Illuminae: The Illuminae Files 01

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Illuminae

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Space Opera

Grade: B

Kady and Ezra have just broken up when their planet is attacked and decimated. The two teenagers along with the survivors are refugees on the ships of the only people who answered the distress call. Two civilian cruisers and a huge and wounded military ship piloted by an injured AI called Aidan.

There’s a whole lot going on in this book. AI’s, love, angst, being a refugee, biological warfare, outbreaks, and on and on.

This is going to sound a little strange because I liked the story despite everything that was going on and I loved the presentation but as they say the devil is in the details and I had some problems with the details.

First on the presentation, I had read some early reviews with people having trouble reading the book electronically…

 

These are just two of the pages presented oddly in the book. I went for a deal on the hardcover but I could certainly see how you could miss something or have a problem reading it on your e-reader. This is one I’d recommend to buy.

Other than that I really enjoyed the presentation. I liked reading the “files,” and the military reports and seeing the spec of the ships and even the wall of dead and such.

Now the writing on the other hand. Honestly, there were too many times where I couldn’t help but think, “Would two kids really talk this way?” “Would two soldiers really talk in this manner?”

“Aidan’s a little bit of an AI cliche isn’t he?” The more he talked the more I wasn’t fond of him though Aidan pulled it around in the end.  I think in this case the format might have helped the presentation, for me, but hurt the characterization as you never really feel like you’re getting a good read on them. Hence, they all seemed a bit unbelievable to me.

The saddest thing about this book and *vague spoilers here*: There’s a big twist in the middle that I didn’t see coming but really liked. It still made sense to me. I was rather shocked by it but then they went back on it in the end. It’s probably not a good thing when you’re thinking about a  character that they should have stayed dead.

Also this book is the set-up for another series but in my opinion it’s not hugely necessary I mean 98% of the set up seriously comes in the last five or so pages and parts of that seemed to be pulled out of thin air. I think I may have liked it more if it was a stand alone. I enjoyed it but I’m not really salivating at the idea of getting my hands on the next one although I’ll probably check it out in the end.

 Recommend:  Take it or leave it. I’d say if you have a thing for books where the different formats are the approach to story-telling and you like space operas this could be for you. But I don’t think it’s the must read of the fall or anything close to it.

 

 

 

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