Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

6 April, 2015 Cover Reveals 144 comments

Amie and Jay

Welcome to our Exclusive cover reveal of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! Here we have a great interview, an amazing giveaway and an out-of-this-world cover reveal! Read on to check it all out!

1. With what gifts did you bribe Marie Lu, Laini Taylor and Beth Revis to give you quotes for this book? Cause that’s some pretty damn glowing praise you have there.

Jay: We have pictures. That’s all I’m saying.

Amie: It wasn’t bribery, it was blackmail.

2. What was your favourite thing about working with each other?

Amie: Jay doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, so he’s no threat to my chocolate supply. Also, he writes incredible, heartbreaking, lyrical prose, as well as drink-snortingly funny frat boy humour and terrifying horror, often within moments of each other. Having a co-author means you’re never stuck brainstorming your way out of a plot-hole alone, and it also means they introduce twists and ideas you’d never have thought up, that make the book all the stronger.

Jay: I say this in all seriousness; writing this book is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on. Amie is sharp as razorblades, insightful incredible at improv (all the IM conversations in the book are just us back-and-forthing on gchat or email, writing the script as we go) and writes the pretty much the best kissing scenes on the planet. Or any other planet, for that matter.

3. Kady and Ezra rocked this novel. Considering that, Jay, this was your first time writing a guy, and, Amie, this was your first time writing a girl, how did you feel falling into these characters?

Jay: It was awesome. Ezra totally has my sense of humor, so it was nice to not only be able to make teabagging jokes with impunity, but also watch them turn into major plot points later in the novel. I’m not entirely sure where his romantic side comes from, though. I had mine surgically removed when I was five.

Amie: Loved it! Kady is in many ways more badass than me, and would definitely outlast me in a survival situation. In terms of gender, I don’t find writing girls or guys to be different — it’s down to what the person’s like, not their gender. To quote George R. R. Martin, who was once asked how he wrote women so well, “I’ve always considered women to be people.”

4. How did you guys come up with the idea for this book?

Amie: Once we’d decided to write together, we originally settled on the idea of an epistolatory novel (one written entirely in letters to and from the characters, in case anyone has to look that word up, like Jay did). From there it evolved to one that used all kinds of formats to communicate. Then we started to wonder if we could actually SHOW those formats. We never thought a publisher would go for such a crazy idea, which meant we were free to write it any way we liked. So we did! There’s not a single page of regular narrative in the book — it’s all “found footage”. Email, IM conversations, security reports, diagrams, you name it.

Jay: The idea of playing around with typography and interior design is something I toyed with a little in the Lotus War books, but it was only after the character of AIDAN started to form in my head that the idea we could really push the limits of what a book could be started to dawn on us. I mean, if one of the narrators is an insane computer whose insanity actually affects the files you’re reading, you can kinda do anything you like. After that, there was no idea too left-field. The amazing thing is we found a publisher who not only let us do everything crazy we wanted, but actually pushed us to go even further.

And yes, I did have to Google “epistolary”. Pro author, me.

5. Was there any source material you drew inspiration from?

Jay: Oh yeah, there was bunch of old classic SF books and films that inspired us. The Ship Who Fought. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Neuromancer. BSG. We even threw in a HAL 9000 joke. I was also listening to a lot of Meshuggah. Something about the drum patterns and bass helped me channel a psychotic artificial intelligence. Not sure that’s an endorsement for the band or not . . .

Amie: We’re both huge science fiction and space nerds. We drew from just about everything we’re fans of, in writing this book. Music, movies, comics, you name it. Think Battlestar Galactica, Scott Pilgrim, 2001: A Space Odyssey… this list could go forever. I listened to Madness by Muse from their Live From Rome Olympic Stadium album on loop while we wrote this book. Every time I hear it, I’m ready to go straight back into this world.

