Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I certainly heard a lot about this book in 2015, nothing content wise, it just kept popping up everywhere. And I think it is with good reason. It’s a good book, it’s not perfect, but it’s really well done. One of it’s bigger drawcards is it’s more unique format. It is set out as a dossier of files and transcripts about the attack by one company on another’s illegal mining operation, wiping out most of the planet’s inhabitants, and leaving the others on a damaged spaceship, which just so happens to have a mad AI, as well as a virus which turns people into killing machines, and is being stalked by one ship of the original attackers. So there’s a lot going on. Back to the format, we open with an email sent to a director by the Illuminae group, who have complied all these documents on the incident. We have emails, video transcripts, personal diary entries, IMs, after battle reports, interviews and files from the AI. It incorporates some visual elements as well, and it does that wonderfully.

We (of course) also follow a story of two teenagers who were in love, but just so happened to break up the day before the attack. They manage to survive, but are on different ships, and eventually start to communicate again. I pretty soon became bored of their relationship, it was uninteresting (there were much more exciting things going on). And then we had the twist. Which I won’t mention, but you know what I’m talking about, which I thought was ingenious. Until they continue, and un-twist that twist and spin another one. Since it is a trilogy, I can’t really critique the ending as I don’t know how it continues. But I’m not thrilled with it. Is it wrong of me to have wished the story to have ended just after the final battle, without all the rest? I would have liked that. Sure it ain’t a happy ending, but it would have been nicely wrapped up. So it better go well in the next book, and the reveal at the end does give some nice paths to go down, I’m just hesitant.

I still am impressed with the book, and hopeful that the next two will live up to how good most of the book was.

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2 thoughts on “Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  1. I agree, this book seemed to be everywhere! I was pretty let down by this book, for a lot of the reasons you said. It’s very overhyped in my opinion 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it though!

    1. I think perhaps people were very excited by this different format and some overlooked the flaws. Several friends have read the book now, all read it quick and all liked it apart from the end. I hope the sequels improve on this first one.

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