Illuminae: The Illuminae Files Vol. 1 (2015) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


This week’s trip to the Book Shelf found me reading a fantastic science fiction novel, that keeps it’s humanity with a pair of wonderful characters, Kady Grant, and Ezra Mason.

Kady is not having a good day. She’s broken up with her boyfriend, Ezra, and on the same day, her planet, which is housing an illegal mining operation, is invaded and attacked by a rival corporation.

Escaping in a group of ships, a little nod to Battlestar Galactica, and there are nods aplenty to other classic science fiction films, series and books, things go from bad to worse, when the military ship, Alexander’s, AI has gone crazy, and there is a virus running rampant that threatens to transform the survivors into vicious killing machines.

Filled with plot twists, and developments, a couple that knocked the breath out of me, the story, races along, gathered, as it is, from emails, reports, IM messages, surveillance footage. I loved the format that the authors told the story, it flows together brilliantly, doling out humor, perfect moments, and heartbreaking revelations. It goes from the characters joking about their relationship to a list of casualties, it’s so well put together, and so much fun to read.

The first book in the series, it hints at what is to come (the next book, Gemina, releases in October) and sets up the ‘verse the character exist in incredibly well. There are diagrams, hacked files, and the authors have a great sense of humor as they censor out all the foul language.


Both Kady and Ezra are fun, and smart characters, teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, who are thrust into terrifying experiences, as they try to reconnect over thousands of kilometers of space.

There were a number of times when I laughed out loud, got teary-eyed, and as it drew to a close, and things gear up for the next book, I just wanted MORE.

This is one that I wanted to take my time with, but I just couldn’t put it down, it just captivates, and you can’t help but read more and more and more. The pages fly by, and the authors play with them, laying out some of the text to follow the course of deadly missiles, or starfighters dueling in combat.

Illuminae is an incredibly enjoyable read, and one that I have recommended to anyone who would listen to me. Kaufman and Kristoff have created a wonderful world in which to play, and make as real as possible as they can for the reader, and it all came to life in my mind’s eye.

Pick this one up, it’s a perfect summer read, and one you’ll want to share and talk about, and then you’ll be ready for book two, come October!!




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