Illuminae Book Cover Illuminae
Illuminae Files #1
Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Allen & Unwin
November 1st 2015

One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.

The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra's planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all-consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy; and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realises that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it's too late.


This is what we’ve trained for, people. This is the moment, and this is the hour. We will hold the line. We will not bend and we will not break. I tell you all, here and now: We do not die this day.

First off… Let me just say that this book…


I cannot begin to explain how I much I loved this book.

There are no words.

I couldn’t formulate the right words to describe how amazing my whole reading experience was for Illuminae! I could not recommend this book enough.

Pick it up!

Seriously. What are you waiting for.

read the book

Read it!


Okay. Calming down.

Let’s talk about the plot shall we?

At first this seemed like your typical YA book. Why? Because you immediately get introduced to a male (Ezra) and female (Kady) character who were obviously involved. You’d think, “Oh fuck. Another YA Sci-fi book that is set on outer space. I bet it would be more of a romance that actual Sci-fi.”

But no… I was so wrong.

Story follows Kady and Ezra and their journey to finding their way back to each other after being separated by a disaster that destroyed their entire planet.

The survivors of the attack were carried by either Hypatia or Alexander to safety. I would not even dare to explain what Hypatia and Alexander are because I have no idea how to even form it into words. All I can tell you guys are that these two are like spacecraft. Alexander was a battlecarrier, so I assume it’s like one of these ships that holds attacks other ships. As for Hypatia, I remembered it being the ship that carried most of the scientist and the smart people.

Going back, there was actually another ship, the Copernicus. But that ship was destroyed. Not by the people at BeiTech, but by Alexander’s own Artificial Intelligence called AIDAN.

Yes. This book has a sick, psychopathic AI that wants to kill everyone that is a threat even those that made him, that commanded him.

“Better I should kill them when they are done. Better I should kill them all.”

But I loved him.

This artificial intelligence was one of the main reasons I loved this goddamned book!

You must be asking, why does AIDAN want to kill everyone?

That would be something, you have to find out on your own.



This book was not written in the traditional format. It was told in series of emails, IMs, protocol messages, chats, reports, and a bunch of other cool sci-fi shit.

The experience of reading this book was definitely something. I felt like I was one of the members of the research team investigating the events that occured in the involved spacecrafts. I was like I was part of that world.

It was so amazing!

I don’t think any book has ever made me feel so involved as this book had.


I have read YA Scifi books before. While some are great, there are some that were really disappointing (Yes… I am looking at you Alienated).

One of the reasons I’m disappointed is because of the fact that some Scifi books only pretend to be Scifi books. It focused more on the romance part than the Scifi part. That really annoys me. When I go to a Scifi book, I want to read a book that has a whole lot of Scifi in it and not just a fluffy romance book set in outer space.

See the difference?

I’m not saying this book doesn’t have romance. Of course there is. And I’d like to say it was quite convincing. But the good thing about it was, it took a step back in the story.

The story wasn’t just about a girl and a boy that got separated and getting back together. No. This book wasn’t just about that (thank goodness).

This book was about survival.
It was about self-sacrifice.
It was about what would happen when humans become so dependent to machines.
It was about family.
It was about friendship.
And yes, also about love.


I cannot think of one character in this book that I hate.

I’m really surprised how close I became to these characters, especially to Kady, Ezra, and the crazy AIDAN. They all grew on me despite the weird and unconventional storytelling.

Kady was such a kickass character. I loved how smart and determined she was in saving the people that she loved, even at the cost of her own life. But that doesn’t mean she was reckless with her life. Everything she does was with a purpose. She wasn’t trying to be a hero for everyone. She was just trying to protect those people who were important to her.

Ezra… I loved Ezra. He was probably one of the most cheeziest dude I have ever met. Haha. And I meant that as a compliment. And as per Kady, he was “the most romantic idiot” ever. He wasn’t the brooding type of male character most YA books often have. He was this light-hearted guy who, like Kady, only wants to protect the people he loves. Here is a sample of Ezra’s cheeziness.

