illuminae book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s newest young adult offering takes experiencing a novel to a whole new level. Illuminae is not simply a book you just read, but one you experience right alongside the characters.

Illuminae tells the story of Ezra Mason and Kady Grant. On the day of their break-up, their planet is invaded and destroyed. Somehow they make it off the planet and are separated in two of the three rescue ships. With the enemy hot on their trail and a mysterious virus turning its victims into high functioning zombies who run around brutally murdering everyone in their path, Ezra and Kady have to call a truce with each other and form an alliance with the least expected ally in order to survive. It is a love story. Oh, and the entire thing is told through a dossier of hacked documents—emails, IMs, military files, interviews, schematics, and more!

I love a fabulous story told in the most unexpected way. Illuminae is fairly daunting at a hefty 600 pages, however, once you get into the flow of the format, the pages will be flying. I had my doubts that a good story, good plot, and deep characters, could be told in the exceedingly nontraditional way (oh me of little faith). I was delightfully surprised when not only could a plot be followed, but characters were so much more than just one dimensional. Because of my first hesitation, it did take a few pages to get used to this new way of storytelling. Once I did get used to the flow I was so sucked in. I think the twist in the end – the unraveling of just who Illuminae was – made me giddy. It is so on point. Do not let the fact that it is 600 pages or sci-fi or not something you would typically read deter you from picking up this book. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are brilliant. I loved Illuminae and I am excited for more books in this up and coming series.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Christen is a ravenous reader, wanna be author, Litfuse Nester, and slightly addicted to coffee. Lives in Arkansas with her husband and three mini people. Connect with her at her blog: http://ChristenKrumm.com or Twitter @ChristenKrumm.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Knopf Books for Young Readers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.