Book - 2015
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Caught in the crossfire of a megacorporation rivalry in 2575, Kady and Ezra, who have just broken up, flee their home planet on an evacuation ship that is quickly overwhelmed by a fast-spreading plague.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780553499148
Call Number: TEEN F KAUF
Characteristics: 599 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Kristoff, Jay


From Library Staff

Caught in the crossfire of a megacorporation rivalry in 2575, Kady and Ezra, who have just broken up, flee their home planet on an evacuation ship that is quickly overwhelmed by a fast-spreading plague.

an untraditional space odyssey in your untraditional book format

From the critics

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Jan 07, 2020

This series is unlike anything I have ever read. The story is told through a compilation of files and random transmissions. It is both creative and a bit confusing because I don't get to know the main characters as well as I would like. The plot is fast-paced and I could not put it down. Amazing.

Aug 19, 2019

I wish I had come across this sci-fi romance sooner. It’s such a ride going through an evidence folder where we’re given various sides to what is happening, but the main focus is on Kady Grant and Ezra Mason. I just finished it and I want to gush about it all. Definitely a great read.

Jun 29, 2019

I'm bumping the rating to 4 stars for originality of format. The best comparison I can think of is that, instead of reading a murder mystery, you're handed the evidence folder from the detective's desk and work your way through that. Except that this isn't a murder mystery; it's more along the lines of 'escape the zombie horde. in space. with a crazy computer trying to run the show'.

So, what does that mean exactly? Well, for me, it meant that I didn't wind up connecting to any of the characters particularly strongly because you never truly get inside their heads or hearts. Everything is a recording - what the character is choosing to show others.

But the reading experience was interesting. In many cases, the shape and arrangement of text was as meaningful as what was written. So, to some degree, it was a novel that was half play (the parts that were transcripts of conversations) and half poetry.

I don't think I'd want to read a *lot* of books like this. But I'm glad I read one. It was refreshing and different. And I will finish the series. Despite the fact that zombies aren't really my thing.

Jun 17, 2019

This series is one of my favorites of all time. I loved the visual components of the book, including the diagrams and pictures. They really added to the story and made it more realistic! The plot is very interesting and intense. There were many cliffhangers and twists I hadn't seen coming! I would recommend this book and the entire Illuminae trilogy to anyone that enjoys science fiction novels, romance and adventure.

May 03, 2019

I read this book a while ago and I was really amazed at how the author was able to use a somewhat unusual method of storytelling that kept the reader hooked.

This is one of my favorite books. It is written for teens but has the plot structure and character development of an adult novel while managing to have more modern humor and sarcasm. I have read this book multiple times and it is amazing how it manages to tell the story so well while being styled like a court case. It is a really unique book and a must read.

May 01, 2019

Came for a fun space adventure, stayed for the emotional (at times shatteringly so) race for survival.

After escaping an invaded space colony, our main girl Kady and her ex Ezra, are hurtling through space to try to get somewhere safe. And the biggest threat is not aliens or the invading force that's chasing them or the crushing void of space. The biggest threat comes from within.

Honestly, I thought I was just signing up for a fun space romp written in epistolary form (I'm a sucker for epistolary narratives). And it starts that way, as the illegal Kerenza mining colony (somewhere in space) is invaded by the big, bad BeiTech corporation. After all, it starts with Kady and Ezra recounting their events--for the record, of course--and intertwining sarcasm and snipes with the hectic severity of the invasion. The body count is high. And it only gets higher from there.

The stakes get high fast, as Ezra, Kady, and the rest of the Kerenza survivors escape on three different space ships. Kady's a wise-cracking hacker with an authority problem while Ezra quickly gets conscripted into pilot duty because...when your options are limited, the 18 year-old kid is as good as it's gonna get. Of course there's romance, and instant messages in space. You meet a lot of different characters but...don't get attached. Then a deadly virus hits and the highly logical on-ship AI turns a little...peculiar, and in space, no one can hear you scream.

I laughed, I cried, I wanted to throw the book across the room, all while wanting to stay up and not have to put it down.

