Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
–review by Bronto Incognito
She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her.
Book-a-likes: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill, but really this reminded me of Joss Whedon’s Firefly
Which should be reason enough to read this….
If you go by my Goodreads, this book took me MONTHS to finish. In reality I just kept getting stuck on the wait list to recheck the audiobook every time it expired. Turns out, listening to audiobooks while doing other things is not enough of a distraction from pregnancy nausea.
At least not for me.
And this book presents a bit of a problem for me on recommendations. Like I said, I did the audio. It was well done, and they hired a cast of voice actors to portray different roles, which is handy since the narrative switches not only between Kady and Ezra, the two main characters, but also a dozen other perspectives throughout the story. There were a few sound effects used, but they worked well and enhanced the story. But given that the book is presented as a collection of files, I think reading it out loud took MUCH longer than reading it to yourself would do, PLUS there are all kinds of illustrations and such that you miss out on when you’re doing the audio.
So do I recommend the audio? Sure. But know that the story will move faster and you get some extras when you read it for yourself.
Now where to start with this book? SOOOOO much happens during this story it’s crazy. When you hit the halfway point you feel like you should be almost done, but no. There’s more to come.
We’ll start with the lovebirds, Kady and Ezra. They live on an illegal mining colony that gets attacked the day they break up.
Rough luck, huh?
So only 3 ships of survivors make it off planet, and are now limping through space as the last remaining attack vehicle chases them down. Of course, Kady and Ezra end up on different ships–Ezra finds himself training as a fighter pilot while Kady learns the ins and outs of the ships’ complex computer systems. Which she then hacks so she can chat with her sort-of boyfriend whenever she gets a chance.
You know. Like you do.
Now from there…it’s so hard to tell you things without giving away major spoilers. So forgive me for being vague from here on in…
The rival company that attacked the mining planet used some kind of bio-terror weapon that’s having some…significant side effects on some of the passengers. I don’t want to give to much away, but…think Reevers….like these guys…
Then that leads us to the AI problems. Aiden. The artificial intelligence running the main ship seems to be having some…malfunctions. He’s making some questionable decisions and so maybe we decide to shut him off for a while ’til we can fix him. The problem is, there’s no way to know if he’s fixed before you turn him back on and the bad guys are still coming and there’s no way you can outrun or outgun them without the AI’s help. So…that’s a looming problem.
Plus Kady and Ezra are trying to figure out their own relationship mess, though luckily that doesn’t overpower the story. It humanizes it and keeps everything feeling connected.
And….that’s about all I can say on details without giving it all away. But things get creepy, bloody, and dangerous. High level moral issues abound (how do you decide who is the “many” outweighing the needs of the “few”?). And there’s a really interesting almost-love triangle that happens, but not really and I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t say anymore on that.
Also, there’s a decent twist at the ending I’m not giving away and basically I need someone else to read this book so we can talk about it! Please!!! Has anyone else out there read this??? I need your thoughts!!!!
Until then, I’ll just keep holding all this stuff inside I guess…
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