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Monday, October 26, 2015

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


This book is brilliant. I was a little hesitant at first because of its unconventional format but once you get the hang of it, it's amazing. ILLUMINAE is a very original take on space exploration, especially since it's a story that's not told in prose, but in a collection of transcripts, reports, messages and various visual aids. You would think the plot would be difficult to follow, but on the contrary, it's actually very easy to read. The authors must have thought long and hard about how to play out certain scenes, and while some were a little more confusing than others, it's all very cohesive.

I was a huge fan of the TV show Battlestar Galactica and I'm assuming these authors were too. Although they are similar in genres, they are completely different stories. ILLUMINAE sheds light on the destruction of Kerenza, a mining world, by a competing mining company called BeiTech. The survivors were evacuated by three spacecrafts, helping them flee from the BeiTech spacecraft. However, BeiTech isn't the only enemy they have to survive. They also have to deal with a crazy Artificial Intelligence controlling the main battleship and find a way to survive a deadly and mutating pathogen that makes the infected go insane. Through all this, Kady and Ezra find a way to connect, even if they are on different ships. Although Kady had broken up with Ezra the morning of the bombing of Kerenza, they soon realize that working together may be the only way to help each other--and the rest of the fleet.

Although Kady and Ezra are physically separated throughout the book, that doesn't seem to bother them too much. It's almost as if their relationship on Kerenza was doomed, but now, as they're thrown into wartime and separated by a deadly vacuum, their relationship only grows stronger. Their short conversations through hacked communication lines are full of banter and teasing. You can really see how these two care deeply for one another. It might just be because their relationship is the only normal thing they have left to hang on to, or it's the only way they can cope with everything they lost, but somehow, they manage to stick and work together to save as many people as they can.

The pathogen that's a threat to the whole fleet is a little bit to far fetched for me. Scientifically, I don't think it's really possible, but who knows, since the book is set more than five centuries into the future, maybe viruses and bacteria have evolved into super(supersuper)bugs. I guess it doesn't help that some scientists are suspected to have had a hand in creating this superbug, which gained the ability to mutate very fast.

This book isn't for the faint of heart. So many people die, and personally, I think they authors killed off to many characters for my taste. As soon as I started to enjoy reading about a certain character, they were killed off. Gone! Some descriptions are also quite bloody and gory and I'm thankful I only had to read it and not see it.

This book was published as a young adult novel, probably because the two main characters are teenagers. However, I honestly think anyone who's a fan of the genre will enjoy this book. Sure the swearing is censored out (and there's a lot of censoring) but anyone who can fill in the blank can use their imagination to read it as if it wasn't censored. The format is pure genius, and the book is deceptively big with its 600 pages. Despite the large page count, it actually reads really fast. If you're going to read this book, I honestly believe only a physical copy will do it justice. I'm a huge fan of e-readers and tablets but I really think this book deserves to be enjoyed visually, and a paper copy is the only way you can appreciate it to its fullest. Whatever copy you end up with, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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5 People left their mark' :

  1. I just knew this book was going to be epic when I saw it months ago! I can't wait to read it, as this world sounds absolutely amazing. I love how everyone is going gaga over the writing style.

  2. OK -- second effusive review I've seen today. I've asked the library to get a copy. Hope they come through.

  3. The writing is definitely original. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  4. I hope they do! I might donate a copy to my own public library....

  5. I've been seeing this book everywhere and I think I just might break my budget and get it. It's funny how it's cheaper to get it on paperback than on kindle. I've heard nothing but raving reviews!

    Love that you mentioned it was a hefty, but quick read. That's always a concern for me :(