My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read: July 17 – July 23
Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness
A unique, creative and stylish start to what I’m sure is to be a game-changing series for its genre.
I am definitely not someone who often picks up a Sci-Fi book the majority of Illuminae was new territory for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I also practically bought this book from word of mouth hype not because I’d read about it and decided to get it. So there’s that.
Having said this, I found Illuminae intriguing from start to finish. I did struggle in the beginning slightly as I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to read everything on the page or just the main points but I got there ans the structure got easier to understand the farther I read. It is definitely a structure that takes some getting used to and one that is certainly not for everyone.
The book essentially bounces between two characters whom at the beginning of the book broke up yet fled Kerenza together to end up on different ships. Kady whom initiated the break up, ends up aboard Hypatia, the science vessel while Ezra is aboard the much larger battle carrier Alexander. Due to being on different ships we are able to see the differences between the two giving more information on the plot. I do feel their separation was meant to give a feeling of longing and for me to wish they would be able to reunite peacefully together however, I didn’t get that feeling. It may be due to the fact that you never officially see them together which made it hard for me to see them as a couple and for their relationship to come across as real.
You spend more time with Kady than Ezra as she befriends Byron another member of the crew on Hypatia. The two begin to hack into both ships systems and discover that there is much the higher powers aren’t telling them. I found Kady likeable at first but as the story progressed I began to find her more and more whiny. It got quite annoying towards the end as she continuously gave off ‘feel sorry for me’ vibes. Ezra was tolerable. The main, and practically only, thing I got from him was pining, love-sick puppy.
If it wasn’t for the structuring peaking my curiosity I would have likely taken longer to read this as it didn’t overly feel like we were going anywhere until about half way through. The whole reason they left Kerenza and were on the run is because they were being chased the Lincoln yet it almost felt like that bit was forgotten for a little bit. But eventually everything kicked off; the Lincoln was gaining on them and a deadly virus and been unleashed and was seemingly tearing through their numbers, to top if of the Alexander’s AI AIDAN is going crazy and turning on the people it was supposed to protect. And shit hits the fan.
Overall, if Sci-Fi is your thing this is definitely something you’ll enjoy but I think it needs to be known that this book is structured almost like a portfolio meets semi-graphic novel. If that isn’t something you are interested in or want to read, don’t. I literally had the book upside down at one point to read it, I had no idea it was going to look like this before I bought it.
I think Illuminae set a nice tone and Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff make a good team. This was different than what I am used to but the structure did compensate for quite a bit. The characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked, neither was the setting. I get that it’s space but I have no idea what the insides of the ships look like or anything. I don’t fully know what the characters look like come to think of it. AIDAN for me is what really got this book going. It was creepy, slightly maniacal but it made things more exciting and unpredictable.
I do like this book however, I could definitely see the rating dropping if it wasn’t for the structure because nothing else was very strong but the structure kept it going. The characters and plot line need to get built more in Gemina because the structure won’t be good enough compensation twice.