Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 1st read 5-6 July 2017. 5 // 5 stars.
*flails aimlessly* THISBOOKTHISBOOKTHISBOOK!! It’s very very good!!
This is a book that I didn’t know I needed before I found it, read it, and loved it! I just can’t stop thinking about it, the characters, and the wonderful world in which its set. Will I ever stop flailing about this book? Probably not mate.
This book is all about humans set in space, seven/six hundred years in the future. And no surprises, they haven’t changed – they’re still blowing each other up and causing hurt and pain. Two humans in particular are caught in the middle of a crazy war, and try not to die as they escape their burning planet on refugee transport ships. There’s lots of fighting, computers, sassy one-liners, and wonderful pacing!
The book itself is formatted unlike a normal book; it’s set out in data logs, messages, wikipedia-like pages, reports, almost Shaun Tan style artwork, and so on. It’s an interesting layout, but it really works!
Things I liked:
- The format! It’s so so so cool the way it’s laid out, almost like a comic but not, almost like a normal book but not. Art abounds the pages and my artist’s heart was happy!!
- The characters! Ahhh they are so well developed and all are different and so so so relatable. They are really just normal people caught up in a great big space war, and perhaps because they are so relatable it is very easy to see yourself in that same situation.
- It’s so funny! The characters don’t know how to handle situations, so they hide their feelings with humour, sarcasm, and bad jokes. This book is basically the definition of my sense of humour.
- The world! It’s so well developed and I saw it clearly as I frantically turned the pages, trying to find out what happens next.
- Did I mention it’s a page turner? Because it is. It’s just such an exciting plot and you just want to see what happens next! While this doesn’t necessarily always count as a good thing in books – some of my least favourite books are page-turners, for sure – in this one, it serves well to entice the reader to continue being enthralled by the book.
There was one main problem with this book, which I feel like I should probably mention…
What I didn’t like so much:
- There was quite a lot of swearing/profanity. All the swearing was blacked out, but unfortunately my imagination was quite capable of supplying the censored words. I guess it just shows that no book can possibly be perfect if us humans are the ones who wrote it! However, I zoomed through the book and so it didn’t really bug me that much at the time.
- That’s about it??? I just really loved this book!!
I can’t remember the last time that I’ve connected to characters to this extent! I just couldn’t stop reading, and when I stopped, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Ahhh it’s just a very very good book and I love it!
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was its lack of aliens. A lot of space adventures are filled with aliens and halfbreeds and resulting prejudices, and I thought it was quite interesting that this book avoided that popular trope!
All in all, this is a wonderful book set in space that’s, at a basic level, all about humans. Themes about human pain, human suffering, and the human condition are all included in this one! As I said, I’m not normally a fan of sci-fi or books set in space at all, but my love for this book is right up there with my love for Star Wars. And that’s pretty high.
I also added this to my favourites shelf, sooooooo yeah it’s a new favourite 🙂 Highly recommend to any discerning reader who can handle a bit of violence (not too much though)!!
Have you read this book? Any thoughts?