Format: Hardcover, 600 pages
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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.
Illuminae is the first book in authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's The Illuminae Files. To say that this book totally blew me away with it's awesome world building, characters, especially Kady Grant, action, humor, horror, and adventure would be a misnomer. This book is bloody fantastic! It crosses swords with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Battlestar Gallactica, while making its own path into Science Fiction immortality. It is a science fiction masterpiece told in a way that I haven't seen before. It's told through Instant Messages, Briefing Notes, Officer Memorandums, Intercepted Personal Messages, Surveillance Footage, and the banter between Kady and HAL aka AIDAN (Artificial Intelligence Defense Analysis Network).
Illuminae begins on 01/29/2575 with the destruction of Kady and Ezra Mason's home world of Kerenza IX. From there, it is a race against time and an enemy known as BeiTech that wants to ensure that no survivors are allowed to go public with what happened on Kerenza. A colony that was technically illegal. To go along with being chased across the known galaxy, there is also a viral outbreak that causes the survivors to turn into zombies with some intelligence. So, I won't say this is The Walking Dead in Space. These Zombies have some very interesting intelligence that allows them to go full on rampage mode.
I offer up this fact: Kady is the main character in this book. I know that there is a faction that will say that Ezra is just as important. Not that I want to disagree, but I disagree. It is her brilliance, her sometimes arrogance, her pushing and pulling others, and her bravery in putting her own life on the line to save what's left of the Kerenza survivors that puts the spotlight on her. Ezra is the one that Kady almost let get away as the world was being destroyed and everyone they knew was being killed. Ezra has his own adventure as a newly promoted pilot. He has some fun banter between himself and a few others while also thinking about Kady.
Would it be wrong to say that AIDAN is probably just as important to the overall story as Kady? Nope. AIDAN and Kady's scenes are brilliant. You have a human talking to an artificial intelligence who just did some really awful, awful things that has left the fleet in disarray. And yet, it is Kady that AIDAN seeks out and focuses on. It is Kady that he pushes, while she pushes back, and cusses out in order to save what's left of the survivors. It is AIDAN that pushes the question as to what actually makes a person human, or a machine.
For a book this big, Illuminae moves along at a rapid pace. I am happy to report that I was able to pick up a hardcover copy of this book from the library and finished it within hours of starting. I previously was approved for this book via Netgalley, but there were large chunks of important stuff missing thanks to Kindle, or the copy I received. Not sure but I am happy that my library is so awesome that they listened to me when I asked them to purchase this book! What I am sure of is that you, yes you, should be reading this book before the sequel comes out in a few months. Some of you have already received a copy and that's cool.
Saw this on Goodreads: "Each book in The Illuminae Files will focus on two new teens (a male/female) experiencing a different aspect of the same invasion. In Gemina, the characters will be Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov. It takes place on Jump Station Heimdall. It also appears that Kady is expected to make another appearance. I'm good with that.