Illuminae

Author(s): Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Date of Publication: 20th October 2015

Genre: Sci-Fi

Synopsis: When their world is invaded by a corporation intent on destroying any evidence of their involvement, Kady and Ezra find themselves part of a fleet of survivors battling to escape – and to make things harder they just broke up that morning. 

Rating: 5/5

Wow.

Usually when there’s this kind of hype about a book I treat it with extreme caution. I don’t know why my bookish-senses start tingling, perhaps I’m the skeptical sort. However it got to a point at which I couldn’t put this off any longer. And boy was deciding to finally read this the best decision I’ve made in a while because this is stunning

Firstly you have to read this in paperback / hardback. There is such a rich form of storytelling taking place, which is so heavily linked to the way the book is formatted – I can’t believe you would get the same out of it via e-reader. You’re led through the book via messaging between characters, transcripts of conversations, written accounts of CCTV and other various storytelling methods. It’s ingenious and works perfectly with the setting and subject matter. Everything feels exciting and imminent – the story races along and the authors easily overcome the challenge of making their audience connect with their characters. They don’t shy away from darkness and there are many grim and terrible moments to be found within. However they’re never gratuitous, always working with the story to make the reading feel all the more real.

I loved the plot – simple and complex at the same time. Kady and Ezra, the main characters, are well developed and great doorways both into the vaster world of the series and of the present action. I found myself rooting for them almost from the beginning – something which surprised me, as I usually don’t go for pre-existing relationships, instead preferring to see characters form bonds from nothing throughout a book / series. Kady especially really stood out as a great, strong female protagonist. She was a lot of fun to read about, even in the bleakest and most hopeless of situations.

For sci-fi fans this is a must read – I’ve already ordered the sequel!

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