Series: The Illuminae Files_01
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Number of Pages: 599
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.
This is not a drill. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Okay, so uhm, where… do I start? I don’t know, chums. All I can say is it’s SO GREAT – oh no, IT’S FUCKING GREAT. Illuminae gives the reader a new experience. Told through not just simple paragraphs and group of words but “hacked” documents including e-mails, footages, interviews, schematics, datas and more, Illuminae will drag you into an extreme roller coaster ride you won’t ever forget and beg to ride it all over again.
It’s been a while since I used gifs in my reviews and this is just the right time to do it again because CHUMS, I don’t know how to put these feelings into words. This screen – this blank page – isn’t enough. I just want you to know how I felt and what I felt while reading this heart-stopping, high-octane book.
Set in 2575. The story starts when Bei-Tech attacked and invaded Kerenza. Ezra Mason and Kady Grant – who just went to a break-up – eventually found themselves running together for their way out amid this destruction and into safety.
There were three warships came to help and rescue the people of Kerenza: the Alexander, a heavy battlecarrier, the Hypatia, a long-range scientific exploration vessel, and the Copernicus, a midtrek freighter. Ezra and Kady reached them but they got separated. Ezra, because he’s wounded got to Alexander while Kady, because she’s not wounded got to Hypatia. And the other refugees got to Copernicus.
On the way to Heimdall Station (I forgot what exactly it is, but this is where the three warships are headed and this is where they believe they were going to be safe), while being chased by the LinColn – dreadnought from Bei-Tech who wants to X-ed them all out and wipe away all the trace of what they’ve done to Kerenza, they discovered that LinColn is not just their problem. They found out that refugees on the Copernicus got sick (again, because of Bei-Tech) that’s mutating and turning people not “people” anymore. It made these refugees literally got sick to their heads where they all had these extreme urges of killing people – in an extremely brutal way. In other words, Bei-Tech turned these refugees, inhuman. Ezra and Kady, together with every single person inside Alexander, Hypatia and Copernicus barely have the chance of surviving. Heimdall Station is 6 or more months away. Bei-Tech’s dreadnought is after them, waiting for the chance to turn these ships and people into ashes. And they need to survive – or even just one single person in these three warships – to tell the whole ‘verse what Bei-Tech did. And tell the truth.
Illuminae is a story of survival – or dying trying to, courage of our everyday heroes, fighting for your love amidst all these chaos and clinging to hope even if there’s already nothing left to cling to.
If there is only one word to associate to Kady Grant that would be FEARLESSNESS (AND BRAVERY. AND INTELLIGENCE. Really, it’s almost impossible to choose one). Kady Grant is an intelligent person especially when it comes to computers. Kady Grant has a very strong personality. She never loses hope. She’ll get what she wants to get no matter what it takes. She is not the one easy to persuade and she sometimes isolate herself from others. But despite of this, she’s the one always willing to help. She’s willing to sacrifice for others – for the greater good.
And so does Ezra Mason. Ezra is as capable of Kady, as FEARLESS and as BRAVE. While Kady is a genius when it comes to computers, Ezra is the team player, capable of leadership when required. Unlike Kady, he was chosen to be conscripted because of his capacity that Kady also has but didn’t want to show. He is one of the pilots inside the Cyclones who fought the battle against the LinColn. Ezra Mason is the one also always willing to help. Always willing to be selfless for the sake of others. Compared to Kady who has the tendency of shutting people off and out of her life, Ezra is the one who can make more friends, he values brotherhood. But he can also show aggressiveness because of his trauma.
Ezra Mason and Kady Grant, you wouldn’t imagine how far these two will go. You wouldn’t imagine what things they will do.
And then there’s AIDAN. The artificial intelligence that is their only way to survive. Which, at some point, can also be their doom. Some people will either hate this thing or love this thing. But for me, more than the hate and love, is pity.
We’ll see people blindly cling to hope. Hope that sooner or later will cease to exist. How, just wanting to live can turn you into someone else – into someone you never imagined you’re capable of being. How desperation will drive you insane.
Illuminae shows how people act differently in such situation. Some people will show violence, some will show weakness, some will show intelligence, some will show helpfulness, some will show bravery. People, amidst hopelessness will either turn their backs on you or walk with you until the very end. That’s the reality of what people are. There is nothing in between. And the question always is: should I be selfish or selfless?
Illuminae is just intense in every way. This is the kind of book you wouldn’t want to miss every single word, every single file, and every single page in it. And I really enjoyed how it was told in an utterly not ordinary way. It’s just so wonderful I can’t even find the right words to utter anymore. I just want you all to know that this is just marvelous. The end is just the beginning.
To sum up what I experienced while reading Illuminae in just one sentence, this is what I will say: It was like riding an extreme roller coaster ride and I felt like I might fall off my chair in each and every turn. That’s it. That’s what reading Illuminae is like.
No doubt, this is for sci-fi lovers. But any readers will be immersed and love this too. Reading Illuminae is just like watching a sci-fi action movie, only that this movie is in 3D. Of course, we all want that. *winks* Illuminae is absolutely high-octane. I recommend.
Brace yourself for Illuminae. Hold on tight.
I took random photos inside Illuminae to show you what it looks like. (And to persuade you to buy it! People, go buy and read it! You won’t regret it.)
To avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ what are written.
Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.
She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
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Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
He does not believe in happy endings.
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