Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
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.

MY TAKE:
I've been waiting for this book since I first read an excerpt from a book on NetGalley.

In Illuminae, Kady, Ezra and a few thousand other people from their planet escaped an attack. However, they are not out of danger yet as they and the fleet that saved them are still being chased down. Also, there's a deadly plague loose in one of the ships, courtesy of the invading corporation's bio attack, which threatens to leave no one alive, one way or another.

I love books that use files, documents, diagrams, etc. to tell the story. It feels a bit like being a spy or getting the story through research. It's tough to write a cohesive story this way. Thankfully, the authors were able to do it successfully.

This particular story was quite fascinating. It's hard to place into just one category, but I'd say this was mostly a war-zombie story, with a little romance, set in space. I love war movies and books but I usually hate zombie books and movies. I'm still not a fan of zombie stuff, but I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would.

I loved the clever and unexpected plot twists here. It made me care about characters that I didn't really like or fear those whom I sort of did like. As for Kady and Ezra, at first, I liked Kady, then I didn't, and then I kinda liked her again. With Ezra, I was on the fence about him, then I liked him, then I realized I didn't really know him as well as I thought I did.

Technically, this book was a 4.75-star for me, so obviously, it becomes a 5-star on my blog's rating system. It's not perfect, but it's definitely worth a read, even if you don't like zombie books that much. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's able to tell a compelling story without using traditional prose.
  2. The storytelling methods are creative.
  3. You come to care about the characters. 

THE BAD:

  1. Kady can be annoying sometimes. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You like war movies and books.
  2. You like zombie book and movies.
  3. You like books that use e-mails, files, etc. to add something to the story.

RATING:
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