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Illuminae: The Illuminae Files: Book 1 (Illuminae Files 1) Paperback – 12 October 2016
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About the Author
Amie Kaufman grew up in both Ireland and Melbourne, Australia. She earned undergraduate degrees, with honours, in law, history and literature. Later, she earned a Master's Degree in conflict resolution and worked for seven years as a mediator before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and dog.
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- Item Weight : 560 g
- ISBN-10 : 178074837X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1780748375
- Paperback : 608 pages
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 3.68 x 19.81 cm
- Publisher : Oneworld Publications; Latest edition (12 October 2016)
- Reading level : 10 - 16 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review: When you see a book everywhere in the book community, you'll eventually pick it up some day. I grabbed Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in January. The first thing I saw was its unique, cool and astounding writing style. I absolutely love the way it is written, like in the variety of documents and the way the world is established is completely breathtaking. The book begins with the story of Ezra Mason and Kady Grant. I loved reading the miscellany of documents (you have medical reports, military files, transcripts, schematics, emails and many others).
Illuminae was a rollercoaster ride of emotions that will keep you hooked till the very end. I was instantly into it after reading a couple of pages and OHMYGOD Ezra Miller, he is my favourite character so far.
“Interviewer: So. Tell me about your mother.
Ezra: You're taping this, right?
Interviewer: Audio only. Camera is faulty.
Ezra: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my… oh, dear… yes, it's my MIDDLE finger at Mr. Postgrad here.
Interviewer: Mr. Mason...
Ezra: Now I'm wiggling it.
Interviewer: Terminating interview at 13:58 on 03/19/75.
Ezra: Look at it wiggl-
What flabbergasted me in the plot was the use of AIDAN who is an artificial intelligence for Alexandra 78V, and how Kaufman and Kristoff made him as an individually enjoyable character. I also find it interesting on how AIDAN was so philosophical and will make you think about your life in general. With so much complexity in his character, it made more intriguing to learn about him. Also, the character development in the book is absolutely impressive and I instantly connected with them. Not only the main characters but the development of the supporting characters were also phenomenal.
"Am I not merciful" -AIDAN
Overall I loved this book and find the first YA Sci-fi so beautifully uniquely written. Illuminae has so many feels, you will find yourself crying in some moments and instantly after some pages you'll be feeling happy. I rate this book Five FREAKIN Stars and recommend this to everyone. If you're a Sci-fi fan then grab this book right now!! and if you're not a Sci-fi fan then this book will make you one.
Illuminae is the first book in Illuminae files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It had warships, Artificial Intelligence, virus infected zombie like people, witty and fierce characters and much more. What else do you even want in a book? 😛
It's year 2075, two corporations are on a war over a planet. Their citizens were evacuated by three fleets- Alexander, Hypatia and Cornicopus but a enemy warship Lincoln is still chasing them and a virus has also been spread among the citizens.
I have never read a book with such a different format and it was completely a different and amazing experience. The briefing notes, the documents, the conversations, the space, the timer and every other small detail made such a great impact overall.
Kady Grant and Ezra Mason are now my favorite lovey-dovey characters of all times. Kady with her intelligence, bravery and satireness just blew my mind and Ezra with his charming, not-so-smooth pick up lines, the jokes he cracked and his loyalty for his friends, made me fall in love with him.
Now, then there is AIDAN, The Artificial Intelligence aka the poet in the book. At one point, I literally blurted out Oh come onnnn AIDAN, Shut up and get a life!! 😂 You can consider it as one of the main character because it contributed a lot to the plot. It was the kind of character you would love to hate. I cannot say much about it without spoiling the book for you.
You might feel a little dragged and drifted in between because of some of the technical terms and a little stretched out story but I think I am gonna overlook it because of all the other awesomeness this book offers. And I forget to mention that this book will break your heart so many times.
Top reviews from other countries
There is some commonality with BSG, but really this stands alone as something that feels like it has many influences (BSG, 2001: A Space Odyssey and even Bioshock) but really is a fresh story.
It starts the ground running and the first part of the book quickly brings us up to speed on the main characters and the story background. I love a new universe like this and want to know more.
The authors don't pull their punches - quiet happy to deal with dark topics, violence and a fair amount of death. I understand this is a 'young adult' book but aside from the main characters being young and a bit precocious this felt every bit a book for all ages.
The story did dip a bit in the second quarter... and my interest waned. Lots of chat based interactions where it's really quite annoying having to navigate the slang writing, for example wut = what. It seemed pointless as they would then use overly long words and in other texts showed they were capable of writing properly. But in the chats, they then suddenly regressed and had to talk like "wut u doin cuz im chill". Additionally they use swearing then censor it, so you're constantly slowing down to try and work out what the word is.
But that was soon pushed aside when the story picked up pace again at the half way point - and I blew through the rest in days. It took me along for the ride and had plenty of twists and turns.
The format is very interesting and for the most part worked, but a word of warning that some dialog in the images is almost impossible to read on Kindles. It's easily solved by reading those bits on a phone or tablet... but it does make me think i'll go with the paper version next time.
All in all, heartily recommended.
During my read I found myself wondering which parts were written my Amie and which by Jay.. Did they sit down and say: ‘Edit that, write this… this will cause more emotional heartache!’ Did they??! UGH!
I am never going to recover from this. It was chilling, outright horrifying at times, and sweet, and painful.. The pain. I have never cried so much while reading a book, and I’m a crier so that’s really saying something.
^^ My brain is just.. Okay, taking out the gore, horror, fear and heartache let’s talk about the format.
