Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

How did I get it?:
It was a Christmas gift!

Previously reviewed by Amie Kaufman:
These Broken Stars


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.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


Wow, I have really mixed feelings about this book. I was so nervous to read it because it’s been everywhere! Most people seem to love it and when this happens, sometimes I end up raising my expectations too high and don’t end up enjoying the book as much as I hoped I would. I tried to lower my expectations whilst reading this book because I really wanted to give it a fair chance. I thought Illuminae was a really intriguing, unique read. I wasn’t as blown away as I wanted to be by this book, but there’s no denying that it is a brilliant, original read that I think is well worth exploring.

It’s really hard to review this book because it is so different. It’s a story about Kady and Ezra. It’s based in 2575. There is a war over a planet, a deadly plague has broken out and a fleet’s AI could quite possibly be their enemy. Kady hacks into data to try and discover the truth. She needs the help of her ex-boyfriend Ezra. Illuminae is action packed and uses so many formats to tell the story. There’s emails, military files, instant messaging, medical reports and interviews. It really was a unique format which instantly appealed to me.

I think the formats really helped to tell the story in such a gripping way. I love short and snappy chapters. I love creativity in the way information is presented. It really did keep me turning the pages. Some of the art work is simply stunning and this is one of the highlights of this story for me.

At times, I felt this book got a little slow which is why I haven’t rated it four stars. Most of the time it was action-packed but some of the reports, in my opinion, slowed down the pace and I wanted to quickly skip through them but I was worried that I’d miss something important to the story. I also wasn’t overly convinced by Kady and Ezra’s relationship. It seemed a little forced to me.

Niggles aside, I do think that Illuminae is a decent read and I can definitely see why people have been raving about it. There is so much to enjoy within the pages. When I think of Illuminae it does bring back good memories and I would definitely consider reading the next book in the series. I’m just not in any rush to do so.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A decent, unique YA science-fiction read!

5 thoughts on “Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

  1. I think I feel the same way about Illuminae- I liked it but wasn’t CRAZY about it. the format definitely made it interesting! And I’m going to read the next one but it’s not like my top priority you know? A solid 3 or 3.5 is where I’d rate it too, probably. Nice review!

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