Early Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

22 May, 2015 Reviews 8 comments

Early Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie KaufmanIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on 1st November 2015
Pages: 608
Genres: Sci-Fi
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.

The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra's planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all-consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy; and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realises that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it's too late.

So nobody is going to be surprised that I loved Illuminae. Nobody. Just like nobody would be surprised if I said that I loved Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. My love for them is almost as synonymous with me as my name is. I want to be fair and accurate in my reporting of this book though, because even though we promote Jay and Amie fairly often on the blog here, that doesn’t mean they’re above scrutiny. I don’t want to lose credibility and be considered a fangirl who can’t distinguish good from bad because I’m blinded by my love.

So I’m going to be completely objective here and analyse every aspect of this giant, mammoth of a book.


Gah! I just can’t do it. Thing is, I just really, really enjoyed this book. And there’s no appreciable criticism I could give it. Sure Aidan waffles on a little bit at times, and the book itself could choke a whale, but the story moves so fast, and it’s so snappy, that I fell in love with the witty dialogue and the heartwarming moments that were often followed by bone-shattering tragedy. The feelings this book gave me, people. THE FEELINGS. And not just because Jay and Amie, at one point, totally kick my ass into the cold vacuum of space and murder me (Just like they do all the time, those crazy kids!) But because this book has so much on the line and Jay and Amie manage to make you LIKE people and think about them. Then they’ll probably kill them, or maybe not. It depends on how much you insulted them in a past life. I haven’t worked out all the details on how this works yet tbh.

And the work that has gone into this book. All the little graphics and extras and love. It really is a stunning book.

And let’s talk for a minute about the chemistry between Kady and Ezra, since these two characters really steal the show. I think this is going to appeal to a lot of people because it’s not all boiled down to a physical/sexual attraction. Mostly these two characters interact via a series of emails so there’s a lot of characterisation and voice that goes into the building of their relationship. There’s also a lot of history there between them that has to be sorted out. But their banter has to be one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, and the rapport they build with each other is so full personality and charm.

There’s a hundred little details that go into making this a great book. I don’t want to hype it up too much with my fangirling.

Because the truth is, I don’t know if this is everyone’s book. It’s horrifically violent and it’s weird and it’s long. For me, this was all perfect. I’m a horrifically violent weirdo with a tendency to babble. This book was for me. I am its people. People familiar with Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are going to know their style, be comfortable with their skill sets. Then they’re going to read this book and not know what hit them, because this is nothing like what they’ve written before. This is not Stormdancer and These Broken Stars combined. This is fresh and spectacular and clever.


Book is great. Kat liked very much.


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

8 Responses to “Early Review: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman”

  1. Pavan

    I am so glad you loved this book (thought I had no doubt that you would!). I am soooo excited for this one to come out. I mean Jay Kristoff+Aime Kaufman=AMAZING right?!

    Fabulous review as always Kat!

  2. Carina Olsen

    Yess. <3 Gorgeous review Kat 😀 I'm so thrilled you loved this book. I did too. Gosh damn it was amazing. Sigh 🙂 I also loved the romance so much 😀 Their emails to each other were awesome, hih. <3 I cannot wait to read this book again. Sigh. I also adore these authors so so much 🙂
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