Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Published: October 20th, 2015 (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Started Reading: July 4, 2017
Finished Reading: July 4, 2017
GenreYoung Adult, Action, Science Fiction
My Rating: 5/5 Stars


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. (goodreads)

Review: (spoiler free)

It’s taken me some time to finally sit down and write this review! I prefer writing a review immediately after finishing a book but I was never sure if I wanted to write one or not for Illuminae, but I thought why not, right? 🙂

As you see from my rating of 5 stars, I loved this book so much! Everything about it felt so new and refreshing, I zoomed through this book in one day.

What I loved about this book was how it took the conventional novel format and played around with it so it became this super creative novel, with the pages all having different writing formats and making use of blank space and tilting words etc., but also taking what could have been a classic love story, and flipping it upside down by adding a planet invasion, space battles, an AI and a plague. This book was packed with twists, turns and fun plot points that just kept me reading longer and longer.

One of the downsides that some people have mentioned was that the formatting of the words got a little tiring after a while, but I never had any issues with it! I really did enjoy how creative the pages were and it made it a super quick read for me.


The use of the words to create art, stars, and outline the map of a ship was just such a great way of telling this story. It all worked so great with the plot and it didn’t feel like a pointless aspect of the novel. I especially loved all the parts with the AI ‘AIDEN’. The pages focusing on AIDEN were really interesting and the formatting of some of those pages made the mood feel even more distressing than if the story was just told as a regular formatted book.

I also adored the two main characters, Kady and Ezra. Ezra was such a romantic and it was so cute to see his messages to Kady, and I loved Kady’s determination and quick thinking in moments where she was the last hope. I am not a big fan of romance in books but the relationship between Kady and Ezra was just to die for. Both the characters were written so well and their bond was incredible and had such a real feeling.

I am also not a big fan of the AI plot line in TV shows, like what The 100 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D had done, but AIDEN was such a well written “character” that its bits were some of my favourite parts. A lot of the plot twists were associated with the AI and they were just so genius, it was so creepy yet interesting at the same time. Really made for such a fun read.

I have nothing but positive things to say about Illuminae and I’m super excited to pick up Gemina! (once I can find a paperback copy hehe)



  1. I ordered this book just for the cover two weeks ago. It hasn’t arrived yet unfortunately, but I seriously had no idea that the authors didn’t use the “regular format”. I’m so going to love reading it, haha! Thank for the review. ^-^


  2. I’ve seen Illuminae around a lot, but I hadn’t realised that the format was so inventive. The pages look so beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with an AI character, but Aiden sounds like an interesting character. I might have to buy this book!


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