Hi! I hope your day has been good 🙂 This post is going to be a review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I heard a lot about this book through Instagram, especially when it came out in October (November??), and I didn’t initially pay attention. Eventually, I figured I would give it a try, because hey, I love getting to read something new and different from usual. It sounded like something futuristic, yet it was something quite feasible to me as something that would possibly happen. (Not necessarily in space, but over land/air/water.)
Here’s a little something about it:
Breaking up with Ezra was supposed to be the hardest part of Kady’s day. Unfortunately for her, she timed it to the day her home planet Karenza is invaded. Of course.
Two super-corporations are at war over her tiny ice planet. It’s a shame no one knew. Kady, Ezra, and the rest of Karenza are fleeing now as refugees from the corporation that opened fire upon the planet in a fleet of three ships. Only one is properly equipped as a true warship and is able to fight off the pursuing ship.
To make matters worse, a deadly virus has broken out on one of the ships. It’s becoming a pandemic, and the warship’s artificial intelligence is going berserk from the hits it took while loading Karenza refugees. Kady must work through layers of coding to try to calm the machine. The problem is the only person that can help her is Ezra.
I really enjoyed this book! The format of the entire novel is put together like a dossier. It was different and poetic. I was expecting a narrative, but this suited the story the best way possible. I think the proper term for this is epistolary (?), but I’m not sure. It’s a combination of a bunch of documents and formats. It’s quite beautiful really.
Kady was my favorite between her and Ezra. I think that was the main focus, though, because a lot of her story is told versus Ezra’s. Towards the end I was a bit confused about the point of the book (the sub-plot I mean), but it clarifies it very well in the end.
There’s so much action in here! I enjoyed the battle scenes and the way Kady was able to hack with her friend. I liked how I could see Kady and Ezra’s relationship develop between the ships.
Another interesting element of the novel was the AI. It is very well personified, and it really gets in your head. The machine is amoral, so it’s moral ambiguity makes you feel detached and horrified. The only other experience I have with this is The Stranger by Albert Camus. It’s extremely interesting, too. It makes you think because the AI gives reasoning and justifies everything that happens.
Don’t discriminate because it’s sci-fy! It’s really interesting and modern. I highly recommend it!
All right, that’s all for now 🙂 Happy reading!