June 25, 2016

REVIEW| Illuminae

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 0_1)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff


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 mega-corporations 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.


You know--this must be the first orange cover that I own. Literally. I don't even think I own a yellow book. They just never appeal to me, cover and content wise. Books that usually have the bright yellow and orange covers tend to be in the contempory of the YA section at Waterstones. But, after reading Nevernight something told me that I should give this one ago. So I bought it, the only copy left in my local Waterstones.
However, my lack of love for the colour of orange doesn't compare nor come into how much I love this cover. It's simple but effective, summerizing the content of Illuminae. Three simple layers. Articles from the "hacked" documents build the foundation, layered ontop is the bold orange space theme and then the scratched and block of white and black to paste on the authors and the name of the book. I think this is just a great example of a budget book cover done right, with still the same level of thought gone into it as one that requires three different artist for a decent outcome.
Now. The book.
You know when you read a book written by two different authors and you can just tell who wrote what. My biggest fear going into a co-authored novel. Not at any point did I question what was what even when voice changed into these unknown voices documenting surveillance footage. I think the choice of format worked in favour of not having to mask writing style for 600 pages of prose.
I think the hacked documents helped to speed the plot onwards because although there was descriptions they were stripped back to the minimum and so well ingrained so that they didn't become clumsy and awkward to read, slowing down the action.

My biggest difficulty when reading was drawing emotional connections to the characters that we are introduced to. My reading of Kady was under a sympathetic nature-- I felt sorry for her and the loss that she battles as the novel progresses. But at the time progressed she became real, she became someone that I admired. She kept me on my toes-- well, edge of my reading chair-- out of unpredicabilty of her actions. For once, I was left guessing. 


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