that I found myself counting down the hours at work until I could get back home and read some more! I ended up reading it in three days, and as is the case with great reads, I had that sad feeling when there isn’t any more to read. So I mentioned that the story is told in a very unconventional way. What do I mean by that? Well the “story” is rather a dossier of hacked documents compiled to show the events that occurred, and includes Wikipedia-type articles, blueprints, IM conversations, interview transcripts, surveillance footage, classified documents, etc. While some might think this method of story-telling might be off-putting, it was instead an extremely refreshing way to read a novel and was utterly compelling. The authors have taken an interesting idea and executed it to absolute perfection. They created a beautiful book. Here are just a few examples of how great and interesting the pages are! The main characters are charming. The way the authors have organized the book gives us a great picture of who the main characters really are without trying too hard. They were just able to seamlessly interweave a teenage relationship, an interstellar war, a deadly pathogen, and other pressing issues into one great read. Like a perfectly composed dish, the separate arcs just melded together to give one excellent story. I was supremely impressed by Illuminae, and by the skill the authors possess. I highly recommend Illuminae! Things to look forward to: –Gemina, the next book in the series, which should be released in October! (cannot wait!!) --Brad Pitt is going to be turning Illuminae into a movie! Please check out my blog for more book reviews!
AliceGrace More than 1 year ago
I didn’t want to read Illuminae. I wasn’t even interested in it enough to read the synopsis. In fact, I never read the synopsis. Our story began on twitter, when I saw about three-four people talking about the audiobook. They said it was amazing. They were gushing not just over the story, they were gushing over the audiobook. There were people who were planning on listening to it after they’d already read the book. From that very moment, I was sold if only for two reasons. I’d already been contemplating reading Illuminae even though I wasn’t really interested because a lot of people loved it. As someone who claims to be a YA science fiction and fantasy blogger, I should probably have a general idea of what’s hot and give it a chance. An audiobook has to be pretty darn good for people to be gushing over it the way they were and I was looking for a new one to get with one of my audible credits. A Note about the Audiobook So here we are today, I’m writing this review and you are reading it. Some bloggers said that the audiobook could be confusing if you hadn’t already read the book and, while I can see why that might be for some people, I didn’t really have any problems. There were a few times I had to take a moment to piece some stuff together simply because I was unprepared for the story’s format. Illuminae is told through a series of recording, IMs, interviews, an AI (artificial intelligence), medical reports, hacked documents… you get the idea. I recognize that this may be an immediate turn off for some people and I would understand that. Picking up a novel and physically reading a story told in such a manor isn’t for everyone, personally, I don’t know if I would have. That’s when the audiobook comes in. There are two points to consider before embarking on this audiobook though. If you are new to audiobooks and not adept at ingesting recorded media like this, you may want to try with a story that’s a bit more familiar. By that, I mean something that’s written in a more traditional fiction format. There is a constant shift between the use of IMs and narrative from medical reports, etc. that things can get mixed up pretty fast. On the flip side, if you have no problems ingesting this type of media or don’t freaking care, I applaud you and encourage you to make Illuminae your next audiobook. I’ve listened to a fair amount of audiobooks by now, not a lot, but enough to have heard average narration and jaw-dropping narration. If you don’t know anything about Illuminae or have no interest in it whatsoever, listen to this audiobook. We have been truly spoiled and I am very much looking forward to the sequel. Even if you’re not big on audiobooks, this one is a totally different from any I’ve ever heard. I imagine reading the book and listening to it are two completely different experiences, and that alone makes investing in this worth it. The narration was done by three people but sounded more like a full cast with some very cool sound effects. Setting and Style Illuminae takes place in space aboard two ships and is basically your worst nightmare. A disease is set loose on one of the ships. The AI turns rogue and tries to kill everyone in order to protect them. Did I mention this disease makes everyone go crazy and basically kill or torture each other and/or themselves? Creepy. I know. Did I also mention that the AI is insane? Yes. You are in for a treat. I know this is unappealing for a lot of people, but the audiobook actually ble
Coreena More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my sixteen year old son (who will normally only read Manga) because of the visually stunning way it is written and he raced through it. Then my twelve year old son devoured it and told me that I HAD TO READ IT. Illuminae is told through interviews, text messages, and other documents, with certain words blacked out, meaning there is no one narrator. Still, the story is remarkably easy to follow — as well as being engaging. This is a fun and dynamic way to tell as story that, I imagine, will appeal to even reluctant readers. I really felt for the characters and their plight. They were in an impossible situation, trying to get information in the midst of huge cover ups. Their world had been destroyed and everyone had family and friends who had been killed. Even through the documents and descriptions of videos, the reader can relate to them and how they must feel in this terrible situation. And there are some great twists, all of which are there to see in the documents, if you know where to look. The adventure, conspiracy, a quest for justice, and characters the reader can root for, combined with dynamic storytelling and page formatting make for a compelling read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is completely unusable on nook. Nook itself kristoff and his publisher should be ashamed of themselves for releasing a product in a complely broken state. Took me half an hour just to get a single page loaded without crashing the app for long enough to exit the book.
