Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I was not going to read all of this huge book today. But once I started it, I could not stop. Not for a moment. I had to finish it. I had to know what happened next. Made me dizzy to read it so fast, but it was worth it. Every second of it. Illuminae was perfection. Just like I knew it would be. I loved it the most.

I have been dying to read this book for ages. Ever since it was first announced. Because I adore Jay Kristoff. His Stormdancer trilogy is goddamn amazing. And I will read anything he writes. I also really adore Amie, and love her writing too. So this book. I needed it so much. I have been trying my very best to get it.

And then yesterday, it arrived in the mail. Which was such a huge surprise. It was the most precious gift I have gotten. Huge thank you to Becky at Stories & Sweeties for gifting me with this stunning print ARC, with the cover-not-final cover. It means the world to me. I wanted this edition and this book so much. And just. It was the best gift. I adore you Becky. I had to read this book right away. I knew I would love it. But I was nervous too, as the way it is written is so special and different, and not done before, so it worried me a little bit. But it shouldn't have. Because this book was so beautiful. The way it is written is perfection. The pages are so gorgeous. The writing is amazing. The story is all kinds of creepy and awful and so good.

I have no idea what to say about this book. Or where to begin. And what to not say about it. And just. I want to express all the thoughts I have inside my head right now. But there is so much. There is so much I loved about this book. There is so much happening at all times. And I don't know how to put it all into words. But I will try. Because I loved it so. And I want you to love it too. I need you all to give this book a chance. You won't regret it. Not once. Well, okay, something awful happens before the end. But loved it.

I adore all the characters in this book. Well. Some of them. Mostly I only loved Ezra and Kady. But there are so many people in this book. So many to get to know. And I adored so many of them. And then most of them died. And ugh. I'm not such a forgiving person, lol. But yeah. I loved reading about every character in this book. Though it did give me a lot of heartbreak. I even grew to like the very awful AIDAN. Seriously. The sort of robot. Which I'm not saying anything about. But yeah. It was awesome.

If I were to say that this book is about one person, I would say it is about Kady. Because most of this book focus around her. And Ezra too, a lot of the time. Yet not enough for me, hmph. But Kady. Damn. She is an amazing character. Such a strong girl. She managed to do so much, while being so broken, and ugh. I loved her so. I loved getting to know her, slowly. I loved seeing how much she cared about people. Reading about all the things she had to do. It was awful and heartbreaking and I loved every moment.

This book isn't told in the normal way. Not once is it told from the point of view of Kady. Well. Okay. We get to read a few short journal entries from her, but those don't count. This book is told from the viewpoint of cameras. Of reports. Of chat messages. And other things like that. And gosh, it was so different. Yet I loved it to pieces. It was so special. I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I wish it had been told in the regular way, but in the end I truly loved the way this book was written. It was special. Amazing.

I can't begin talking about the plot in this book. I just. It is so much. So much happens. All over the place. And it was the best. It was written so well. It was so interesting and exciting to read about. I wanted to know more at all times. Yet at the same time I didn't. Because damn. There is a lot of death in this book. Hurts my heart. Yet so lovely to read about too. This book wasn't afraid of killing people. It wasn't afraid of anything. And I loved that. Oh so much. Illuminae is special to me. So glad I loved it.

As you already know, Kady just broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra. And then the same day their planet is invaded. And.. wow. It was done so well. Ugh, how I loved it. Some of the people from this planet manage to escape, into three different spaceships. Heartbreakingly, Kady and Ezra are in different ships. Which bothered me a little. But I loved it too. Another ship is following them, wanting to murder them all. It is all so damn exciting. And scary. Because so much awful happens. All the time. I loved it.

I could talk forever about all the spaceships. How amazing they were written. How huge they were. But I shall not talk about it all. I will say that I loved reading about them all. How this book was set in space all the time. I loved it. So damn amazing. But oh. There is a virus in this book. And oh my gosh. It was awful. It was so depressing. So heartbreaking to read about. I didn't expect all of that to happen. But damn, I was happy it did. It was so awful. And oh how I enjoyed reading about it all, lol. It was the best.

