Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Science Fiction / Dystopia
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: October 20th 2015
Page count: 600 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Book Summary:
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.

*The Chef's Review*
    Actual rating: 5/5 stars


I take it back ... I take back everything I had thought about the book after seeing the format it was written in.

At first I was super excited in reading Illuminae because everyone was talking about it and I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. I had little knowledge about its plot because I wanted to avoid spoilers at all cost; but then I looked at the format. My first reaction was: What?! Seriously. I prefer books with normal narrating. I struggled to get the hang of it and I had no idea what was going until I got past the first 50 pages. That was when it clicked for me. Just WOW.

What I liked:

Where should I begin?

The characters were magnificent. I truly enjoyed the way each character evolved during the book. There wasn't much information about them with the exception of the main characters; however, they felt so unbelievably real. The whole scenery was very well done. I thought that I was going to miss the narrating and that I would not get the whole picture clearly of the situation, but I was wrong. I felt right inside the story like it was me next to the characters. I got sucked into the story and felt everything.

It was a fast-paced book. Most of the books that I have read about science-fiction are full of technicalities which I am ashamed to admit that I don't all get and for that matter I am forced to have my server opened to look up some of the terms. Illuminae is not like that. I found it pretty easy to read  without me going to look terms up so that I could grasp the context. Also, while reading, it has some illustrations that just makes you honestly grasp the position in which the characters are all living in the moment. Boy, oh boy!

Finally, I want to say: Yikes! The plot is just so terrifying to even think about it. Why do sci-fi books always leave me like this? We are so small in a vast universe.

What didn't do it for me:

Mmmmm... I guess the only irritating part for me was getting used to the format, but I cannot complain for that now. I ended up loving it <3

Final Verdict:

To wrap it up, this book gave me so many emotions. I felt depressed, confused, trapped, nervous, anxious, relieved and it still managed to squeeze a bit of humor. It was great and I am off to buy Gemina as soon as possible. I must finish this series completely. Highly recommend it to all sci-fi book lovers out there. I loved it so much, we featured it in our bookstagram yesterday with the picture below. Happy reading, darlings <3


  1. Yay! I'm so happy you loved Illuminae! I pretty much had the exact same initial reaction before and when I first started reading it, so I completely understand. It's just so good! I've had Gemina since the pre-order, but I still haven't read it for some reason that I can't quite fathom, so I hope to read that soon as well. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Yes, Illuminae was a very good read. I hope I can get a copy of Gemina soon to continue these series, but I get what you mean about having a copy and not been able to read it. The piles of books to read keep getting bigger and bigger and there is just so little time to catch up. I hope you get the chance to read it soon :)

  2. Great review. I seldom read science fiction and often have hard time about technicalities. My imagination is not good. Reading your review made me want to read it :)

    1. Oh! I hope you get the chance to squeeze it in your to read pile. Give it a try! Who knows, you might end up liking it ;)