5 Stars, Book Reviews, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Wow. That is the first word that can even begin to describe Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I first began reading this during the September TBR knockdown and, after busy two weeks, I finished this masterpiece at the end of September.


Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre: Science Fiction

Age Classification: Young Adult

Publisher: Knopf / Allen & Unwin

Format: paperback

Release: October 20, 2015

Illuminae is a work of science fiction that sits in the young adult category. It has a hint of a love story but is 95% about a bio attack, a war in space and a fight for survival, which makes this a great change from the usual YA.

This book was also set up very differently to most books I read. In the forms of format, the book was set out as a mixture of emails, direct messaging, interviews, documentation and commentary made for an interesting read. The book is not only wonderfully written but it shows that there must have been a lot of effort put in by both Amie and Jay to have put together such a brilliantly executed creation. Just another reason to sing their praises, even though the format of the story was not standard, I think the characters were brilliant.

Kady Grant is a feisty and determined young woman with the skills of a hacker and the spirit of a fighter. She was the main focus and perhaps the main character of Illuminae, though it isn’t obvious with the way the book is set up. Kady risks her life multiple times for two main reasons; to save as many people as possible and to save Ezra.

Ezra Mason is our leading man of sorts. Although most of the story follows Kady, Ezra is the guy she would do anything to save and be reunited with. He too is a tough cookie willing to fight for to save innocent lives.

The other candidate for the main character would be AIDAN. AIDAN is the Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network programmed to protect the lives of everyone on board. When AIDAN detects an incurable virus infecting people on board Copernicus, AIDAN blows up the vessel. After being rebooted to help with the incoming attack AIDAN discovers infected individuals have made it on board the Alexander. AIDAN’s choices are basically the plot of this story and these choices sometimes seem almost human.

I will admit that I found it to be a little tricky keeping up with all the events at the start, such as who was doing what and where, but once I got into the story and learned the patterns, I loved it. I was absolutely fascinated by the story, so much so I did not care that I had no idea which characters could be trusted, something that is usually a deal breaker for me.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Overall, I felt this was a great book and much deserving of a 4.5-star rating, though I did decide for Goodreads I would round up and award it a 5. Any issues I may have with Illuminae are insignificant in comparison to the amazing qualities the book had. I now look forward to reading Gemina and continuing the story!

Have you read Illuminae and what are your thoughts?
Have you also read Gemina?
Have you read any other works by either Amie or Jay?
Let me know in the comment section or via my social media accounts!

Until next time bibliophiles!

Amy x

5 thoughts on “Review – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff”

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