Review | Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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.

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.” (

Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: Okay, guys. So, I knew Illuminae had an interesting format, so I was prepared to read something a little crazy, but guys. Let me tell you. I truly was not prepared for the insanity that was Illuminae.

If I had to give you the minute pitch of Illuminae it would be this: corporate space warfare meets crazy AIs meets murderous zombie plague meets love story. Yeah. Insane.

I loved Illuminae, despite being really creeped out by it (and prepare to be creeped out because it is a very creepy story). I read the book and listened to the audiobook and the format of both was so engaging and entertaining. Despite the format, the characters were real and the plot was complex.

I loved Ezra and Kady, our main characters. Kady was spunky and tough, but at the same time, her vulnerabilities shown through her tough exterior. I loved that she was the real hero of the story (talk about girl ppower!). Ezra was sweet and romantic, the perfect love interest, imo. And AIDAN. A character of his own, AIDAN was sufficiently creeptastic. Oh my god. Don’t even get me started. I also adored the supporting characters, like Byron,”the surveillance camera guy,” and all the others who made appearances. They were equally as interesting as our main characters and contributed greatly to moving the plot forward and filling in the audience as to what was going on.

The plot was so incredible! There were so many moving pieces, but Kaufman and Kristoff fit them together perfectly. The plot moved fast but never sacrificed filling in the audience. And it worked incredibly well! I was pleasantly surprised. The plot also wasn’t sacrificed for the format, which was a worry of mine too.

Overall I really enjoyed Illuminae. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything not to enjoy about the book, save that it can be a little…creepy (how many times have I said the word creepy or some variation of it now?). Buy it get it, you definitely won’t regret it or forget it!

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

22 thoughts on “Review | Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  1. I ADORE your minute pitch! You summed it up so perfectly in so few words! Also, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this! I just read it a week or so ago and ohmahgosh, I just can’t even until book two comes out. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself in the mean time! G

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy to see that you enjoyed this!

    I completely agree with your pitch and yes it was a unique format. It’ll be interesting to see the sequel. Ezra and Kady will not be main characters. It’ll revolve on another boy and girl. Of course Ezra and Kady will still be present.

    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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