This book is written unlike any other I’ve ever seen, after seeing pictures of it online my immediate thought was ‘nope' I didn’t think it’d be easy to follow or enjoyable. I was wrong. The format is in part, why this book is so incredible. It made it, more.. It made it feel real, like you were right there amidst it all. If anyone is putting it off because of the formatting, trust me, it’ll blow your mind!
I’m torn between wanting to read the next one and scheduling a therapy session. 😅 My heart feels heavy.
Amie and Jay are definitely a force of nature. This is my first read from either of them, and from what I’ve been told there’s lots more pain incoming… I need to stock up on chocolate. 🤦🏻♀
I can’t get my head together enough.. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down. There’s not much more I can say.
"She is catalyst.
She is chaos.”
I had a lot of fun with this novel and, despite the fact that it's over 600 pages long, I sped through it because of the format it's told in.
In Illuminae we follow teenagers Kady and Ezra who, on the day Kady breaks off their relationship, end up fleeing their planet on two separate fleets with the warship that has destroyed their home in pursuit. What follows is a story that twists and turns as Kady, in particular, tries to find out the hell's going on and why so many lives have been ruined by hacking into government documents.
To be honest that's all I want to say about this novel because I went into it knowing practically nothing about it and I enjoyed it so much more because of that. The less you know, the more it feels like this story is unfolding in front of you and you're simply along for the ride.
Parts of this novel are pretty dark, and I loved those moments. The mixed media format, sometimes a string of dialogue from an online forum and sometimes a report from someone examining CCTV footage, keeps you on tenterhooks because you're experiencing the story as the characters are experiencing it and finding things out as they're discovering them.
I have to say that, without the way it's written, I'm not sure how original this idea is. To be honest that doesn't bother me; I haven't read enough sci-fi to feel bogged down by tropes and there's no such thing as a completely original story anymore anyway. I want to mention it, though, because I think there may be some sci-fi aficionados who might go into this book expecting a completely original concept when it's actually the way this story is written, and not necessarily the contents of the story itself, that makes Illuminae so original.
The characters are great; when Kady and Ezra are back on speaking terms their banter is really fun, and you get a sense of the history between them and how, now that their entire lives have changed so drastically, the problems they thought they had don't seem all that big.
There was also one plot twist that took me completely by surprise and I loved it. When I say this is a twisty, turny book I mean it in every sense of the word, and I was well on the way to giving this book 5 stars. Then there was another twist, nearer the end, and unfortunately it lessened the impact of that earlier twist for me. I'd've loved this novel even more if Kaufman and Kristoff had been a little braver. If you've read Illuminae then I'm sure you'll know what I'm talking about.
That aside I had a lot of fun reading this novel and both Kaufman and Kristoff are authors I'd like to read more from in future. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series, I've seen most people say the first book is the best and the second and third are just rehashed versions of the first, but I might be tempted to read Gemina if I find a cheap copy somewhere because one of the characters in it is a member of a crime family, and I love me a crime family...
I was immediately struck by the format: the story unfolds through a dossier of hacked documents and includes emails, schematics, military reports, diary entries, interviews and transcripts of security camera footage to name but a few. I’ve not found a book told this way before, and it was fresh and beautifully orchestrated. Paperclipped ‘briefing notes’ from the Illumine Group who gathered the dossier add sardonic comments that appealed to my sarcastic streak, while the IMs and emails frequently have wonderful comedic touches that play off against the impeccably built dramatic tension superbly.
I am struck by a realisation: a computer will perform a takeoff or landing with all the grace of a person. It is only for combat – only for the artistry of ruin – that these vessels have pilot seats at all anymore. There is something in humanity more suited to the mechanics of murder than any machine yet devised.
The characters have wonderful depth. Kady, our heroine, is tough and resourceful, but we see vulnerable moments. Even tertiary characters are strongly written, relatable and lovable (spoiler: you may wish they weren’t lovable), with some delightful casual representation thrown in, such as character x thinking about his husband and daughter. Winifred grapples with her duty to follow military orders versus doing what she believes is right. Byron is a chubby, geeky hacker with hidden reserves of moral strength. AIDAN (the AI of the fleet) serves as a fascinating contrast as he has a completely different tone and viewpoint to all the human characters. These authors are evil geniuses at getting you heavily invested in characters and then doing horrible things to them!
“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny”
The story builds to edge-of-your-seat tension and at one point I even clapped my hand across my mouth in horror! This series is my favourite of all time, which is quite a statement. Brace yourself, and dive in.
Now if the characters or plot are not your cup of tea, then the format and the fact that this is written through emails, video transcriptions, instant messages, a very, very questionable AI, and just pure awesome, should definitely make up for your dislike of any other part of this book. But to be frank, there is just an abundance of fabulous spewing out of these pages. The plot, characters, format, the emotional turmoil...just...read it, ok? It is absolutely brilliant. And I’ll throw in a little warning since I don’t want others suffering as I did, make sure you have book 2 in your possession as soon as you’re finished with this one. ‘Cause really, you will be going through some stuff, and I can in all seriousness say that book 2 is the only thing that’ll help you through this tough time.
As for the conclusion to this epic adventure in space(!!!) OBSIDIO releases in March...so you won’t have that long a period of torture to finally have the last book in your grubby little hands and just devour it in one sitting. Which is the ideal way of consuming these masterfully crafted artifacts (yes, they are that precious).
Go forth and explore the amazing weirdness that will smack you upside the noggin and make your black heart...errr....your unicorn sprinkled heart...bleed from all the agony!! And also burst with all the Feelings!!
10/10 would suffer again.