REVIEW: illuminae by amie kaufman and jay kristoff


Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by: Oneworld Publications (October 20th 2015)
Genre: Science-Fiction, Futuristic, Action, Adventure
Pages: 599
Goodreads // The Book Depository

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.

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.

illuminae was just a “meh” read for me. while i did like some parts, i didn’t feel like i was completely into it. sometimes i found myself caring about the characters and plot, but most of the time? i was just confused.

e v e r y t h i n g  i  l i k e d

  1. the concept was hella original. science fiction, spaceships and a futuristic plot; aka the original plot starter pack. honestly, that’s what made me want to read so bad (+ the insane hype surrounding the book, but we’ll talk about that later).
  2. the writing style was GENIUS. if you didn’t know already, Illuminae is written in the form of a dossier of emails, military files, reports, interviews and many other formats of documents. as you can see, the idea of a whole book written this way is just so original, which is why i a lot of people enjoyed this book. you can see that there was so much work put into this book to fully immerse the reader into the story. however, this wasn’t the case for me (but we’ll get to that soon).

e v e r y t h i n g  i  d i d  n o t  l i k e

  1. it was hard for me to get into the story. sometimes i found myself caring about what’s happening, and sometimes i just…wasn’t interested. at all. i mean, the plot was pretty interesting, but it just wasn’t for me. it wasn’t my thing. it was hard for me to get into, and the fact that the book was written in the format of a dossier full of hacked documents as i said before, did not help. or maybe it’s just me who didn’t understand the plotline…
  2. i was confused 70% of the time. most of the time i did not fully understand what was happening. and i hated the fact that i actually didn’t reaaaally care about the characters and what was happening to them. i just wasn’t invested into it.
  3. there isn’t enough description (or it’s just me who wasn’t paying attention). since the book is written in documents, we, most of the time, only read the conversations and the emails, so it’s rare to have some description, and this also didn’t help me in getting into the novel. don’t get me wrong, there was some descriptions, but only in cameras and machines reports, which are just about 30% of the book.
  4. even though i did try not to, but i expected more from this book because of its hype. i tried, i tried hard not to let the hype get on me, but i couldn’t forget the fact that 90% of the people who read this book adored it. this book has literally been all over the internet, it was crazy.

CONCLUSION: would i recommend this book? yes, if you’re into science-fiction and spaceship things, and if you can understand all the files and documents. but this book just wasn’t for me.



9 thoughts on “REVIEW: illuminae by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

  1. Illuminae is definitely very hyped up, and I’ve been avoiding reading it for some time because of that hype and also the writing style. It is quite unique how the book is written, but at the same time, I am pretty worried that it won’t interest me/I will get confused :/ Regardless, this was a lovely review, Maha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I picked up Illuminae a couple months ago, but never reached the halfway point. I didn’t dislike it, but I became overwhelmed with school and simply let go of the book over the span of a few months. Now that I’m seeing your review, I’m tempted to pick it up despite its shortcomings just to see the unique style once again. I have heard a couple of bloggers, including yourself, were underwhelmed by the story because it was overly hyped. Hopefully Gemina will be more understandable:)

    Just a sidenote– it’s been a while since I visited your wonderful blog but I love your aesthetic and new header! The wreath is very cute😊

    ✨ Claire @ Cover to Cover

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have Illuminae waiting in my TBR pile and I’ve always been apprehensive about reading it. I’m really into sci-fi so that’s not the problem, it’s the format of it being written in documents and emails etc that I’m worried will annoy me or confuse me and, like you said, I might miss just reading some plain old fashioned description. I’m still gonna give it a go though and hopefully I’ll enjoy it. Thanks for the great review!


  4. I personally loved this one, so I’m sorry to see you were a bit meh about it Maha. 😦 But I can definitely see where you’re coming from – the beginning definitely was a bit confusing and hard to get into. It’s always disappointing when a book doesn’t match up to all the hype it’s been given. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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