Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

4 Jun 2016

Book Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
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.

Wow wow WOW. It's so hard to describe what a phenomenally fantastic book this was. Will it be right to say it was out of this world? Pun intended of course. Illuminae will transport you to a whole new dimension of space and time, and a whole new universe that will FLIP. YOUR. MIND. 

It was unique in all ways possible, not just how the story was presented but the sci-fi aspects that came along with it completely blew me away. I mean, just brilliant. BRILLIANT YOU GUYS.

So what is Illuminae all about, you may ask? Trust me I was equally piqued by the concept of the book but yet a little wary about entering into this cosmic madness when I first heard about it. As one of the co-author brilliantly puts it- it's a classic tale of Girl meets Boy where we have Kady Grant and Ezra Mason. However they picked the wrong day to break up because soon after, their planet exploded. No worries, they both made it out alive but ended up on separate ships. 

Following me so far? Good. Now the intergalactic fun begins. 

Without giving away too much of the book and its crazy surprises, the entire story will be told in various forms of interviews laced with sarcasms, striked out profanities, written reports and so on so forth. Occasionally you may even be gifted with interesting random infographics and countdown timers (God I love those!).

Just a precautionary, the story may start off confusing for many especially with trying to keep up with the infodump and Wikipedia page-like information. The space jabber takes a while to get used to but once you get the hang of it, it was all kinds of intense with the action sequences that follows. And the evil stuffs that lurk within the book, CRAZY CREEPY OKAY?! Just think of Artifical Intelligence and a deadly virus outbreak coming together....yeah nope *shudders* 

And wait, there's also romance! A bit heartbreaking if you asked me but I LOVED IT. With Kady and Ezra on both separate ships and working through their recent interrupted breakup, they both realized that they need to put aside their differences and work together to stop the imminent catastrophe looming ahead. Both of them were brilliant characters - Kady was a complete badass computer hacker and Ezra was this selfless hero who never stopped loving Kady. Honestly, the feels. ALL THE FEELS. 


Illuminae is undoubtedly the most unique, creative and illustrative book I've EVER read. The concept itself sold me on the read but its the brilliantly crafted contents that will blow your mind. It left me on the edge of my seat. It was suspenseful, intense and nerve-wrecking with all the bad stuffs going on and an almost never-ending casualty list. The romance will rip your heart out and you're left wondering if you're gonna make it to the end of the read. 

Trust me, intergalactic politics have never been this exciting and fun. The best part of this book is the unpredictability of where it'll take you and the surprises that came along during this cosmic ride. By the end of the book, you'll feel a multitude of emotions which is mostly relief. No cliffhanger ending but the next phase of the journey is in the horizon. 

The next sequel, Gemina will be coming out during the fall of 2016, so bring it on!! I absolutely can't wait for more. 


Amie Kaufman is the award-winning co-author of the STARBOUND series. 

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the LOTUS WAR series. 

Collectively, they are 12'5" tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn more about Amie and Jay at and

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