Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Hardcover: 599 pages

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”

Five years ago, a friend loaned me a copy of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I got a quarter of the way into the 700 page tome and decided it just wasn’t for me. I absolutely hated the non-traditional formatting the author used to tell his story. I considered taking scissors to the book in order to “correct” it a handful of times before I finally called it quits. I promised myself that I was done with “unique” formatting. My OCD simply couldn’t handle it. 

I stuck with that promise until Christmas, when I asked for Illuminae. I couldn’t help it. I knew going in that the formatting was going to be… different. I knew that I would probably hate it, but the reviews were just too good to ignore. Plus, I can’t get enough space opera. So, I broke my promise, and I read it. It took me a grand total of three days to blow through all 599 pages. 

And guess what? I didn’t reach for my scissors once. 

Illuminae is wonderful. 

Kaufman and Kristoff took a risk with the storytelling and it really paid off. I was certain there would be issues with character development due to these decisions. I was wrong. Katy and Ezra were extremely well developed and easy to love. They even utilized IM chat speak in order to show the differences in personality. It was very well done (if a tad bit annoying at first). 

This book was like reading a puzzle. The reader is constantly storing information provided in the dossier in order to piece together the entire story. It made the story more engaging. Nothing was obvious or predictable, and nothing was given away too soon. I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book. 

To top it all off Illuminae is the most beautiful book I have ever owned. Each page is more visually stunning than the next. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into creating this graphic masterpiece. It is truly stunning. 

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys science fiction or just wants to read something fun and attractive with a nice romance. My only suggestion would be to buy it in hardcover or paperback, as this book would be nearly impossible to read in an ebook format.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.



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