Illuminae Review Or 5 Reasons Why It's One of the Few Science Fiction Books I Like

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Summary of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

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 a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

*Summary from


I've often found it strange that bookstores, libraries, and people in general sometimes lump science fiction and fantasy together. To me, they are very different genres. Science fiction focuses on scientific or technological advances while fantasy is steeped in myths, legends, magic, and the supernatural. I've always been a fantasy gal at heart and have never really been interested in reading science fiction. After reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, however, I may start reading a bit more science fiction. Below are five reasons Illuminae is one of the few science fiction book I've liked.

1. The premise is so intriguing. The main character, Kady, breaks up with her boyfriend but then ends up having to team up with him that same day in order to survive their planet being invaded. Talk about awkward.

2. The format it's told in is unique. I've read books told through emails, texts, blogs, etc, but Illuminae takes things a step further with redacted military reports, video commentaries, and word pictures. You literally have to turn the book upside down sometimes in order to read it. 

3. The world building isn't over the top. Too often, I get bored with science fiction stories because the author feels the need to give a fifty page back story of how humans came to live on planets other than earth. The world building in Illuminae is short and to the point. (I realize fantasy books usually have a lot of world building in them as well, but fantasy gets a free pass because magic).

4. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) reminded me a lot of I, Robot, which is one of my favorite science fiction movies. The idea that computers could take their programming too far is both scary and realistic.

5. The main character Kady is a hacker. I enjoy reading books with female characters who are diversely strong, and Kady definitely fits the bill with her creativity, tenacity, and intelligence.

I gave Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

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