Friday, 10 March 2017

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff REVIEW

I've just finished reading Illuminae... IT WAS GOOOOOD.
ERROR.

I have to thank my friend Cat over at Tackfiction for the recommendation and for gifting it to me in a time of need. (I had a bit of a drama with a click and collect at WHSmiths!)
 Cat is an awesome human and she does brilliant book reviews on her blog - I always need to buy the books afterwards!
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Illuminae is book #1 of "The Illuminae Files" by joint authors Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.
It follows the story of Kady. A young 17 year old girl who thinks that breaking up with her boyfriend was the worst thing in the world. Before her planet got invaded by large greedy corporations.
The book is set in 2575, its very futuristic - lots of spaceships - and most of it is set out in space. Unfortunately a deadly plague, strikes its way through the spaceship fleet and we follow Kady, and friends, as they struggle through the new battles life throws at them.

Here is the book blurb:

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I'm not sure where I found the reading time in between work this week. Actually, almost all of the time spent reading this book was supposed to be sleeping time. One night for example I read 350 pages, starting after dinner at 9pm and reading through till nearly 3am. (With my eyes half closed)... I had work at 6:30...that next work day wasn't a very productive one.

I devoured this entire book in under a week. All 599 gorgeous pages. Seriously you should get it even if its just to look at it's prettiness!


The format of this book is an odd one. Though it's a very smooth read. I was worried I wouldn't like it because of its structure, that maybe it would be really stop-start and choppy because the story is told through a dossier of hacked documents of all different types. There are computer logs, messages, medical reports, emails, interviews... The list goes on. It makes it a more interesting read than my typical pick (dystopian/survival themed books) as you have to glue together the pieces of the puzzle in your mind, instead of reading in a 'straight line', building up a database of information on the characters. Sometimes, mostly in the AI unit 'Aidan's' sections, the writing is strewn over the pages as though it's acting out what's happening, for example, the pages below are first depicting a spaceship battle then a treacherous walk in low gravity.



One thing I can say about this book is you reeeeally need to pay attention to the time stamps. I am awful at this and always find myself turning back a few pages to work out where I am and which person is talking. (For example: reading a IM feed between two characters and one of them has a screen name - I always forget who is who). This is probably the only thing I didn't like about the book and its only down to my inability to read time stamps properly and retain them till I get to the end of each page! >.< This was not a book I could just 'dip' into.

My favourite character (and favourite parts to devour) were 'Aidan's'.
'Aidan' is Artificial intelligence - a computer - on one of the ships. These parts of the book are written as its logbook. A constant train of thought and processes - including its speech with the other characters. White text on a black background, in capital letters, unmistakably shows we are reading from 'Aidans' point of view, and it's a beautifully written part of the book. A picture painted with every line and short, sharp sentences adding tension as the story progresses. This also demonstrates the fact that 'Aidan' is an all-clever no-nonsense machine. Straight to the point. It's sometimes hard to remember it's not a real living life form and I think this is what the authors wanted us to feel, 'Aidan' has so much personality for computer it's hard not get attached to it.

A few times throughout this book my heart was racing - the description of the people who have been infected by the plague is creepy and the things they do are even creepier...I could  feel my feet running with 'Kady' and I couldn't wait to jump through each page to read what was going to happen next! I was caught with my jaw to the floor and my heart in my stomach a couple of times and again had to endure it and carry on, hoping the authors where just tricking me. (It couldn't possibly be true!)

I am very excited to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible (boo-hoo have to wait till payday!) but I shall definitely be reading it soon. I can't wait!

J4 x

P.S. Does anyone know if this will become a film? 
I ask for the simple fact that I know my boyfriend and other non readers are seriously missing out and would love the story. I'm sad he doesn't get to discover it! He only gets the small not-doing-much-justice descriptions I can give to him :(



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