Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Kaufman and Kristoff book cover and review
I'm in a huge minority here, but I really didn't connect with Illuminae.

Kady and Ezra are the main characters and when their planet is invaded (it's the year 2575) they end up on separate space ships running for their lives.

Kady is a computer hacker and when another ship blows up and communications are cut off, she and Ezra know that something is up and they figure out a way to communicated secretly.

AIDEN is the artificial intelligence on the ship, and apparently it is the one that ordered the attack that blew up the other ship, so AIDEN has been shut down. But they are being pursued by the Lincoln, an enemy ship that will blow them up without the help of AIDEN. Dilemma....

There is also some type of plague that is contagious and turns the infected into something like a zombie. Excitement...

The book is written as a series of communiques via instant messaging, emails, other reports, and even drawings some of which have been written after the fact, which indicates we are reading a report of these events.

Most reviews that I've read found this style to be engaging. I found it to be cumbersome. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters. They were called different things by different people. I finally got out a piece of paper and wrote down all the names and nicknames so I could keep it straight.

Honestly, not much happens until the last 25% of the book. If you were to write this book in a normal prose format, I think it would be a novella. I stopped two different times to read a different book before I was able to finish.

The last 25%, however, was terribly exciting. I loved the way it played out. I can appreciate the creativity of the format and realize that my feelings are just a personal thing. This was just too much like a graphic novel -- which I really don't enjoy. I don't like to have to study pictures and text boxes to understand what's going on. I find it unsettling and disruptive. I doubt if I will continue with this series.

I will enthusiastically buy this book for my library and encourage my sci-fi fans to try it. I know it will have a wide audience here.

Published by Knopf BFYR, October 20, 2015
eARC obtained from NetGalley
608 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. I was excited to see what you had to say about Illuminae, Annette, since I'm interested in it. I don't know how I'd deal with the format. It makes me a little leery. And that the action doesn't really occur until the last quarter of the book is also concerning. Hmm, perhaps I'll hold off on picking up this one until I can get it from my library. :)


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