Book Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files_01)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

First off, let me just say that this was the most unique and most different written fiction book that I have ever read. It was beautiful and I fell in love from the start.

Kady Grant and Ezra Mason weren’t expecting their lives to change so drastically in one day, but BeiTech, a megacorporation, attacked their planet and they barely escaped by evacuation with the UTA. But their problems have only just begun. One of BeiTech’s warships is chasing them and they won’t reach backup in time. Another problem is that a plague has broken out and is mutating into something terrifying. And the fact that the Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network (also known as AIDAN) may no longer be on their side. It leads them to wonder who can they trust. And will any of them will make it out alive?

So you’d think that reading about characters through files and such would make them see a little, well, flat. But this was totally not the case. I fell in love with the characters right away. Kady was the more sensible one of the two. She was sassy and a no-play-around type of girl. She was a great good hacker and too smart for her own good. Ezra…has a temper. He makes jokes at the worst times. He is full of snark and sass. He really doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. But he really does care for those he loves and is willing to do anything for them. Oh, and they both are terrible at following orders. It’s hard to see how they ever got along, but they do, barely.

I said that this was unique and different because instead of reading by chapters like usual, you read files, interviews, medical reports, emails, IMs, radio transmissions, and more. It is wonderfully insane. Some pages have these detailed blueprints of warships. On others the pages are black and the print is white. There were pictures of space and explosions. It was just so so so amazing and fascinating.

Even when reading files, there was so much intensity. There was a ton of intrigue and action. One moment I had to stop reading and scream. There were plot twists that I dreaded were coming, but was surprised when it actually happened. It was creepy and scary a times because of the mutated plagued people, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. I actually kind of enjoyed the creepiness of the book. But it was pretty violent. There was a good bit of gore. Even though it was described with a little more than the barest details, it was still bloody.

The only real complaint I have was the language. There was a lot of it, but almost all of it was blacked out, though you could still tell what most of the words were. There was also a lot of use of God’s name in vain, and unfortunately that wasn’t blacked out. Another thing was the fact that there were a few sexual references, but not a lot.

So I’d recommend this to older teens. If you love science fiction, you will absolutely love this. Even if you don’t like this genre, still give it a try. It was different from normal science fiction. It was fantastic!

By the way, if you get this book, get the hardcover. The above gif tells you why.

-G. Paige


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