Don’t let Illuminae‘s size (608 pages) scare you away. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and a quick read (which I practically finished in one sitting). What makes it so compelling? Its unique plot and format. I mean, really unique. I haven’t read anything else even remotely like it.
The first book in a planned trilogy, Illuminae is co-authored by Amie Kaufman (The Starbound Trilogy) and Jay Kristoff (the Lotus War series). Its storyline goes something like this. It’s 2575 A.D. and two interstellar megacorporations are at war. When BeiTech discovers its competitor is running an illegal mining operation, called the Kerenza colony, on a small, isolated planet, it attacks with brutal force.
Among the few thousand survivors are Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, two teens who’ve recently broken up and who are evacuated on different ships (Alexander and Hypatia). But their failed relationship is the least of their worries. A deadly virus is turning survivors into murderers, and Alexander is manned by a potentially threatening Artificial Intelligence that may be doing more harm than good in its mission to protect the fleet. Of course, the truth about what really is going on is kept secret. That is, until Kady discovers how to hack into confidential documents and communicate with Ezra, thus renewing their romance.
Their pursuit of the truth brings us to Illuminae‘s unique format. Not a typical novel, it consists of interview transcripts, emails, instant messages, memos, diagrams, security footage, military files, medical reports, and more. If I haven’t persuaded you yet to pre-order this book, take a look at its trailer. Illuminae is a stellar sci-fi horror story and perfect for Halloween.
Alyssa Raymond is a YA blogger for Coven Book Club and its sister site Spellbinding Books. She thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the publisher, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with a digital review copy of this book for review purposes, and her opinions are her own. Please follow Spellbinding Books onTwitter and Tumblr.