ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

February 5, 2018

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra – who are barely talking to each other after their recent breakup – are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Holy moly this was a fantastic read for so many reasons. First off, the format is truly unique and without doubt a big part of why the ILLUMINAE series is so popular. The story is told through chat prints, emails, countdowns, camera recordings etc. at different locations and time-periods and it’s amazing how it all ties so well together. Our main character Kady is a badass girl who won’t stand for injustice but not in the usual warrior way – she hacks her way to information and creates a bond with the AI – who thinks its a hero for making tough choices that humans are too emotional to make. In all this mess there’s Kady’s ex Ezra who just wants her to be safe. Their relationship goes from awkward after a very recent breakup to being eachother’s guiding voice and anchor.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, there’s a weird plague-like disease breaking out and it’s infecting more and more people on board the spaceship. While it’s a mystery how the disease got on board in the first place, the infected lose their rational mindset and attacks basically anything that comes in sight which doesn’t help Kady and Ezra, who’s running all over the place trying to survive and take down the enemy.

This book has it all for a Sci-Fi fan who wants a new twist on things. Future space technology, science, badass characters, war, fight scenes and romance that’s honest and not too overshadowing. The book is huge, but don’t be intimidated as it is actually quite a quick read. It has 600 or so pages but due to the format (and the fact that you won’t be able to put it down) you fly right through it. I love this book and will without a doubt continue this series with the second installment, GEMINA, as soon as possible.

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