Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Book Review

Ever since I saw the Illuminae series on Bookstagram, I had wanted to read them. The unique format of the book intrigued me. Our library has these books and so I didn’t want to buy them. But it was almost impossible to check out all 3 at the same time. Finally I started keeping hold on them continuously and I managed to get Book 2 and 3. Book 1 was almost available when the library closed here. Which means, I’ve had Gemina and Obsidio with me for the past 3.5 months. With the library set to reopen soon, I didn’t want to give these books back without reading them. That’s how I finally decided to read the e-book version of Illuminae.

Here goes the blurb.

When Kady Grant broke up with Ezra Mason, she thought that was going to be her biggest issue of the day. But then their planet, Kerenza, gets attacked and they’re forced to find their way onto the evacuating fleets – science vessel Hypatia, freighter Copernicus and battle carrier Alexander. The survivors on board the 3 fleets are pursued by the enemy warship, Lincoln, intent on destroying all the living evidence of their attack. In the midst of all this, the AI – AIDAN – on Alexander seems to have turned against them and there is a deadly plague aboard Copernicus.

I started the book with high expectations. But I was kind of disappointed. I think the main reason for that is having read it as an e-book. The story is told through a dossier of hacked documents like medical reports, emails, IMs, interviews, military files, blueprints etc. The novelty of this was lost in the e-book format.

The relationship between Kady and Ezra felt kind of forced to me. I’m not sure whether I was even invested in them. I felt more of a connection in the relationship between Kady and AIDAN. Yes, AIDAN is the AI on Alexander. But I could connect more with AIDAN’s “feelings” than Ezra’s. We do not really get a glimpse into Ezra’s character. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like him much. But I loved Kady and AIDAN. Kady has more of a backstory and was easy to connect with.

Other than these, the plot is great and I have a feeling that I would have loved the format if I had read it as a physical book. I loved AIDAN’s thought process. The ending was not something I saw coming. So that was truly a surprise to me.

I can’t wait to read the next book and see whether it will hold up to all the hype created about this series. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My Rating: 3.5⭐/5.

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