Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Monday, November 9, 2015

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Pages: 600
Song I Played While Reading: Survivors by Hardwell & Dannic (pretty fitting name, eh?)
Rating: 5 stars

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she'd have to do today. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. 
The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet thats 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, exes Kady and Ezra-who are barely even talking to each other- are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. 
But the warship is the least of their problems. A deadly virus has broken out and ismutating, with terrifying results. The fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what the fuck is 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-boyfirend she swore she'd never speak to again.

This book was
It was achingly beautiful, and heart-stopping, and witty, and romantic, and so incredibly sad. It's all of those, and more. And shockingly, this isn't like any normal book. This is told through military documents, emails, IM's, medical reports, interviews, pictures, and more. Yet this book is one of the most emotionally-charged novels I've read this year. I didn't think it was possible, yet it happened. These two authors are fucking geniuses.
Good lord, I don't even know where to start! The characters were incredible in this story. I cared about literally every single one of them, and my heart constantly took a beating because of it. Kady is my kind of girl: short, sassy, and a god damn genius. I WISH I was as smart as her. She's also so, so brave and kicked so much ass, I cried sometimes just because of her will to live. Ezra was SO adorable and these two together were an absolute riot. They balanced each other so well, with her working the computers and hacking into things while he was all physical power and ship savvy. I shipped them SO hard. Kezra? Ezrady? I SHIP 'EM.
There's nothing I love more than epistolary formatting in a book. And yes, I googled that shit because I knew there was a name for it because something so visually stunning couldn't NOT have one. Not only did it help me fly through this 600 page book, but it helped me visualize everything and made me feel as if I was smack-dab in the middle of the story. Those pages were Ezra and the pilots were attacking the Lincoln? I was flying alongside them, voices pouring into my ears and explosions lighting up my panels. It was almost jarring, since I would get so engrossed that when I would stop I'd have to blink a couple times and realize, damn, I'm on Earth. My head, even now, still feels like it's floating in space.
I loved the multiple storylines and how, even though this centered mostly around Kady, we got to see a lot of other people's experiences as well. It broadens the story, making it feel that much more real.
The ending was MIND-BLOWING. My heart was pounding and I had no idea what was going to happen. KAIDAN 4 LIFE. And then the realization on who was behind one of the mega corporations... oh my god. My jaw dropped. And then I wanted to cry because, god dammit, HOW CAN I BE AS COOL AND BADASS AS KADY IS?
I recommend this to everyone. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of sci-fi, just try it. There's something in this for everyone, and it's so much more than what it seems. It's a trilogy (thank you, Jesus) and what Kaufman and Kristoff are planning on doing is mind-bending. I bow down to these two. THEY'RE MY NEW KING AND QUEEN OF STORYTELLERS

""I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short."

"I know this is all of my design- to leave her without hope. She would have never stayed otherwise. But some part of me wants her to rail against this end. To curse and kick, and scream at it. Wretched as it is, this is the only life she has. How can she go so quietly in this long good night?"

"The afflicted follow, wolves with lolling tongues and gunmetal claws.
One stops to hold out his arms and twirl in the fire extinguishers spray. One is shot through the kneecaps by a female comrade in their race for the door- I presume she thought ladies should precede before gentlemen.
Madness in many colors."

""Do you see?"
She says nothing. Simply stares.
"The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance."

"He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms."

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