I wish to share so much about the plot. But I'm done talking about it now, I think. I wish for you all to read this book without knowing all the details, like I did. Because it was amazing. And oh so surprising. Truly the greatest. So yes. The story in this book is the best. It is exciting all the time. It surprised me so much. And it was just so good to read about. I loved every moment. And I want more. I need more. The ending was spectacular. Evil. Yet so perfect. Oh, how I loved it. Sigh. I need much more, though.

I must mention the romance. Kady and Ezra. My god, how I ship them. They spent just about all of this book being apart from each other. Which broke my heart. But they talk through messages. And I loved it. They are so damn cute. I loved their small fights. I loved the way they typed to each other. It was oh so cute. Their reason for breaking up was stupid, though. Hmph. But it isn't talked about that much. I'm good with it. Loved reading about them sort of slowly getting back to each other. It was simply stunning.

Ezra is a huge favorite character of mine now. I felt like I didn't get to see him enough in this book, which was a bit heartbreaking. Hmph. But I loved it even so. And I loved reading about him. Getting to know him. His past with his mom. I hope there will be more about that in book two. I'm all kinds of curious. Yet so sad. Sigh. There is so much to know about Ezra. And I want to know it all. I just. I love how romantic he is, sort of. He is just so sweet. I love how much he loves Kady. Sigh. I adored him.

Okay. I could talk about this book forever. I won't. But do know that I loved it. That I loved Kady and Ezra so much. That I loved how goddamn brutal this book is. Shudders. It's perfect. I'm really, truly dying for the sequel. I cannot begin to tell you how much I need more from this world. From this story. But oh my gosh. The sequel. It will be a true sequel, won't it? Not a companion book? Oh, now I'm getting a bit nervous, lol. But I think it will be a regular sequel. Probably. Either way, I am dying for it. I need more.

Illuminae is special. It is so different. And I couldn't have loved it more. This book is heartbreaking and so brutal. Every moment was exciting. Every moment was worth the heartbreak. The characters were amazing to read about. I loved everything about this book. Thank you so, so much Becky. <3 And thank you Jay and Amie for writing this precious book. I will now be hunting for every edition of this book. The hardcover ARC. I need it. And the Australian ARC. Need them. <3 Go pre-order this book right now :)

Special cover reveal for Illuminae.

Update: Newer and better review of the book can be found here.


  1. I am hoping to get an ARC at BEA, but we'll see if I get lucky enough, if not... oh well, I already have it preordered anyways!

  2. Oh wow. That's fantastic, Carina! I love it when a book consumes you like this. I haven't read one in a long time. Can't wait to read this one!

  3. Your review was great, and it's torture having to wait for this amazing book! Ahhhhh, I need Illuminae now!

  4. I'm so glad to hear that you adored this, Carina! I have an ARC and oh my gosh it's HUGE and slightly scary. I don't think I'll know how to review it! The romance... I hope that when they break up they don't do anything with other people?
    I can't wait to meet these characters and go along this crazy ride. Thank you for your review. <3

  5. Ah YAY! So glad to hear you loved this one, Carina! :D I'll hopefully get around to reading it soon, but I'm scared because I've heard how creepy it is!!

    I adore you, too! ♥

  6. wow!! so glad you enjoyed it so much!! :) I will read it when it comes out :)

  7. TOO EARLY! I'm not reading your review but I'm happy to see five stars!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  8. Ooh, like Pili, I'm going to keep an eye out for this one at BEA. The only thing you had to tell me was that this is an unconventional narrative - told through cameras, reports, chat messages, and journals - and I am immediately on board and ready to read this book! (It doesn't hurt, of course, that you also enjoyed the romance. :) :) :))

  9. This one looks really good and I’m so glad you liked it!! :D I loved THESE BROKEN STARS and have heard good things about Jay Kristoff’s books so can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. (And I totally agree with you–NEED THAT HARDCOVER ARC!! :D) Great review!!

  10. This looks like it is everything plus a bag of chips that I was hoping that it would be. Thank you for the informative review. I can't wait to read the book.


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