Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Say hello to the coolest book you’ll (probably) ever read.


Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing beats the coolness of this book. Lemme tell you why.

Initially, I read Illuminae from e-book. Even then, I already thought it was pretty damn cool. But when I stumbled upon the printed version on the bookstore, my love for this book quadrupled. I just had to buy it. The hard cover is painted with text reports about what happened during the book. I’m not talking about neat, perfectly aligned texts, I’m talking about scrambles and red colors everywhere, top with a ‘classified’ stamp to make it even cooler. The book jacket is orange and transparent with a dusty touch. You can read the text on the paper through its transparency.

It was expensive, probably the most expensive novel I have ever purchased but it’s worth every penny. I will no doubt spend as much money for the sequel, Gemina.

The format is completely, insanely one of a kind. It’s something you’ve never seen before. So original. Throughout the book, there was no narrations whatsoever, except maybe the surveillance reports prepared by the analyst. As the blurb said, it is told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.

This book is the perfect definition of show, not tell. Who needs narrations if we can hack all the relevant documents? We got tho see the story from so many points of view. I didn’t think I was gonna like it, but I L❤VED it since the very beginning. It’s just so addictive, super cool, and surprisingly enjoyable. I can only imagine what a delight it was when the authors came up with the idea. COOLEST IDEA EVER.

A little bit sneak peek of the book 🙂

Intrigued yet? 😉 Now let’s get down to the story itself.

ILLUMINAE is the classic tale of Girl Meets Boy. Girl loses boy. and parents. and planet. And ends up in a crippled spaceship with a mad computer and a deadly virus outbreak in the middle of and interstellar war. 

Yes, that’s Jay Kristoff talking.

The story is about Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, ex-lover and two citizens who lived in a planet called Kerenza. The day Kady broke up with Ezra, their planet was invaded by a company called Bei-Tech due to illegal mining conducted by rival company, WUC. A fleet consisting of 3 ships came to their rescue, Alexander the battle carrier, Hypatia, and Copernicus. Kady and Ezra was separated. Ezra was conscripted to UTA army and became cyclone pilot in the Alexander while Kady went through neurogramming intel training in Hypatia. There was virus outbreak in Copernicus and the AIDAN, artificial intelligence of the Alexander, shot the ship. Its core directive was to protect the fleet and that’s what it thought it was doing.

This is not your ordinary outer space fiction. Let me repeat: This is not your ordinary outer space fiction. When most of the other outer space fictions are difficult to comprehend, Illuminae presents a plot that is pretty easy to follow. It is also very realistic. The plot is definitely one to die for and the twists only heightened the suspense. Kady is a kick ass female heroine who I really adore and I’m sure any of you will enjoy her journey thru the book. It is fast paced and did not waste time with pointless narrations. All the documents presented served some purposes for the story itself. I found myself completely dazed, awed, hooked, whatever you name it. I couldn’t put it down and I deeply cared for the characters. Despite their little appearances in the book.

I was immediately won over by the main characters Kady and Ezra. Kady is smart, persistent, and a risk taker. She’s an I’m-gonna-do-whatever-I-like kind of girl. A bit bossy with a snarky sense of humor. Ezra, on the other hand, is a romantic idiot who likes to goof around and be silly. Not so much as a risk taker, he prefers to not seek trouble when he can. He also has a really, really catchy sense of humor which I’m totally LOVIN’, by the way 😉 He says things like this

They got me on scrub duty and VR flight sim. Bored brainless and slightly sweaty. Am I turning u on?

and this

Interviewer: Is that how you got those scars on your arm?

Ezra Mason: … What? Chum, I’ve had these since I was eight. What the fuck is wrong with you? You don’t do this for a living, right? Please tell me the real Alexander psych crew all got X-ed out by those BeiTech assholes and you’re the guy who used to clean the scrubbers or something.

Interviewer: I work in the infirmary.

Ezra Mason: … Jesus, I was kidding. You’re serious? You’re not even a qualified shrink? Well that’s just fucking chill.

and this

Anyway since I will never send this, I feel it fair to say I thought it was rough not to mail me back I get maybe you don’t want to talk to me and thats fine but a simple “i do not wish to speak to you goodday sir” would have been nice and this is shabby treatment madam, verily

and this

I had a dream about you last night. No, not like that, relax.

Can’t. Stop. Quoting. So many other corny jokes that made me laugh and crushed hard for him ❤ The chemistry between Ezra and Kady is also very, unbelievably, adorable. Even if we could only see their IMs, not the actual interaction, it already feels so adorable. Imagine the real chemistry when they’re together for real 🙂

If you’re on Goodreads or even remotely involved with the online YA community, you’ve probably seen a bunch of people freaking out over this book. After reading it (not once but twice), I can say with complete confidence that I understand (and justify) what the big fuss is all over. I’m not even a fan of science fiction, let alone something about outer space, but this book is explosive. It will blow your mind and leave you completely in awe ✨

What are you waiting for?? Go read it right NOW! ☀


P.S. This isn’t a book for the e-reader! You will miss out on SO MUCH. Invest in the real paper version, it’s totally worth it!


8 thoughts on “Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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