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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
Read all the books in the THE ILLUMINAE FILES and the new AURORA CYCLE series!
From School Library Journal
"One look at a hard copy of Illuminae and you know you're not in for an ordinary novel experience. . . . Illuminae is a wholly ambitious work that never sacrifices emotion or story for its unique form."
"A truly interactive experience for the reader. . . . A fantastically fun ride."
--Booklist, starred review
"Stunningly creative. Smart, funny, and romantic. This is the book I've been waiting for."
--Veronica Rossi, bestselling author of Under the Never Sky
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
-- School Library Journal
--Beth Revis, bestselling author of Across the Universe
"Brace yourself. You're about to be immersed in a mindscape that you'll never want to leave."
--Marie Lu, bestselling author of the Legend trilogy
"An edge of your seat thrill ride that left me breathless. Genre: Undefinable. Novel: Unforgettable."
--Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & author of Unbreakable
--Shelf Awareness, starred review
-- Romantic Times, Top Pick Gold
"Not only is ILLUMINAE a twisting, heart-pounding story moving at the speed of light, but it is a truly beautiful novel that redefines the form. I have never read anything like it. And it certainly filled the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA shaped hole in my heart."
--Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of Red Queen
"An exuberant mix of space opera, romance, zombies, hackers, and political thrills, told with eccentric aplomb. ILLUMINAE is both the weirdest and most heartfelt thing you'll read this year. "
--Scott Westerfeld, bestselling author of Uglies and Zeroes
- ASIN : B00OEXJARS
- Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 20, 2015)
- Publication date : October 20, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 213798 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 608 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #171,968 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Little do they know, their problems are just beginning. Not only is a virus spreading and causing those contaminated into attempt to harm others, but the corporation who invited their planet is hot on their tail trying to wipe out any remaining survivors. The commanders of the ships are remaining tight lipped about all of the details, so Kady decides to take things into her own hands by hacking into the computer systems. It turns out that the one person who can help her uncover the truth is none other than her ex-boyfriend, Ezra.
Told through a series of case files, IM’s, emails, interviews, and more, Illuminae is a fast paced story about two regular teenagers forced to step up in order to save themselves and the ones they love.
I am a huge fan of epistolary novels, and will basically read anything told in email/text/IM format. I think they are fun and unique, and I just love reading them. That said, I was a little hesitant to read Illuminae, because generally sci-fi is not my thing. After seeing so many positive reviews coming in from people I trust, I decided to give it a try. I bought the book, and it’s been sitting on my shelf for probably 9 months. I finally decided to pick it up, and I was instantly hooked. I read the book in two sittings!
Initially, I did find myself confused until about 100 or so pages in. It took a little bit for me to understand the language and learn who the different characters were and how they related to each other, but once I got that part down, I flew through the book. I stayed up way too late reading it during my first sitting, but I was dying to know what would happen!
I really loved all of the characters. It was refreshing to not see another YA book fall down the “insta-love” rabbit hole. Instead, we see a couple who has been together for a while, but opted to break up. They’re mad at each other, but you can tell there are still feelings there. The feelings develop and change throughout the book, and I liked seeing the relationship change sort of in the reverse of what I normally see. I found Kady to be a wonderfully competent character. I hardly ever read books where a woman is into computers, coding, hacking, and other technical skills, so I loved that it was Kady who played that role and not Ezra.
I also loved that the story was told from both Ezra and Kady’s points of view, based on which one of them was IMing or interviewing at the time. It felt like it made each character more developed and well rounded, and I really enjoyed that.
Despite the fact that I’m generally not a huge fan of sci-fi, I loved this one. I felt like it was done really well, and written in a way that didn’t feel confusing on insanely far fetched. I found myself wanting to know more about the times they lived in, and to learn more about their planet and the way things worked in this new world where space travel is possible, so I actually really liked that aspect of the book, which completely surprised me.
The book was really fast paced, and there was a ton of action! The end of the book was so intense and I just loved how everything played out. Illuminae did leave on a cliffhanger, so if you plan to read it, make sure you have Gemina ready to go!
I highly recommend this one, even if sci-fi isn’t usually your thing, give it a chance and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
I went into this pretty blind as all I knew was that this was a scifi story told in an unconventional way. I had also heard that the audiobook was fantastic so I decided to switch between it and the ebook. While I loved the incorporation of a full cast and sound effects (which definitely made the space battle sound epic), some of the images used in the book weren't able to be replicated via audio. I found myself preferring the ebook just so that I could appreciate the visuals that were included.
