My attention was drawn to this book by the assumption it would be a quick read. “Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was a great idea but it dragged on without fully explaining anything.
In 2575 the planet Kerenza is attacked by BioTech. The remaining survivors board three different spaceships as one of the BioTech spaceships follows after them. Kady and her ex boyfriend, Ezra, are the only ones who can save them.
The story flows through a collection of emails, messages, interviews, documents and more which were hacked from the main system.
Since the format is so different from page to page, with some being almost empty, I thought this would be a quick read for the beginning of the semester, a week maximum. I was wrong.
Toward the end it was quicker reading, but there were so many questions I had I had to keep flipping though trying to find the answers, but no such luck.
A lot of the explanations were lost because this book is just a compilation of different files, we don’t get the full story.
The story is entirely one sided, the entire attack is never fully explained; we don’t know the why behind it. We also never understand why Kady and her ex are the only people who can put a stop to the war.
The reader is simply thrown into the action.
Eventually the reader will understand some character dynamics, but there is a sense of whiplash for the first couple hundred pages, and every once in a while throughout the rest of the novel.
This was a unique way to tell this story, meaning there is something in it for everyone to enjoy.
My favorite character was the spaceship’s main computer, AIDEN. This was the comic relief that also added another peril to the situation. AIDEN was the sassiest, most independent minded computer, who basically wants everyone dead.
Part of the story takes place through the mind of AIDEN and these pages are gorgeous, there’s multiple fonts, sizes and even pictures, sometimes the words flow across the page and sound more poetic than a machine should sound.
If AIDEN shows too much emotion it reads as an <error> message. All of this adds a layer of personality to what readers expect to be a very factual character.
Underlying the entire battle is a love story.
This plotline is very sweet in the way it is told and the relationship in general. Normally I hate love stories, but this one gave me a reasons to keep reading.
If not for Ezra, I would have abandoned this novel before the first 200 pages. This is the classic girl loses boy, girl realizes what she lost plotline, but it unfolds very sweetly.
Even with the love dynamic, I still almost abandoned the story. Even-so, I’m glad I read to the end because there were a couple plot twists and I got to meet AIDEN.
“Illuminae” receives five spaceships out of 10.
Arts and Entertainment Editor