Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

Fun fact: this was the first annotated book I ever read. My book bestie Bec (@princessbecreads) popped post it notes of thoughts and reactions all through the book and it made it feel like we were reading it together – it was so cute!


The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations 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, 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 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 the hell 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-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

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.

Blurb from Allen & Unwin Website


I’ve gotta say – I loved this book. I wasn’t sure I would when I picked it up, because Sci-Fi isn’t really my genre…but to be honest the number of great sci-fi/fantasy reads I’ve been picking up lately probably means I have to stop saying that…The point is, even as someone who doesn’t have a tendency towards this genre, it was great. Let me tell you why.

The format! Oh, the format. It was like a character in itself the way words literally bounce through pages at times. The novel is laid out like a dossier on the events that have occurred. There are status reports on the ship, transcripts of conversations, arrest reports, intercepted personal messages and more. More than that, there’s also ‘briefing notes’ “clipped” to the pages which are from the unknown person who has put this dossier together. Honestly, I thought it was going to be way too confusing for me, but I got the hang of it very quickly and Kaufman and Kristoff just made it work so perfectly. It is, in summary, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

The characterisation is also stellar in this book, each person decidedly themselves – flaws and all. I always love to read flawed main characters, and this book is no exception…especially when AIDAN is added to the mix.

This book has a lot of sass, it feels like it knows how good it is, in a weird way, and comes to life in your hands as you read it. It truly was an experience to read (and I’ve also heard the audiobook is stellar!).


Verdict: I loved it – worth a read!

Page Length: 599

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

I’m definitely ready to give Gemina a go now!

Have you read any books written in a unique style or format? What did you think?

Until next time,

M xx

Buy Illuminae here

10 thoughts on “Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I was in the same boat as you where I didn’t think I’d like it because I wasn’t a huge sci-fi fan, but I think this series actually operates as a great entry point into the genre. I’m definitely preparing to take more baby steps towards some other sci-fi series throughout the year.


  2. I actually thought I wasn’t going to like this book till I actually borrowed Illuminae in my library. I ended up liking it! I have yet to finish reading the second and final installment. This series is definitely a part of my 2019 reading goals. 🙂


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