For me, this book was a bit of a roller-coaster. There were times that I found the text slow, confusing, or bogged down with technical terms, abbreviations, or other details that I couldn't keep straight. Occasionally, reading this felt like too much work and I'd have to put the book down for a bit before I was mentally ready to tackle it again. Then, there were other times that I was completely captivated and would flip page after page as I just had to know what was going to happen next. I didn't expect the multiple threats that emerged throughout the story or how dark things got toward the end. There were some really tense and even heartbreaking moments and twists that I didn't see coming. All of this contributed to how much I enjoyed this book and could overlook some of the issues I had had with parts of it.
Normally, I'm a big fan of romance in anything that I read. However, I never felt any strong emotion about Ezra and Kady as a couple. Don't get me wrong, I thought they were both fine, but I much preferred them as individual characters -- with a slight bias toward Kady if I had to choose. I liked seeing their connections with other characters and how they each responded to the various obstacles that they encountered. I just think they made better friends than lovers.
Unlike what seems to be the majority of readers/reviewers, I wasn't enamored with AIDAN. Even after my initial dislike and wariness lessened, I still got too many creepy or weird vibes from him (especially involving Kady) which meant he never won me over completely. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ That being said, I did like being inside the mind of an A.I. character and seeing certain events play out from his perspective.
Overall, I was quite entertained by the story and super impressed by the level of creativity in how it was relayed to readers.
I do have to say this to the publisher: Those black pages of AIDAN's data where his thoughts and Kady's speech are white and his reply to her is in a dark gray was hard to read at parts where it appeared the printer may have failed. I was not amused. It's cool looking for awhile, but it gets annoying. Stick to white pages with black ink or black with white. No gray.
Top reviews from other countries
During my read I found myself wondering which parts were written my Amie and which by Jay.. Did they sit down and say: ‘Edit that, write this… this will cause more emotional heartache!’ Did they??! UGH!
I am never going to recover from this. It was chilling, outright horrifying at times, and sweet, and painful.. The pain. I have never cried so much while reading a book, and I’m a crier so that’s really saying something.
^^ My brain is just.. Okay, taking out the gore, horror, fear and heartache let’s talk about the format.
This book is written unlike any other I’ve ever seen, after seeing pictures of it online my immediate thought was ‘nope' I didn’t think it’d be easy to follow or enjoyable. I was wrong. The format is in part, why this book is so incredible. It made it, more.. It made it feel real, like you were right there amidst it all. If anyone is putting it off because of the formatting, trust me, it’ll blow your mind!
I’m torn between wanting to read the next one and scheduling a therapy session. 😅 My heart feels heavy.
Amie and Jay are definitely a force of nature. This is my first read from either of them, and from what I’ve been told there’s lots more pain incoming… I need to stock up on chocolate. 🤦🏻♀
I can’t get my head together enough.. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down. There’s not much more I can say.
"She is catalyst.
She is chaos.”
There is some commonality with BSG, but really this stands alone as something that feels like it has many influences (BSG, 2001: A Space Odyssey and even Bioshock) but really is a fresh story.
It starts the ground running and the first part of the book quickly brings us up to speed on the main characters and the story background. I love a new universe like this and want to know more.
The authors don't pull their punches - quiet happy to deal with dark topics, violence and a fair amount of death. I understand this is a 'young adult' book but aside from the main characters being young and a bit precocious this felt every bit a book for all ages.
The story did dip a bit in the second quarter... and my interest waned. Lots of chat based interactions where it's really quite annoying having to navigate the slang writing, for example wut = what. It seemed pointless as they would then use overly long words and in other texts showed they were capable of writing properly. But in the chats, they then suddenly regressed and had to talk like "wut u doin cuz im chill". Additionally they use swearing then censor it, so you're constantly slowing down to try and work out what the word is.
But that was soon pushed aside when the story picked up pace again at the half way point - and I blew through the rest in days. It took me along for the ride and had plenty of twists and turns.
The format is very interesting and for the most part worked, but a word of warning that some dialog in the images is almost impossible to read on Kindles. It's easily solved by reading those bits on a phone or tablet... but it does make me think i'll go with the paper version next time.
All in all, heartily recommended.
I had a lot of fun with this novel and, despite the fact that it's over 600 pages long, I sped through it because of the format it's told in.
In Illuminae we follow teenagers Kady and Ezra who, on the day Kady breaks off their relationship, end up fleeing their planet on two separate fleets with the warship that has destroyed their home in pursuit. What follows is a story that twists and turns as Kady, in particular, tries to find out the hell's going on and why so many lives have been ruined by hacking into government documents.