6. So how does the book cover work? Can you explain it for our readers?

Amie: It’s insanity. There’s the actual hard cover of the book, which shows some excerpts from the book itself, then there’s a jacket that goes over the top. There are windows in the jacket so you can see some of what’s underneath. The non-standard format perfectly matches the book. We can’t believe what an amazing job the Random House team did. Our cover designer is called Ray Shappell and he’s beyond brilliant. Beyond.


7. Considering that you guys are like fairy dust and the unspoken dreams of the innocent, how do you manage to write such a heartbreaking book?

Jay: . . . you have met us, right?

Amie: We’re like duct tape, and The Force. We have a dark side and a light side. (People usually assume I’m the light side and Jay’s the dark side, but the super gory line about the pinking shears? That was me.)

8. While researching for this novel, did you learn a lot about how things explode in space? Is this cover a good representation of that?

Amie: We totally did. In a vacuum, fire burns in a perfect sphere. If there’s an air current (for instance, if the side of your spaceship just got blown off and the atmosphere is rushing out) then the fire can look like a regular explosion. Short version, I’m crazy about the fire on the cover, and so many things blow up in this book that we end up featuring just about every kind of fire there is. FIRE, WOOOOOO~ I mean, um. >.>

Jay: >.>

About Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He's also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi... thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

You can learn more about Amie and Jay at and


Okay, so this cover reveal is a little different. The cover for Illuminae is actually two covers.

The one below is the base cover over which an acetate cover copy goes.

IlluminaePOB600px (1)


This cover is the acetate cover that goes over the original cover. It has windows through which you can see the original cover.


IlluminaeJKT600px copy


Put it all together and it looks something like THIS:


Illuminae Cover

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: October 20th 2015

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.

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.


Jay and Amie are giving away one signed and annotated copy of Illuminae to a lucky Cuddlebuggery winner!

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open Internationally!
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

144 Responses to “Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman”

  1. Michi

    What an awesome cover! I haven’t any books by Amy Kaufman or Jay Kristoff yet but the concept of this sounds really great.

  2. Emily

    I would love to win a copy of this book so badly! The cover is absolutely stunning and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s definitely creative and original and suits the premise of the book to a tee. I’ve been a fan of Amie’s writing for a while now and would love to see what Jay’s writing is like so this book would be the perfect place to start. So excited for it’s release! 🙂
    Emily recently posted…Back To School: Survival KitMy Profile

  3. Raffy Perez

    Okay. Okay. Okay. So basically I REALLY LOVE Sci-fi. So yeah. THIS REALLY FITS MY TASTE. Plus, it’s told in a dossier-format which is really UNIQUE!! I’m a man of radical and unique things so yes, this is definitely up my league!
    Raffy Perez recently posted…I’m back from the grave!!My Profile

  4. Sasha

    I love the concept of the cover design! I am a sucker for multi-layered anything – book covers etc. you name it so this PLUS the killer synopsis of the book really gets be wound up WOO 🙂

  5. Trish

    I am hooked! You had me at the cover. My students will be clamoring for this when they see the format, it’s very intriguing. October is a very long time away, I want it in my hands now!

  6. Emma

    This book sounds so interesting! The cover is absolutely gorgeous, I’m definitely getting a copy now 🙂

  7. Lena Marsteller

    I don’t think I ever read a book before that was complied of emails, IMs, letters, and other short reports. I think the design of this book is going to be very interesting to see, especially the insides of the book. THE COVER IS AH-AMAZING!!! I love fire on book covers 🙂 I can’t wait to get this beauty in my hands!!!

  8. Danielle

    I’m loving the cover, and the backstory to it is so great, love how they mixed the letter with the redacted information to work the jacket over it.

  9. Lynn K.

    Cause it’s by Jay+Amie. :O Loved The Lotus War and TBS!
    The cover really fits the story! To be honest though, the cover isn’t appealing to me digitally. But the physical copy sure will. 🙂

  10. ReadiculousGirl

    Illuminae’s cover is AMAZING! I love how there are redacted files on the front and the color of what looks like an explosion! Everything that the designer put into the cover is the perfect hint as to how amazing this book is going to be. I am looking forward to putting a copy of this book on my bookshelf when it’s released…or hopefully before. 🙂

  11. Josh

    Crazy intelligent cover. Love love love it. I already know Mister Kristoff well from The Lotus War Series and his personal correspondence but I would love to see Amie’s work as she is new to me.