AvaJae More than 1 year ago
Sometimes, when a book gets a ton of hype, I get a little skeptical but I also feel more inclined to at least take a look during a stroll at a bookstore. And I'm so glad I did because ILLUMINAE more than lives up to every ounce of the hype. I started reading ILLUMINAE on New Years Eve, thinking that I'd just read maybe twenty pages or so and continue reading the rest the next day. So I read twenty pages. Then I read two hundred more the same evening. Because I legitimately could not stop reading. Teens on two space ships, a mutating, dangerous virus, an unforgettable AI, and an enemy space ship ready to destroy them looming ever closer come together to make this book unputdownable. I haven't read a found materials book in a long time (maybe ever?) but I have to say, I loved the format. The book is written in e-mails, IMs, interviews, etc. and has intense action and conflict right from the start that kept me ripping through the pages. There are loads of twists (some of which had me cursing out loud while I read), lots of people die, so many scenes broke my heart, and it was just an incredibly good read. *Finally, an important note on format:* this book is beautiful with some truly creative formatting that had me literally flipping the book around to read certain two-page spreads. I've confirmed with some people who have read the e-book version that the formatting does not work nearly as well in the e-version, so if you get it, I HIGHLY recommend getting the print version. It's a brick (nearly 600 pages), but the formatting actually makes it a surprisingly quick read, and I promise you, it is so worth it. Diversity note: All the major characters, as far as I can tell, were cishet and white with exception to one Chinese character. There's more diversity with minor characters both with race and sexual orientation (mostly really minor characters, to be honest), but representation was lacking in the major cast, aside from PTSD and other mental health issues common amongst trauma victims.
BookyMcReady More than 1 year ago
Girl breaks up with her boyfriend, planet gets destroyed, and then there’s the viral outbreak… If you aren’t curious yet, then maybe the format will grab your attention. Hacked e-mails, video transcriptions, ship records… You get the idea. Kady and Ezra end up on separate evacuation ships after their mining colony is destroyed by a ruthless enemy. Despite tragic losses, they start to make new lives for themselves on board, moving on without their home and without each other. Things are bad, but there’s hope. Then things get worse. A plague has appeared and starts to turn shipmates into vicious beasts, who brutally savage anyone who get in their path. Oh, and the AI on one of the ships is taking matters into its own hands. I adore the unconventional formatting, but all of that would be wasted if there wasn’t a compelling story behind it. Action, adventure, romance, science, horror… there’s an excellent mix of all these things. Kady is my favorite, with her ambition, tech skills, and grit. I’m thrilled that there are two more books to come. I don’t buy many hardcovers, but I have zero regrets with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first 30 pages of this book were great! But then, as noted in several prior reviews, the Nook version of this book becomes unreadable and incredibly frustrating, as the Nook crashes repeatedly. B&N needs to simplify the formatting, or just stop offering this as a NookBook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! But I suggest getting the hardcover version for the full reading experiance because it is really such a cool book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everything about this book was amazing. Such a cool and unique style of reading and I loved every page of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is soo good. And I agree get it in are cover cuz its a beautiful book that deserves to be on your book shelf! So fast pass and quite interesting havnt read something like this before.. Can't wait till the next book.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
★★★★½ Illuminae is the first installment in co-authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's young adult, science fiction series titled The Illuminae Files. Ever since reading the Starbound series, I've been following Ms. Kaufman and this novel has been on my TBR since it was first announced. I have to admit I've never read Mr. Kristoff before but based on my enjoyment of the writing in this book, I'll be adding some of his titles very soon! Illuminae was a wild ride with a good amount of twists and turns. The suspense was high and got stronger as the book progressed until it had me completely crazy by the end. The tone of this story is dark but I loved it. It is told through a variety of methods and perspectives and as every event comes to pass, the pending doom gets more and more palpable. But the characters bring a lot of humor as they cope with the devastation and even during the darkest moments, I found my mood lighten soon afterwards. The Illuminae Files is another series I plan to loyally follow. It was fast-paced and I felt incredibly engaged throughout. I experienced Illuminae via audiobook and it was well-done. As noted in the synopsis, the story is "told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more" and although you'd think it would be incredibly dull or confusing via audio, it wasn't. Each method/perspective is narrated by a different voice which was incredibly helpful in keeping track and providing some quality entertainment. Based on a friend's review located HERE, the paper/e-book version offers the reader visuals which you obviously don't experience via audio so take all these factors into consideration before deciding how you want to experience Illuminae. Either way, you're a winner. Your brain and emotions will explode with the adrenaline rush that comes along with an engaging new read. Enjoy! My favorite quote: “The universe owes you nothing. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”
Saucetray More than 1 year ago
Excellent story. This book is a book I enjoyed so much. It is something I rarely see. It isn't just a story but fictional primary and secondary sources of events happening in the story. It's amazing and I couldn't stop reading this book. It's very Sci-Fi oriented but the plot is amazing and details are great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was not one moment in this book where I was bored. I wish I could scrub my memory so that I could read it again for the first time. Definitely one of my favorites. Also as a 20 year old I can say that this book is for an adult audience. It has themes that are definitely dark, and the characters are very mature. If you love scifi and great books, please read this one.