Expected publication: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format read: ARC via publisher
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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 one of the 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.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff introduce us to Ezra and Kady in 2575, who began the morning by breaking up, and ended the day by fleeing their planet. As they adjust to life onboard the ships Hypatia and the Alexander, it's up to the two teens to figure out several interconnected mysteries happening on board their respective vessels...
Guys. Guys. THIS BOOK. I started reading my ARC the second I boarded my flight back from Chicago, and I read straight through to when my plane touche down on the west coast. THAT is how good this book is.
(Also, I totally convinced my seatmate to pre-order while mid-filght, so there is that!)
The story begins after the assault on Kerenza, and Kady and Ezra are being interviewed separately on two different ships. While they're safely on board for now, the danger isn't over. Kaufman and Kristoff do a nice job of using the interviews between the two teens to set up the genuine threat that continues to be presented by the BeiTech invaders, and further uses dispatches, lists of the dead and ship-to-ship emails, to emphasize the continuing urgency of the situation.
But even as Kady and Ezra figure out their place in this new world of imminent military attacks, diminishing resources and an unrelenting crew, there's more to come in the fallout from the attack. Using visual cues that range from glorious computer text art, to practical and slightly more somber ship schematics, Kaufman and Kristoff paint a visually harrowing tale that champions both Ezra and Kady's bravery, and the sheer expanse of the obstacles that they need to undergo.
It's difficult to explain just how text as art can both make a reader equally swoon and cringe in fear as they realize both the value of the relationship and the extent of the horror in store for the pair, but Kaufman and Kristoff are able to do it, as they continuously amp up the tension toward a beautifully unexpected, but equally thrilling ending.
Ezra and Kady's journey is a perilous one, full of uncertain enemies, lurking viruses and a romance that carry the both of them through the stars, toward a very uncertain future. Kaufman and Kristoff's fantastic writing and plotting, combined with their imaginative story format, help emphasize and pull readers into a journey that is unforgettable.
(Bonus? This is ONLY THE BEGINNING. Two more books to come, guys!)
Highly recommend for all readers, of all ages and all genre preferences. This is one that you're not going to want to miss.
And as an added bonus, I'll include a Illuminae pendant. Enter below, US/CAN.
About the authors:
Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the Starbound series. Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the Lotus War series. Collectively, they are 12’5” tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met, thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn more about Amie and Jay at amiekaufman.com and jaykristoff.com.