Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Book Blurb:

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.

My Review:

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Space, Zombies--

Told through interviews, government documents, and graphics come the tale of Kady and Ezra's romance as they escape their home planet during an attack. The creative way the story unfolds helps to piece together the events that led to the sketchy attack as well gives insight into who the characters are.

Disclaimer here: I think this book would be best if read on an actual book. I read the story on my ereader and I feel like something perchance special was lost in translation in the creativity of the images. I thought the book was very creative and had an interesting plot idea, but I think I missed out on some of the fun aspects since I did not get the 2 pages spreads that some of the images needed which bums me out a little. Also, I could not see some of the images or words that were written with white on a black background and I could not enlarge the font large enough to read the passages that were written in a design pattern. That being said, I can honestly say I have never read a story that was told in this way. Sure I have experienced books with random tidbits and reports to help create a visual, but never a book compilation of reports and texts and flyers to tell the complete story. The book was very visually pleasing (after I stopped at the book store to look at the actual book version to see what I missed) and I would like to own a physical copy to sit on myself so I can look at it again and again just to see the oddities that live inside.

The good aside, I was not really feeling the actual content of the book. Like I said, it was visually pleasing and very creative, but I just felt kind of whatever about the content. And maybe this makes me a big jerk, but I absolutely hate text speak. Most of this book was text speak and it got on my nerves from the atrocious grammar and spelling issues, as well as all the text words and futuristic slang I felt like I needed a translator to get the entire message. Half the time I didn't care if I understood the whole message because I was barely engaged with the story. I feel like character development worked out moderately well in favor of Ezra, I got an idea of who he is as a person and I could have liked him. Pretty typical teenage guy who just so happens to be living in outerspace and survive an attack, you know, the norm. On the other hand, Kady was not really too detailed. I feel like her reports were more about her actions and less about how she felt or who she was. I got the gist that she was tough and capable but that was about it. I wish the book was not built around their “romance” as main characters, and instead just focused on the virus outbreak because that was my favorite part of the story and the most engaging. I found everything else to be be blah and it took 70ish pages before the outbreak was even mentioned to snag my drifting attention.

I feel bad saying this, but I thought the execution of the book was only ok. I love the concept and the creativity, I just was underwhelmed by the characters. I am sure others will be blown away by the uniqueness of this novel.

I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review.

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