If you can't tell, I love it, and the other two books that followed. Some find the format hard to follow, but I thought it was visually appealing and the perfect medium for the story. If you struggle with the format, I'd definitely check out the audiobook, read by a full cast, which adds a different depth to the story.

In short, if you like space and you like high stakes stories, give this one a try!

Mar 05, 2019

A pretty fun read the formatting was a bit odd but got used it as I read more of the book. An interesting take on science fiction.

Jan 24, 2019

Real rating: 4.75 stars

WHOA. So I guess getting this book at Barnes and Noble the other day DEFINITELY wasn’t a mistake. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I’d heard a few people I know say that it was decent, but “Illuminae” honestly blew me out of the water. Though a teensy bit hard to read at times (part of why I didn’t give it all 5 stars), the formatting and design of the book (told in text messages, recorded conversations, logs by the main characters, documentation of security footage, etc.) was astounding, and not to mention creative. It took a little getting used to, but it was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Period.
I laughed, I got slightly freaked out, I nearly cried, I worried for the characters. “Illuminae” was 100% a rollercoaster of emotions, packed with enough plot twists to fill a swimming pool. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole 600-ish pages (pHEW). Even though the characters weren’t people that I necessarily related to, or even liked all that much, I still found myself rooting for them every step of the way. Though it was, by all means, rather bleak, I enjoyed close to every second reading this novel.
One of my friends (the same one who also read it recently and said it was good) said that book 2 was something of a let-down, but that ending really left me hungry for more. The way that a post-credits scene in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie leaves you hungry for more (and makes you want to drain your body’s entire supply of tears). So for once, I think I’ll be throwing said friend’s judgment out the window; excuse me while I go see if it’s available at the library. ;)

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 16, 2019

Illuminae follows the story of Ezra and Kady, two 17-year-olds that live on a small mining colony, Kerenza, that is being mined illegally by, WUC, a large corporation. Despite the illegality of the operation, the colony has developed as a regular little metropolis, with schools, hospitals and all the other amenities of urban life.

That is, until a competing company, BeiTech, comes in and tries their best to kill everyone on the planet. Because the colony is illegal, BeiTech knows that if they can keep a lid on it, they can take over the mining without ever being called to answer for their tactics. Unfortunately for BeiTech, survivors are picked up by one military ship, the Alexander; and two smaller vessels from Kerenza also escape. The military grade ship, the Alexander, has been damaged in the skirmish over Kerenza and is unable to create a stable wormhole for the ships to move quickly through the star system, instead limping along for months to the closest station that may or may not offer safety.

The story is told through a series of instant message conversations, interview transcripts, memos, the interpretation of video footage, the internal text of the AI and private journal entries. It is clear from notes attached to all this documentation that the whole has been assembled for someone's review, but it isn't clear who or for what purpose. And how does any of this tie to the title? Hmmm????

As we move farther into the text, the notes fall away and the text is left to stand on its own as we are pulled into the story of the survivors trying to outrun BeiTech's ship, the Lincoln. Several months into the voyage, some other problems begin to crop up, the AI that powers the Alexander, and provides its automatic security has been damaged. AIDAN, Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network, has developed some quirks that are far too reminiscent of HAL in 2001.

Even with all that plot, don't be misled into thinking that this book is all plot and action and no characters. The plot is amazing and there are some nail-biting moments, but the authors do an amazing job of creating developed characters all through text snippets and third party interpretation. Even if you are not a fan of sci-fi, you may enjoy this as we deal with emotional manipulation, PTSD, and issues of what must be done in the name of the greater good.

My one complaint with the ebook version is that because some text is in image format, it is impossible to increase its size, making some pages extremely difficult to read. I would definitely recommend a physical copy.

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Aug 19, 2019

khood91 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

May 03, 2019

_exe thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add a Quote
Aug 19, 2019

“And likes roses in his hands Death blooms.”

Sep 18, 2017

Am i not merciful?

JCLChrisK Feb 05, 2016

Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.

JCLChrisK Feb 05, 2016

No neuroprogrammer is stupid enough to make a computer capable of conceptualizing deceit.


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