To be honest that's all I want to say about this novel because I went into it knowing practically nothing about it and I enjoyed it so much more because of that. The less you know, the more it feels like this story is unfolding in front of you and you're simply along for the ride.
Parts of this novel are pretty dark, and I loved those moments. The mixed media format, sometimes a string of dialogue from an online forum and sometimes a report from someone examining CCTV footage, keeps you on tenterhooks because you're experiencing the story as the characters are experiencing it and finding things out as they're discovering them.
I have to say that, without the way it's written, I'm not sure how original this idea is. To be honest that doesn't bother me; I haven't read enough sci-fi to feel bogged down by tropes and there's no such thing as a completely original story anymore anyway. I want to mention it, though, because I think there may be some sci-fi aficionados who might go into this book expecting a completely original concept when it's actually the way this story is written, and not necessarily the contents of the story itself, that makes Illuminae so original.
The characters are great; when Kady and Ezra are back on speaking terms their banter is really fun, and you get a sense of the history between them and how, now that their entire lives have changed so drastically, the problems they thought they had don't seem all that big.
There was also one plot twist that took me completely by surprise and I loved it. When I say this is a twisty, turny book I mean it in every sense of the word, and I was well on the way to giving this book 5 stars. Then there was another twist, nearer the end, and unfortunately it lessened the impact of that earlier twist for me. I'd've loved this novel even more if Kaufman and Kristoff had been a little braver. If you've read Illuminae then I'm sure you'll know what I'm talking about.
That aside I had a lot of fun reading this novel and both Kaufman and Kristoff are authors I'd like to read more from in future. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series, I've seen most people say the first book is the best and the second and third are just rehashed versions of the first, but I might be tempted to read Gemina if I find a cheap copy somewhere because one of the characters in it is a member of a crime family, and I love me a crime family...
I was immediately struck by the format: the story unfolds through a dossier of hacked documents and includes emails, schematics, military reports, diary entries, interviews and transcripts of security camera footage to name but a few. I’ve not found a book told this way before, and it was fresh and beautifully orchestrated. Paperclipped ‘briefing notes’ from the Illumine Group who gathered the dossier add sardonic comments that appealed to my sarcastic streak, while the IMs and emails frequently have wonderful comedic touches that play off against the impeccably built dramatic tension superbly.
I am struck by a realisation: a computer will perform a takeoff or landing with all the grace of a person. It is only for combat – only for the artistry of ruin – that these vessels have pilot seats at all anymore. There is something in humanity more suited to the mechanics of murder than any machine yet devised.
The characters have wonderful depth. Kady, our heroine, is tough and resourceful, but we see vulnerable moments. Even tertiary characters are strongly written, relatable and lovable (spoiler: you may wish they weren’t lovable), with some delightful casual representation thrown in, such as character x thinking about his husband and daughter. Winifred grapples with her duty to follow military orders versus doing what she believes is right. Byron is a chubby, geeky hacker with hidden reserves of moral strength. AIDAN (the AI of the fleet) serves as a fascinating contrast as he has a completely different tone and viewpoint to all the human characters. These authors are evil geniuses at getting you heavily invested in characters and then doing horrible things to them!
“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny”
The story builds to edge-of-your-seat tension and at one point I even clapped my hand across my mouth in horror! This series is my favourite of all time, which is quite a statement. Brace yourself, and dive in.
Now if the characters or plot are not your cup of tea, then the format and the fact that this is written through emails, video transcriptions, instant messages, a very, very questionable AI, and just pure awesome, should definitely make up for your dislike of any other part of this book. But to be frank, there is just an abundance of fabulous spewing out of these pages. The plot, characters, format, the emotional turmoil...just...read it, ok? It is absolutely brilliant. And I’ll throw in a little warning since I don’t want others suffering as I did, make sure you have book 2 in your possession as soon as you’re finished with this one. ‘Cause really, you will be going through some stuff, and I can in all seriousness say that book 2 is the only thing that’ll help you through this tough time.
As for the conclusion to this epic adventure in space(!!!) OBSIDIO releases in March...so you won’t have that long a period of torture to finally have the last book in your grubby little hands and just devour it in one sitting. Which is the ideal way of consuming these masterfully crafted artifacts (yes, they are that precious).
Go forth and explore the amazing weirdness that will smack you upside the noggin and make your black heart...errr....your unicorn sprinkled heart...bleed from all the agony!! And also burst with all the Feelings!!
10/10 would suffer again.