Monday, 19 October 2015

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Format: Physical ARC
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
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.

This may seem strange for a book review but I decided that, for now at least, I'm not going to give this book a rating. This is not because it's a horrible book - in fact, I really enjoyed the book a lot. It is certainly different and took many risks when it comes to its execution. In fact, this book review just might be one of my most confusing reviews ever... but please bear with me. I want to be honest with my thoughts on this book and I will do my best to do so. If you have any questions on anything, let me know.

This book is definitely unique in how it delivers its story. You get to see it in many points of view - one even being from a machine - and it's just... it's interesting. It's different. Each story is pulled from emails, IMs, video feeds - you name it. This helps tell the story from multiple point of views but it doesn't become overwhelming. It feels natural. It all feels like it's in the right order.

Oh yes... I fawned over the graphic design on each page by the way. I love it. The process of editing the pages for publication must be tedious as it is, but with the extra designs implemented and with so many pages. Very impressive. I don't know how that would translate on a kindle ebook though - I've been told it doesn't do it justice but I don't know if that will change in the official copy. Guess someone will find out.

The thing is, though, because it's so different my mind had a bit of difficulty adjusting to Illuminae. One of the biggest reasons why I took so long to read this book is because my mind, at first, interpreted it as a whole book with short stories with the main storyline interlinked in all of them. One of the simplest ways to put this, I think, is that it's like an anthology in my head. Basically... my mind separated each moment I read as a separate entity, I guess? So I was left frustrated cause, even thought I read something the previous day, the next day I was utterly confused. In fact, I feel like I lost important information so sometimes I would just stare at the pages and just think, 'what the hell just happened here?'

This was probably only a thing I dealt with. My mind finally adjusted eventually but, by then, I was at the last 150 - 200 pages... hah.

The story itself was pretty fantastic though. As if the irony of the breakup between Ezra and Kady at the perfect time wasn't funny enough. We get witty (sarcastic, at one point) banter between characters, enough to relieve the tension, but a page later you end up being reminded of how serious the whole situation really is. It's kind of like the story's a sort of yo-yo - both are still entrancing, with the bright neon lights, even if you somehow accidentally get hit by it. But, despite the pain, you still keep watching because... hey, this is still interesting and if I pay attention long enough I can ignore my pain.

Overall, I say it's an awesome and unique book and I definitely recommend it. It may take some time to get used to the new format though... or maybe not. Maybe you'll dive into it easily. Eventually, I would like to re-read this book, but for now... I think this review will suffice.

There will be lots of 'feels', so be prepared for when this book is released. 

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