  12. Elizabeth

    I’d like to win this book because this story sounds incredible. I’ve been really loving sci-fi lately and I can’t wait for this book. Also, that’s a great pair of authors!

    That cover is incredible! I love the colors!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Insurgent Movie Review!My Profile

  13. Danielle D

    Cool cover!!! I’ve been trying to do a chapbook cover design and brainstorming ideas. I don’t think any of these elements would fit what I am doing, but I have to say I’ve never seen anything quite like this! Can’t wait to check it out!

  14. Carina

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. THAT COVER IS GORGEOUS!! I need this book (no, seriously this book is more important than air and water and anything)! And it’s Amie and Jay. Like, do I even need to say more? THAT’S COMPLETE AWESOMENESS.

  15. Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat

    The cover is definitely not what I was expecting, but it’s interesting! I am DYING for this book…like seriously I would trade my firstborn for an ARC of this. It’s my most anticipated 2015 release! I loooove Jay Kristoff – The Lotus Wars is my favorite series ever (BURUU!) – and loved These Broken Stars so I can’t wait to see what they come up with together!!!
    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted…Life of a Blogger: AstrologyMy Profile

  16. Esli

    I’m so excited! Amy and Megan-who both wrote the Starbound trilogy-essentially were the people that made me love cowritten books! I’ve never read anything by Jay, but I’m sure I’ll love this.

  17. Diana Terrado

    I’ve read These Broken Stars and thought it was amazing so I’m really looking forward to reading more books by Aimee Kaufman. I’ve never read anything by Jay Kristoff but the blurb alone tells me this is going to be an epic collaboration. And that cover, WOW! <3

    Thank you! Whoever wins would be a really lucky gal.

  18. Kalani

    i love the cover and love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s writing style. I really want this book!

  19. Madhavi

    I know.. I know… I’ve already pre-ordered this one on ibooks, but after seeing the cover, I want to hold it in my hands for realz…. Please, please, please, I’ll be nice to it I promise!!! Could I get one for myself, pleeeeaaaseeeeee!!!
    See – I asked nicely! 😛

  20. Caitlin

    If I line up now, can I get it before everyone else or would I die waiting? Probably die of excitement, actually. Can’t wait for this book to come out! I need it in my hands to read already!

  21. Rachel Patrick

    So, like, COOL COVER. I really want to see what this will look on a finished and physical copy. I think this sounds super interesting, and I’ve never read a book told entirely in documents. It just sounds so COOL. Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Octaviana

    Oh, that cover is amazing! So original! I’d love to have an ARC of this. Amie and Jay’s books are great. I adore Jay’s writing style… so the two of them put together… I can’t imagine how glorious that must be.

    Thanks for the chance to win it ♥
    Octaviana recently posted…LO QUE SE VIENE: Millennium #4My Profile

  23. Christina R.


    And I love how the cover has layers, all these clues for us and I love how it’s an unconventional narrative style with reports and files.

    LOVELY cover, very unique!!!!

    thank you so very much 🙂

  24. Nikki

    HOLY WOW. O_O I mean, I was expecting something great for this cover, but was not expecting this level of SORCERY. I can’t handle it. Seriously. I need to see it IRL, like yesterday. (And as for why I’d like to win an ARC – um, the book sounds amazing. I love the whole idea of it being told in a series of different sorts of documents. NEED.)
    Nikki recently posted…SimonVs Blog Tour: Review! Giveaway! OREOS!!!My Profile

  25. Shauna

    Holy smokes, that cover is amazing! I really want to read this book because sci-fi is my absolute fav and of course I’m a huge fan of The Starbound series by Amie. In general, I’ve had good luck with books written by two authors, and I think this one sounds glorious especially. I think the entire premise -a story told through documents -sounds unique and brilliant, and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

  26. Eddie Louise

    I have been waiting for this book forever!!! Seriously – my nails are 12 inches long, my hair would do Cousin It proud, and my cave is littered with crushed coffee cups and and pastry wrappers. I MUST read this book!

