Sunday, February 28, 2016

REVIEW: ILLUMINAE BY JAY KRISTOFF AND AMIE KAUFMAN.

Title: Illuminae
Author: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 599
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance

Synopsis:

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.
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Been staring at this blank space for hours and my brain has been hypnotized by the blinking cursor. Whenever I try to start this review with something I thought is clever, I delete and then stare at the cursor again. Type > delete > repeat for hours > I give up.

But here I go. But I am warning you, this review might be one of those incoherent ones I am so good at writing.

I read Illuminae (according to Goodreads) back in August of 2015 but it is only now that I found the courage to translate my feels to words. My feelings were just all over the place, my heart shattered to tiny bits and there is no point in trying anymore. That is one major review hungover right there. Illuminae was just the epitome of all YA uniqueness that finding the right words to use seriously took me quite a long time.

The first time I saw the BEA ARCs of this book, I got intimidated by how thick it is. I know myself too well that I won't be able to follow through thick books or slow paced ones. 600-page book is quite a long one so I was hesitant. When Hazel of Stay Bookish pushed her ARC to me, I grabbed the chance (I was then sent an ARC). And then everything became emotionally chaotic. Turns out that 600-page book just isn't enough to subdue the need for Book 2.

This line might have been said a thousand times over by people who have read it but I will say it again, I have never read a book like this before. I mean, the people responsible for the printing format made such a statement in the Sci-Fi genre. Every page of this book is so appealing I kept going back just to stare. The formatting was so clever like how the spaceships are trailed by the words, how the reports looked so authentic and how curse words are erased that you could use any curse words you want. It was like a fun game at some point that reading Illuminae made you want to re-read it right away.

Kristoff and Kaufman made such a great team. The balance in Illuminae was so obvious -- it wasn't too cheesy but has the right amount of romance, it wasn't too heavy on the technical aspect but has the right amount of guided explanation and it wasn't too crazy for the imagination but has the perfect elements of what you are already familiar with. What's striking is that even if there are similarities to movies such as Star Wars or Iron Man, the authors' signatures stand out. I was so hooked from page one that I felt like the book swallowed me, I felt like I wasn't reading but watching.

The love department didn't let me down. Where in the world could you see a couple breaking up on page 1 in the middle of an invasion? Where would you laugh your arse off watching the characters being cranky, funny, inappropriately sexy and nerdy while trying to save each other? Where would you be able to feel the need to cry for friends who fought hard and faced danger not only to salvage what's left but also to be there for you? Where would you get your heart broken more than all your lifetime's heartbreaks combined? Only Illuminae. This book is so heart breakingly good, I just can't tell you hard enough how brilliant it is. I cannot breathe it is so magnificent.

And even if I want to talk more about Kady and Ezra (hi there, sexy!), I won't. Because let me tell you this, I think I am close to liking

<*error*>

the technology behind AIDAN

<*error*>

 and I want to get to know

<*error*>

 this piece of tech deeper. This AI broke me so damn bad that I want

<*error*>

it to justify itself even a little.

<*error*>

It is a lunatic son of a bleep

<*error*>

but I can sense there would be something more to it

<*error*>. like humanity, perhaps?

Illuminae has taken me to an intoxicating universe where difficulty bonds love stronger, where technology pushes faith in humanity higher and where danger turns intentions better. There is nothing like Illuminae and by this I now pledge my solemn loyalty and allegiance to Kristoff and Kaufman because THEY HAVE NOT BEEN MERCIFUL at all.

Thank you Hazel of Stay Bookish for lending your BEA ARC and Penguin Random House for sending in my ARC!


"You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who'll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back."
"Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death."

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