Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted August 22, 2016 in Review / 9 Comments

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Series: The Illuminae Files #1
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by Random House, Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 599
Format: Hardcover
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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.

Page-Turner Well Written Young Adult

By now you’ve most likely heard about the book Illuminae.  It’s innovative, fast-paced, and extremely mind-numbingly contemplative.  I’m sure many of my brain cells suffered in the reading of this book.  And I didn’t have many to spare.

Illuminae rightfully won many awards in it’s first year of publication and it continues to garner more.  I finally made time in my reading schedule to read the hardcover copy I purchased not too long ago.  I needed to see for myself what all the hype was all about.  With major cross over adult science fiction appeal, this series has gained a slightly crazed, mob-like fan base.

If you don’t have plans to read this book soon… make plans NOW!

Written entirely in memos, documented dialogue, word “visualizations” (for lack of a better word), and analysis of video feeds, this uniquely formatted book does NOT rely on that “gimmick” alone to keep the reader engaged.  The “beauty” is in the story itself.




Page one is a memo to an “Executive Director Frobisher” from a “Ghost ID” but is signed “The Illuminae Group”.  In the memo, the writer explains how the following documents are everything the Illuminae Group uncovered about the Kerenza disaster.  The author goes on to say that Frobisher’s clean-up crew wasn’t quite thorough enough to keep the “little corporate war” a secret because all the information that follows is what they found publicly.

Page two and on, the reader is literally thrown right into the middle of the story.  Two survivors, Ezra and Kady, are being debriefed about the events on Kerenza.  And from there, all you can do is hold on tight for the craziest ride of you life.

Picking up this book at the bookstore, I was nervous.  This is a mighty book!  BUT, its documents, memos, and the most amazing, creative visualizations of Cyclone fighter pilots battling the enemy in space (not those Cyclones, Starbuck), among other visualizations that knocked my socks off.

And death.  Don’t forget the death.

Everybody dies!!!

No, not quite…  but might as well have.


Okay, not even close.  But Aidan is jackhole.


Hell, there are a ton of jackholes in this book.  My emotions were all over the place while I read this book; I was a walking wreck.  Which leads me to a song I picked out for this book.  Its one of my favorite Muse songs ever.  I don’t know what the heck they are writing these days but their old stuff is aces!!  Enjoy my anger (turn it up!!!)





About Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work has been published in 24 countries, and described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). The Starbound Trilogy, co-authored with Meagan Spooner, began with These Broken Stars. Her latest series, co-authored with Jay Kristoff, began in 2015 with the international bestseller Illuminae. Raised in Australia and Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Recommended200 Readers of all ages, especially those who enjoy science fiction, a bit of scary horror, and perhaps a “message” or three.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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9 responses to “Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

    • Friend, you need to suck it up and buy the physical. Why? Because there are pages that will have you turning the book upside down to read the text. It has to do with giving the reader the feeling of spinning off into nothing-ness, if I’m remembering correctly (as in, don’t make me pull out the book this early, I’m not functioning correctly). YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. Yes, it’s a major crimp in the ass to read but it goes really fast!!!!!!!!! I will buy you the physical if you haven’t purchased said book by Sept 1st. Got it????!!!!

    • I KNOW!!! I remember we felt the same way but I promise, just start, stay at it and the book read very fast after that because there isn’t much text on some of those 500+ pages. Soon, read it soon 🙂