Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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.
This is my first re-read of the Illuminae Files and I still absolutely LOVED it! If you want to see my original review of Illuminae you can check it out here. This review will be kind of a mashup of that original review because a lot of the feelings I had during my first review are still present after my second reading!
Because of this book, this series, I now love Science Fiction. I think when I read Illuminae the first time around I actually wasn’t that into Sci-Fi which is such a shame because I was missing out on a lot of really good books. I remember this also being my very first audiobook last year and I haven’t looked back since, now I listen to almost 10 audiobooks a month 🤣 I will say, I highly recommend you listen to these books as well as have the physical book in front of you. Some people struggle with the format of this book since it is written in redacted files, IM’s, interviews, emails, etc.. I think adding the audiobooks really helps with the different format and honestly, the audiobooks are an EXPERIENCE. They are narrated by a FULL cast who do such a superb job at reading this book and making it come to life. I think the audiobook really makes this one because there is also background noise like music and screams and all sorts of things! I have yet to find another audiobook with the production this one has.
With this reread I realized I had forgotten A LOT of what happened on the Alexander and Hypatia! There is a lot of political intrigue in this story that I loved seeing unfold. Why did BeiTech come to Kerenza in the first place? Why did they destroy their civilization and then pursue chase when some refugees escape on the Alexander and Hypatia fleet? There is also a deadly plague sweeping the ships that I 100% forgot about and am now entirely creeped out by it all over again! I hope something like this never actually happens because the effects of this plague are downright creepy.
I will say this though, even though I absolutely love this book and will be giving it 5 stars again, the only reason I considered lowering it to 4 stars is because of the cheesy romance. If you’ve read any of my reviews then you know I am not big on romance because to me it is generally very cheesy and very forced and I just cannot deal. There has to be something very special about it for me to truly love it. This is not it. Kady and Ezra are your typical angsty teenagers that luuuuurv each other so much and don’t realize how much they luuuuurv each other until they are separated and forced on to different ships, which, gag. They fight tooth and nail to get back to each other which is admirable but I don’t know, they way they interact with each other just seems too taut to be real. They just don’t want to be alone since they lost their families in the attack on Kerenza. Which, I guess I understand because no one wants to be alone. Maybe this is just my cold dead heart talking again 🤷♀️
To be fair though, my favorite character in this entire series is AIDAN, who is a psychopathic highly advanced AI system with the intent to murder people by the thousands so 🙃 AIDAN is just so witty and sassy I can’t handle how much I want to love him. AIDAN makes the story so much more interesting when his actions are interspersed with Kady and Ezra romantic nonsense. By the way, just because Kady and Ezra’s romance wasn’t for me, that doesn’t mean you won’t love it! This is just my opinion and I really hope it doesn’t sway you against reading this phenomenal book!
My love for this book and series and story as a whole completely outweighs my negative feelings towards the romance so Illuminae will be getting 5 stars from me once again! If you have taken anything from this review I hope that it is this is an incredible immersive read with a fantastic audiobook that I 100% suggest giving a try!