Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publication: Oneworld Publications
Release Date: October 20th 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
“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.” [Goodreads]
Illuminae is the first book in the trilogy The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. When I first heard of it I knew I wanted to read this series, because it’s science fiction and because it has very interesting graphic content for which I have a soft spot. It took a while before I started reading it, however it was totally worth it.
So this first book of the trilogy is about two main characters, Ezra and Kady, who have to survive after their planet and home is attacked and destroyed. Also, Ezra and Kady happen to have broken up that same morning. They both escape the attack and end up on two different spaceships, which are supposed to take them back to earth and to safety. However, this is when the real battle to survive begins.
Even though I had a hard time getting into the story, Illuminae is a very suspenseful novel! I had to get used to the design of the novel, because this isn’t a regular novel. As the name of the series already suggests, it’s a file of documents and information that have been compiled together and because of this I had trouble identifying myself with the characters. You don’t get to read too much about their thoughts and feelings, because these aren’t part of files. There are some passages with emails and a dairy, but not a lot, which is a shame, because I think Kady and also the A.I. Aidan are very interesting characters. Luckily there is more character development towards the ending and in the end I did manage indentify with the characters.
I thought the plot was very confusing at the beginning of the novel, because you’re immediately pulled into the story without a lot of background information and this made it hard to understand the plot. However, after about 50 pages things change and I started to understand the story better. After a slow start I couldn’t stop reading, because things go from exiting to too-much-to-handle in no-time, which I love. I now can’t wait until I get my hands on the second novel!
I fully recommend this novel to anyone who loves Science Fiction and who loves graphic design in novels. The novel is beautifully designed and the story is also very original. At least, I have never read a novel like it and it was nice to be surprised by it. After a slow start, this novel changed into a suspenseful thriller with some horror elements and I’m already looking forward to reading Gemina!