Illuminae Review

     On Sunday, I finished Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and it. was. amazing. So, before I start, I want to give the Goodreads synopsis of the book just in case anyone doesn’t know what this book is about because I, personally, had no idea.
– – – –
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.

– – – –
     Sounds pretty cool? Wrong. It’s amazing. Not only is this book beautiful on the outside, because it is, just look:
but it is also incredibly beautiful on the inside:

     Also, the book is very unique in that it is written entirely in the form of stolen documents with no traditional storytelling at all, the closest parts of that is during the descriptions of surveillance videos. I believe it was this form of completely different that really held my attention the whole time. The plot of the story in general is truly captivating, but just the format really captures its real ominous feel. At first I was really iffy about whether I was going to like the book since it is all documents and that’s not really my thing in a novel, but it actually brought me out of a reading slump even Queen of Shadows couldn’t bring me out of. I was also iffy because it’s 599 pages long and if I didn’t really like it, it would take forever to finish, but because of it’s format there are lots of pages with little to no text so it really speeds the process.

 – – – –

This part may have some kind of spoilers, but not really.
     The romance between the two characters is one of my favorite parts, as well as the plot twist towards the end, and then another plot twist at the very end, but I’ll let you see those for yourself. In the beginning, we see this couple of a year that broke up that day. The world falls apart and all that, and they end up on different ships. But the way they slowly redevelop their relationship is really natural; they have no one left in their lives except each other and they realize that, and that seems really human to me, unlike a lot of YA romances.
     Also, the way the troubles for the refugees just keep spiraling out of control. especially for Kady, kept me glued to the pages. The last like 200 pages were impossible to put down. The authors sequence of events was probably the most captivating part; it really kept me rooting for the main characters and when the certain plot twist hit towards the end of the book, I fell apart.

– – – –
     Here are my favorite quotes from the novel, and yes, they’re both from the AI, but they’re so poetic and beautiful:
“Nothing ceases to exist. Energy does not perish, it merely changes forms. The ones you love, the ones you lose, they still exist as long as the cosmos does.”
“When the light that kissed the back of her eyes was birthed, her ancestors were not yet born. How many human lives have ended in the time it took that light to reach her?”

     So, in all, I would give this a five out of five stars (I already did on Goodreads), and I would HIGHLY recommend this book to literally anyone, even if science fiction isn’t your thing. And let me know how you react to the plot twist when you read it, or if you already read it tell me how you felt so we can rage together in the comments.
     Thanks for reading!
                      -Taylor
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