  27. Petra

    I want this book because it sounds amazing and I’ve been following Jay’s blog for a while–which makes me want to read anything he writes.
    Petra recently posted…UpdateMy Profile

  28. Richard Harrison

    This would be a great cover even if the book was awful! Have great faith in both these writers and can’t wait to see what they came up with together.

  29. Meg

    Oh my God that cover excuse me while I die.
    I need this book like I need air after re-reading Endsinger for the nth time and shedding more tears than I’d like to admit.

  30. Carina Olsen

    OH MY GOSH THE PRECIOUS! I love this cover so much 😀 It is so different! And so damn epic. Sigh. This book sounds so unique. And I adore these authors SO MUCH. And oh my god. I just want this book so badly 😀 It is going to be amazing. <3 I just. I really want to win this ARC 🙂 Want to win it so badly. <3 Fingers crossed. Thank you guys so much for sharing 🙂 And for this perfect giveaway. <3 Lots of love.
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: The Storyspinner by Becky WallaceMy Profile

    • Nina

      I am dying to read this book and the cover is AMAZING…. O.O
      I am a fan of both authors already from reading Kristoff’s Stormdancer and These Broken Stars from Kaufman and I’ve been following all news on their collaboration for quite some time now. It sounds so interesting. Damn I’d really love to win this giveaway.. :>

  31. Amber h

    THIS BOOK LOOKS LIKE THE COOLEST THING EVER. The format sort of reminds me of the book “S” which I loved ahhh. The cover is gorgeous and I’m sure it looks even greater in person!! Can’t wait for this book to come out!!

  32. Emily W

    OMG this cover is freaking amazing.
    I love everything about this book, it sounds so unique!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. marilla

    This cover is my favorite thing, y’all. It’s unique as hell and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  34. Katie @ Bookish Illuminations

    I would say this cover is provocative and I love the choice of font for the title and text. I’ve been watching this one, waiting for the cover reveal, so am excited it’s finally here. All I had to do was read the GoodReads description to know I would be interested. Planet invading? Yes! A deadly plague? Of course! A narrative told through hacked documents? Yes indeed! It sounds gripping and I’m so excited to read this one!
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  35. Katie

    I absolutely can’t wait for this book to come out! While a signed ARC would be freakin’ awesome, I will definitely be ordering in hardcover!

  36. hj

    oh. my. COVER.

    I’ve had this sitting in my amazon cart for weeks already.. and now this reveal, this interview, this giveaway? amazing! oh and the release date is my birthday.. just sayin’. ; )

  37. Elspeth

    Oh wow that cover is amazing. I’ve been so keen for this book since I heard about it… especially since I LOVE the Stormdancer series and These Broken Stars.

  38. Raychelle Steele

    I am so excited for this book! Amie and Jay are hilarious and I can’t wait to see how this collaboration turns out. Also, that cover! Whoa! I love that’s it’s not a traditional cover and that it showcases the features of the writing inside!

  39. Brittani

    I would LOVE to win this book because it sounds like so many things I love ALL IN ONE. Plus that cover is amazing, I want a hundred.

  40. Veronica Rossi

    This is amazing. And awesome. I don’t need a book. I just need to be part of the awesome. Why can’t Jay and Amie be one person so I don’t have to wish to be both of them? It’d be so much easier on me. I think I need to move to Australia more than ever now.

  41. Denisa

    This book sounds EPIC. I’ve always loved epistolatory novels! The cover is brilliant an wow, I can’t wait for it’s release now!

  42. Grace Radford/Anna Pett

    I’m interested in this book because I love Aimee’s other books and the plot of this one sounds super cool. Also, I do love a book with a cover under a cover.

