Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: A Review

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know I’m late to this party, but I really enjoyed this book. I’m not really a science fiction reader, but the format fascinated me.
The book is written as a collection of emails, messages, computer codes, and surveillance footage surrounding the event at Kerenza, an illegal mining outpost. There is a war between two mega-corporations and the people in this small outpost are caught in the middle. As the survivors of the attack escape, they are traveling in crippled ships, with a malfunctioning AI, and a deadly plague that is spreading. And in the middle of all this chaos are two people, Kady and Ezra.
At first, the format is a little disorienting. But once I got the hang of it, it was quite a fast read. I really loved how the authors used the space on the page to tell the story. It was more art than prose.
And there were some twists that I didn’t see coming, though there were some subtle hints when I read back through the story. It’s one of those books that once you get to the end, you want to reread it to see if you can catch the clues.

Profanity is dealt with a little differently in this book. There is some profanity but most of it is redacted. They make a comment about this at the beginning of the book. If you know the words, you can fill in the blanks.
There is sexual content, mostly in the form of lewd comments or innuendos in some of the chats.
There is a LOT of violence. Without giving any spoilers, there is just a lot of death. It is one of the themes of the story, how losing people and grieving can feel. But the violence is also quite explicit compared to what I usually read. There were some nights I would have to read something else before going to bed.

Overall, an excellent book and I plan to continue the series because I want to know what happens. Especially with all of the reveals at the end!

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