Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Rate: 3/5

Medium: Kindle

Overview (No Spoilers):

I had such high expectations for Illuminae after seeing so many wonderful book reviews by fellow bloggers, as well as, it being the last book on the list I’d been working through that I’d been thoroughly enjoying, e.g., Robopocalypse, Sleeping Giants, The Historian, all of which employ memos, interviews, diaries, etc. to relay the story. Alas, I believe the lofty anticipation might have led this book to fall a bit flat for me. This space opera jumps immediately into the action, leaving the reader to piece together, both the futuristic world and the key players. After treading water for what seems like the first third of the book, the plot slowly comes into focus, although heavy laden with melodramatic, teenage love anguish. And perhaps, therein lies my key issue with this novel, which revolves around my overall distain for the main female character. Toward the end of the novel I realized that I was perhaps holding Kady to unrealistic expectations as she was only 18 and thrown into a terrible, heartbreaking situation, ultimately working to softened my general frustration toward her dialogue. Overall, the multiple plot twists toward the end of the book significantly improved my disposition regarding Illuminae, however time will tell if I’ll continue on in the series.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • The ending was so clean with AIDAN, Kady, and Ezra all surviving. I loved the twist that AIDAN was pretending to be Ezra to lure Kady over the Alexander, with Ezra having been killed. However it was too YA that everyone survived.
  • Also, I enjoyed the maturation of AIDAN throughout this novel. I couldn’t believe by the end I was feeling sympathetic to the AI system.
  • The zombie creatures were terrifying, especially once they took over the speakers to torment Kady.
  • I knew Ezra’s mom was going to come into play at some point but I didn’t see her being the head of the enemy company. If she wanted her son, what was the point of attacking and potentially killing him?



      • Well … Gemina reads closer to a traditional YA sci fi would … Not sure I can go into it without spoiling. It has more story in my opinion and more … romance. But less science. So if you don’t like those elements … then you probably won’t like it. It’s different characters too … which I expected because that’s how Kaufman seems to write then brings her characters all together in the last installment.

        I don’t know … maybe give it a try just to see … its a quick read?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. thanks for this review! 🙂 i liked it when i read it at the beginning of the year but it wasn’t that good as it was hyped! i haven’t read “gemina” yet, because i want to wait for “obsidio” first and then i’ll reread “illuminae”. i’m curious if i will like it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this book earlier this year (I buddyread this with my Twitter friend) and remember totally exhausted when I finished the book. The style for narration, the formats, graphics are pretty impressive, but having to piece together the story by my head rather than hand-fed the information to chew on was pretty mentally draining lol
    I agree with AIDAN; I never thought I would feel sympathetic and even affection toward the AI system!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was also a little disappointed with this book. I read it a few weeks ago and ended up giving it 3 stars as well. I have yet to read Gemina, but I’ll get to that eventually… I just hope it will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve wondered a lot about this book because I’ve seen it so much on Bookstagram. The cover reminds me of The Martian? So I keep associating it with that book. I have no idea if they’re similar, though.

    And like you said about “time will tell” if you read the rest of the series… I totally won’t keep reading a series if I didn’t love the first book. For me, series never get better if I don’t like the first one!

    Liked by 1 person

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