Friday, January 22, 2016

5 Star Book Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)


Authors: Amie Kaufman
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Jay Kristoff
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Edition: Hardcover
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository
Goodreads Link
Rating: 5 Stars

THIS BOOK GUYS THIS BOOK!  This review won't have spoilers, but I'm more than willing to do a spoilery review because I have so many things to say about it!  I actually buddy read this book with the lovely Maryam Dinzly and you should definitely go follow her and check out her blog!  This was my first buddy read and I think it went really well!

Illuminae is about Ezra and Kady, who start the novel having broken up only a few hours earlier.  Well, as Ezra put it "You picked one hell of a day to dump me, Kades" since the novel begins with their home planet being invaded by a nefarious corporation and follows their journey/struggle to get to safety over the course of about one year.  As you may have heard/noticed, this isn't any regular sort of novel.  In fact, it's rather unconventional in a beautiful way.  The best way I can describe it is like reading a "found footage" film.

Because of this strange format I was worried I wouldn't connect to well with either the story or the characters.  But, I had absolutely no problem with this!  In fact, I would argue that this book actually made it easier to connect with both the characters and story since it felt so much more real than a regular novel.  Even getting only a small peek into Kady's mind, it didn't feel like an un-personal novel.  And, yes, there are a bunch of characters, but they're not all swimming around in your head.  They're easy to remember, perhaps because of all the unique situations they're in and the roles that they play.

Setting is a really big factor in this book, and while it wasn't cut and dry, I did almost feel like I was living aboard either the Alexander or the Hypatia.  It's not exactly vivid, but it's not a far reach from the sort of world we live in now.  Which, perhaps, makes the story even more unsettling.  I do think one could draw parallels between this book and the refugees from Syria if one was so inclined.

The biggest thing about this book was the sheer amount of twists I was unprepared for.  You go into the book expecting one page, then the next page has the world turning upside down, and the page after that suddenly everything's inverted.  It's such a pleasant ride!  And while there's a huge amount of heartbreak, there's also a huge amount of hope in this book.  

My recommendation: enjoy the ride and savor every moment, because an experience like this book comes around maybe once every few years.


10 comments:

  1. I am so excited for the next book in the series! This one was sooooooo good!

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    1. I'm literally salivating over here just thinking about more goodness from this series!

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  2. OOH i loved this book! *-* I can’t wait for part 2! Personally I thought the first 200 pages were a bit hard to get into, but as soon as I passed that threshold I couldn’t put it down! Nice review! :)

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    1. I agree, the first hundred pages or so, for me, I wasn't completely sure how much I would like the story. I knew I enjoyed the storytelling method quite a bit, but the story itself was still up in the air.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I can’t wait to read this book. It looks so good!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I'm reading this one right now and I am really enjoying it! I'm thinking that it will probably be an easy 5 star rating. :)

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    1. I can't wait to see your review! It's so fantastic!

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  5. I've had this book on my shelf for months and just haven't picked it up. It's like I'm hoarding it or something. Your review makes me want to hoard it longer, because I don't want the reading experience to end. That probably makes zero sense!
    Dianna

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    1. Haha I know what you mean! It's a book you'll want to savor since it's such an interesting set-up, but once you start you won't want to stop! I hope you enjoy it when you do pick it up!

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