  43. Kim Waters

    I want this book because it’ll be awesome. I love Jay and Amie’s previous books so I know I’ll love this one just as much. It sounds amazing and that cover is fantastic. Really suits what this book is all about and it’s style. 😀
    Kim Waters recently posted…Review: Moonlands by Steven SavileMy Profile

  44. Lorraine

    Kristoff and Kaufman are two of my favorite authors separately, so as a combined force, I can only assume this book will be an explosion of awesome and perfection and more awesome. The cover is amazing, so different, too. I think it goes perfectly with the theme of the novel and I can’t wait to have it in my hands.

  45. Susan T.

    Two great authors writing together is mind exploding awesomeness! I love the cover too. It reminds me of The X-Files for some reason!

  46. Carolyn

    I am sooooooo incredibly excited for this book!!! I have been since they released initial information on it! CAN”T WAIT!

  47. jello dela cruz

    I can’t wait to read this book! I am a fan of scifi books and the summary of Illuminae is everything I wanted in a book!

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  48. Emma

    What an amazing idea for a cover! It’s so different. Ahh, I love it! I can’t wait to read this book. I love Amie’s work and I love Jay’s work and now I get them together. What more could a book worm ask for?

  49. Shannelle C.

    I can only wonder how awesome that cover would be in real life. *squeals* And I just loved this interview. God, how much awesome can one book contain?

    And that author photo! I have such high hopes for this book.

  50. Fauzan

    That’s a pretty interesting cover design. I’m excited overall about how this whole found footage thing is going to be tackled in book form!

  51. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    Why do I want to win?! Because my eyeballs are bleeding from the fanfreakintastic that is the cover and the format sounds like an instant message acid trip, binge gimme and oh yes Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman both ooze awesome from their fingertips and maybe even their brains. Give it to me or face my squirrelly wrath mortal!!
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  52. Olivia

    Can’t wait to read it! I’ve loved all of Amie’s other books, so this has been on my TBR since it was announced.

  53. Alaa

    Haven’t you sometimes read the blurb of a book and felt like wow this book must have been written especially for me! And the cover is AMAZING!! I seriously would love to have a copy of this book <3 The authors ARE so awesome!!

  54. Stephanie Kaye

    So, I just saw this book a couple days ago and I was like hmm, I think I need to read this book. Then reading this interview, I want to read it even more! They have such good writing chemistry! They made me chuckle. And I cannot wait to see how the book turns out!

    Plus, that cover is GORGEOUS! Simply spectacular!

    Thanks for the chance to win an ARC!
    Stephanie Kaye recently posted…WoW [13]My Profile

  55. sherry butcher

    that cover is A bit unexpected. I am excited about it because I love reading new formats to storytelling. Thanks for sharing!

  56. Mary G Loki

    I want to read it bc I just finished Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and LOVED it! 😀 So I will read anything he writes! The cover at first look cheery and cute but then a little demented. = Awesome!

  57. Illuminae

    […] today’s your lucky day…there are 39 hours left to enter to win a signed and annotated ARC of ILLUMINAE! You can enter over at Cuddlebuggery. You do realize that by giving you this information, I lessen […]

  58. Michelle Lee

    I want to read this book because it sounds like an interesting read! It’s like a book that will keep me on the edge of my seat and up at night. I really like the book cover. It reminds me of the sun and eruption. Thank you for this amazing chance! 🙂

  59. Roy

    Why I want to read this book? Because the idea sounds freaking awesome! I love unconventional books that kinda go against the flow and this one definitely does. Not only is the format rather original but the way the authors describe the novel (absolutely love Jay Kristoff’s Goodreads review about it) make me so damn excited to get my hands on a copy. And the cover has such a cool concept while still being rather simplistic. I LOVE it.

  60. _Sandra_

    I want this book mostly because of Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, two amazing authors which books I adore. Cover is one of the best that came out recently and can’t wait to grab my copy when it comes out.
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  61. Joanne

    Woah this. Sounds. Amazing. And the cover gives me the creeps, does anyone else get that? I’m actually pretty scared ha.

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