Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff- 5+/5 stars
This book was fascinating! I was enthralled by it from the very first page. The unique format in which it is written makes it a very fast read, which is something I thoroughly enjoy! It is told through a series of emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, etc.
It starts off as a very light read. Funny and effortless- in a fun way. But before you get to the half way point your heart will be beating faster... it was an emotional roller-coaster! It is a very very intense book. I was on the edge of my seat for at least 2/3 of the book, and at one point I swore to two good friends (bookstagram: @pikamikareads and @giota_the_reader) I would burn the book when it was done if a certain issue wasn't resolved. I was THAT involved. It was THAT intense. --no worries peeps, book still intact, issue was somewhat resolved-- 😄
The book blurb:
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 a 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 speaking to each other- are forced to flight 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.
Things I loved:
- It has a beautiful, epic romance story. And yet, the romance is very low key. It was so well written and well put together. It is a sci-fi book.... but it is a romance book too! Superb writing!
- It is emotionally intense. There is no way you are not going to get heavily involved in the book.
- The plot twists are unexpected and some heartbreaking. It is not often an author can write a plot twist you did not see coming. It most certainly happens here. I SCREAMED at the book at one point. You will know exactly which point if you read/have read the book.
- The AI made me soooo angry. But not because I didn't like the character, but because he was so well written that I felt genuine anger towards him, towards someone who does not freaking exist. I mean...any author that can stir feelings like that in a reader deserves praise... Eventually Aidan -the AI- becomes a character easy to feel for (and I think he is most readers favorite. Not mine though -as per usual! when don't I go against the crowd?! hehe-). His is evil without the intention of being evil. He simply does not understand humans. He can predict their actions, but cannot understand them when they do the unpredictable. It is fascinating! He is not a villain. An anti-hero would be a more accurate description for Aidan.
- So many people die.... the authors don't shy away from making the story believable, even if it means killing a different character every few pages.
- Ezra is hilarious and full of swagger. I really loved his character. I found sad not many reviews mentioned him and focused so much on Aidan. I don't thing Kady would have been half as likable without him, his character made hers a little more human, a little more relatable.
- Kady is a genius teenage hacker! super clever and super brave. She is sarcastic and blunt. Now, I am a little tired of all strong female characters out there sharing this very same trades, but it can easily be forgiven here. It is too well done to be off-putting in any way.
- And have you seen the book aesthetics? the cover and every page in it... stunning!
And guys.... this is all from someone who is not usually a sci-fi fan!