“You’re all I think about. Every time I close my eyes, I see you. Every time I dream, you’re there. I think about us and how I messed it up and it’s like someone is tearing my insides out.

“Since I will not send this, I also feel it is my duty to inform you that almost six months on I think I still love yu and that makes me sad because love shouldn’t feel this way. Is like getting kicked in the stomach every time I think of you and it makes me wat to roll my face across this keyboardiusdgfsgsjghlkdfh;lds”


Haha. See. I love Ezra.


Think of him as ULTRON. If you watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’ll probably know who I’m talking about. Only AIDAN doesn’t have a physical form. Wait. Hold it. Scratch that. He does have one. He was the entire ship, Alexander. He controls every piece of that ship. Anyways, he was crazy, but I sort of get where he was coming from. Unlike Ultron from the movie, AIDAN’s purpose for doing things were made clear. He wasn’t doing stuff just to be the main villain of the story. Being able to understand what AIDAN did is what makes his character compelling.


I loved the romance in this book!

I’m not going to spoil anything.

NOPE. I won’t say a thing about it.

But I bought it. Haha. It was funny at first. I was like, “WTF. Seriously?” But then, I really warmed up to the idea. I know a lot of people would not agree with me though. Haha. Because one part of it was slightly creepy. Haha. But I didn’t care. It was so unique and refreshing that I just could not care less.


If there is one thing that keeps me reading a book, it’s the pace of the story.

I can handle terrible world-building.
I can tolerate stupid to live heroes/heroines.
I can do with bad writing.
But I could not deal with slow or irregularly paced books.

Okay. There would be certain occasions when I would read a slow book and like it, but when it’s a book about space or an entirely different place which has more than 500 pages long, the a fast or an even pace is very, very important.

And this book, was definitely evenly paced.


I’m not exactly sure how to describe them, but this book has all this cool illustrations inside it. I would highly recommend to get a printed copy because it’s a very beautiful book!!!


I’d have to congratulate both the authors who made this book!

*clap. clap clap*

This book was not only done in a very creative way, but it was also written so well that I believe every piece of this book. Everything was believable. From the conversations between Kady and Ezra through IMS. Those sort-of-Wiki entries. Those confidential reports. All that shit. They were all so cleverly done. I loved it!


Yeah. There is a twist.

Wait for it.

It’s there.

I was so mind blown. I cannot even…

I literally had to pause for a few minutes to let it sink it. These were happening I think during the last 3/4 of the book.

Holy crap, it was just amazing.


I loved this book, okay? I freaking loved it to bits that I would forgive any errors it may have had.

But I did take note of these things that others might find problematic with this book.


There were a lot of Science jargons in this book. While people like me, enjoyed it, I get why others wouldn’t.

There were terms that not everyone would understand. I would admit that I don’t understand some of them too, but I just didn’t seem to mind it because of how engrossed I am with reading it.


This book might be too fast paced for some, especially during the first 100 chapters where the invasion and extraction happened.

I get how people might get confused on what’s happening and I was too, for a time. It would info-dump a lot of things during the first few pages because it wanted you to be caught up with what’s currently happening with the fleet.


I want more of this.

I am serious.

I want the second book right now because… I want more of this weird and exhillariating reading experience.

And for those of you who haven’t picked this book up yet, please pick it up. I would have to say that you have to be patient with the first 100 pages (or less) of this book because it was a bit confusing. It would info-dump you with so much stuff, that could get a bit disconcerting at times. But don’t worry, the story picks up quite fast from there.


  • Kaitlin ☺

    Ahhh, this review is reminding me how exciting Illuminae is. I remember being so INTO this book and how exhilarating the whole experience was. I’m glad you loved it!!

    • I actually just finished Gemina which is why I decided to put up this review first. I’m still in the middle of writing them though. Haha. The second one is even mooooreee action packed and overall just amazing. 🙂

  • Oh please!!!! 🙂 Get them. They’re amazing.

  • I’ve never tried reading it on audiobook, but you did mention it was great! Haha. Gemina was awesome tina!!! I swear. 😉