Illuminae - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

I don't normally read books like this, and it's not because I dislike sci-fi. I love watching sci-fi movies and tv shows, but as far as reading about happenings in outer space, it doesn't call my attention very often. This book caught my attention because the format is vastly different than any book I've read. The story is told through a series of interview transcripts, emails, official documents, the inner musings of a possibly insane AI, diary entries, spaceship diagrams and space artwork.

I wasn't sure how all that was going to work out for me and I was a tad skeptical, but I'm always up for trying new things. The story starts off with the interviews of two teens who's planet had been invaded. I can't say I fell instantly in love with Kady and Ezra. Kady's personality seemed a bit bland and the dialogue between her and Ezra left much to be desired. Maybe it was just the format. It's difficult to convey emotion through text or instant messages.

Once her skills as a hacker emerged and I was able to see her strengths, bravery and intelligence I liked her more and more. Kady and Ezra are stuck on two different ships separated from each other and their families, just trying to stay alive. They are all fleeing a large ship intent on attacking them. Ezra's ship is under the control of AIDAN, the AI with a mind of its own focused on seeing to its own agenda, and to make matters worse, we have a virus outbreak turning people into creepy, weapon wielding, zombie-like creatures who can think, hunt and kill the uninfected.


Did I mention those guys are creepy? The beginning of the book didn't draw me in. It took some time before things picked up for me, but when they did, I couldn't read fast enough. I loved the plot twists, but at one point toward the end, let's just say I was livid! I almost put it down. I'm glad I pressed on, because that ending was fantastic!

I also have to mention that AIDAN is a great character. If I had to choose, I'd say AIDAN was the most interesting, poetic and complex character in the whole book.

“Before this moment, I have never wished to be something other than what I am. Never felt so keenly the lack of hands with which to touch, the lack of arms with which to hold. Why did they give me this sense of self? Why allow me the intellect by which to measure this complete inadequacy? I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

There were so many unique twists and turns. I  definitely loved this book and the authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, are wonderfully talented, kind and gracious individuals which I had the immense pleasure of meeting at YALLFEST.

Jay personalized my book with words to live by



"Fight like a girl!" And I certainly will.

Gemina book 2 is sitting on my nightstand (it's so beautiful) just taunting me to come read it.

We received free copies of this book at First in Line's biscuit brunch event at Yallfest