Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Publication Date: October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi

[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]

Goodreads Summary:

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.

BRIEFING NOTE: 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.

My thoughts:

Let me tell you about my first impression of Illuminae:


I felt like everybody was reading it and then I thought, “What could be so awesome about this book that everybody’s freaking out?”

It was when I finally had the chance to read the book that I understood.

I thought I’d have a hard time reading a book of various types of documents, but no –

I had the best time.

First, they weren’t all words. There were graphics (great ones, at that) and pictures. There were pages with no words at all. And while I admit that I was a bit bored at the beginning, the book got better and better until it left my heart racing towards the end.

There was even one point when I was about to cry.

I’ve been emotionally attached to the characters in the story.


Twists pop out of nowhere – shocking moments that hit you when you thought you’ve been hurt enough already. Revelations that shake you to the core.

I must say that Kady is one of the strongest female protagonists I’ve ever met. And Ezra is one of the most romantic book boyfriends. (I MEAN, HE DOESN’T EVEN NEED PROPER CAPITALIZATION TO SNAG MY HEART!)

You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.

I love Ezra. I just love him so much. I mean, I’ve finished the book almost six months ago (December 23, 2016 – today is June 18) but I still remember how it felt like to read his words.

And while there are characters who could become dear to your heart, there’s this character that you will hate so much. SO MUCH YOU’LL WANT TO GO THERE YOURSELF JUST TO GET RID OF THE CHARACTER. You might find yourself surprised, though.

How? I won’t say.

It took me a while to appreciate the worldbuilding in Illuminae, but I found myself wanting more. More of the stuff I initially thought were too complicated for me. More of the characters who became heroes in their own way. More of the imaginative writing by two talented authors. More of this series.

Illuminae did not just raise my standards for science fiction. It became my standard.

Final Rating: 5/5

5 thoughts on “Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

  1. If you get a chance, try listening to the audiobook as well. It sounds like it would be weird because of the strange formatting in the book, but I found it really cool as well. 😀 I’m halfway through and it’s not as hard to follow as I thought it would be.

  2. Ohmygosh! “SO MANY PEOPLE DIED.” Now, I’m pretty scared to read these series. I have high expectations and ohmygosh, that line, I don’t know but that already made me teary-eyed.

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