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

5/5 Stars 
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published October 20th, 2015

Synopsis: 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.

Goodness me, "heart-stopping, high-octane" are the exact words I would use to describe Illuminae. This book was fantastic in a way that was so unique and special. Every page had something new on it, whether it be the format the information is presented to you on, or the character dynamics. It was incredibly fast paced and straight to the point. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book, and wanted to read it over and over again until I had precious Gemina in my hands. This trilogy will be one of my top faves and the second isn't even out yet - but I know. The writing was insanely good -smooth, descriptive, and intriguing - and I now believe that Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are the dynamic duo of this century. 

Let's start with the characters. I love this cast of characters and the dialogue/dynamics that take place between each of them. Kady and Ezra are hilarious together (even when apart) and have a sort of chemistry, despite the current situation, that keeps them both alive and connected. Kady is intelligent, vigilant, and hard-headed, which really gets her through the distress of, well, everything. She's assiduous, which makes her an excellent hacker. Ezra has a great sense of humor, is carefree, and may get feisty at times, but he's got his best intentions in mind. I love these two soooo much and can't wait  to see what awaits for them in Gemina. The supporting characters were just as complex and captivating, and provided excellent insight into the present life of Kady, Ezra, and everyone aboard the fleet, but also really showed the situation at hand for what it was. 

I wholeheartedly loved the writing featured in this book. The dialogue between the characters was witty, sarcastic, and had me laughing out loud. It also had me teary eyed and emotional - my heart wrenching for the loss of so many and the frustrating challenges these characters were facing. The formatting of this book really made the story all the more compelling and interesting to read. These authors deciding to go above and beyond the norm is exquisite and I commend them for an idea completely out of the box. 

Illuminae is a book that will make, and has made, a huge impact on the ya community, for both authors and readers. If you haven't read this yet, I certainly think you should. If you are ever experiencing a slump and desperately wish to get out of it, this would be the perfect book for you. Its mix between fast paced, action packed, and emotional heart-render, will keep you wanting more. Before you know it, it'll be 3 am and you'll be breathing like you just ran 10 miles. Illuminae was fantastic and I cannot wait for Gemina!! 

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