Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Illuminae

I ordered Illuminae a few weeks ago (if you haven’t read my post regarding this then click here, I also mention some other books I bought). I had seen the book popping up across various news feeds for a month or so prior to my purchase and from what little I knew, I really thought this was a book worth reading.

The book follows Kady Grant and Ezra Mason; formerly a couple, they broke up prior to current events and the destruction of their home planet with hard feelings all around. But as things begin to unravel and start to go wrong, they both realise that they need each other in order to survive. The novel essentially follows these two main characters as they attempt to avert crisis and save the refugees from their home planet from being destroyed, almost losing each other in the process. Not only does it cover science-fiction, but I feel that there something typically YA about this novel in this respect.

The main reason I had for buying this book was it’s form and writing style. It’s not a typical book; instead you get a story put to pieces through chat logs on instant messenger, diary entries, emails, and communication centres situated on the spaceships. I loved this technique and felt it worked remarkably well for this type of novel. It still felt like a generic type of book but I felt that, because of the events the novel was about, it helped boost its appeal more. Emotions became crystal clear and I could clearly identify with the characters, especially through the diary entries and instant messaging chat logs; it’s very 21st century with the use of happy and sad faces and text speak used in the current age. Though it wasn’t generic, a clear picture was still provided. I thought I might have trouble imagining the scenes written before me, but I found them even more vivid. And because of this technique, as a reader we received a lot of privilege information that the other characters do not become aware of straight away – or so it seems!

I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of science-fiction or would really like to read something different in form. It can be a bit disconcerting in some respects (there are some pages where you have to turn the book around to read the words) and those are the times where I became a bit disjointed from the narrative, but on the whole I truly felt that it worked really well.


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