Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

9:35 PM

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Rating: ★★★★☆

Am I not merciful?

What a suspenseful, chilling read! I had been hearing the hype surrounding Illuminae since its initial publication but because of the way it is written, I had been hesitant to try it out. I feared I'd burned myself out of this style of writing when I was a teenager immersed in T.T.Y.L. and those other IM based books, so it did take me a bit longer to get to it than I'd planned. But, I'm glad I read it when I did! Because it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Illuminae is split into various points of view (although it is mainly focused on two characters, Kady and Ezra) and dips its toes into many forms of story telling: transcripts of interviews, instant messaging, letters, documents and more. This was my first experience with writing by both authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, but it certainly won't be my last. Not many authors can pull off story-telling in the way that they managed to with this one and that should be applauded first and foremost.

The action and stakes are high in Illuminae and the way the story unfolds is delectable in the sense that you feel like you are a part of it. Would you feel the same intimacy from a standard novel with this plot? Mostly--it just so happens that Illuminae's strength comes from its format and how readers are swept into the thick of it straight away. Although I have read similar novels not only in format but in science-fiction plotlines, Illuminae stands out on its own as something unique and not quite like anything I'd read before.

I really enjoyed the characters. I felt like we truly got to know them, which is hard when there is little to no narration to get inside their heads. What people will, and do, love about Illuminae is the fact that we get to see these characters as they are. And their worlds from a different perspective. This is definitely a story that is not altogether like our own, and that makes for one exciting and indulgent treat for readers of all ages.

Kaufman and Kristoff take readers on a wild ride that grows more and more tense by the end of the novel; leaving readers with so many questions and feelings. I really did appreciate the novel through and through, but there were some moments at the beginning that were shaky at best. A lot of touch and go for the first quarter that felt to drag on from time to time. Fortunately, Illuminae picks up its pace pretty quickly and leaves readers breathless by the end.

I can't wait to get my hands on the sequels! I have a feeling this series is only going to get better as it goes and I'm more than ready for the crazy ride I'll surely have on my hands. I'm ready for more action, intrigue, romance and angst! Woo-hoo!

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