Monday, May 16, 2016

Teen review: Illuminae

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
599 pages
The Illuminae Files_01
8th grade and above

Reviewed by Emma F., grade 11

Editor's note: You may have seen my review of this book a week or two ago, which was fairly enthusiastic. Emma wrote, "I wanted to review this book because I realized after reading it that my opinion was completely different than everybody else's!" So here is Emma's take on it...

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, is about Kady and Ezra, who break up the day their colony gets destroyed, and work together to escape. They later are separated, but keep in contact through emails. What interested me about the book was the fact that the whole story was told through different texts, like instant messages, emails, Kady’s personal diary, video footage, floor plans, military plans, etc. Not to mention the cover is amazing, with a see-through plastic sleeve that has different shades of oranges. Underneath the book sleeve is an example of one of the military files from the book.

Overall, I thought this book was put together in an interesting and innovative way, yet it wasn’t that good. It took forever to get to the climax, then after the climax, the authors ruined it with a lame ending. I don’t want to spoil the end, but it felt really forced. I read this book because of the cover, I knew about Amie Kaufman from These Broken Stars, which I was really excited for, but ended up disliking.

Also, there was so much happening in this book that you really have to pay attention while reading. I tried to sum up this book in three words: “apocalypse destroys world,” then I would say, “zombies in space,” then I would have to explain, “rogue evil(ish) supercomputer,” and at one point I had to stop reading and go back, because I had no idea what was happening! I recommend a notebook to keep track of what is happening!

This book gets a 2 out of 5, because I liked the cover and the way it was put together, but nothing else.

Another editor's note: While I would ordinarily encourage you to check this out as an e-book or audio book, that was before I read it. The medium is so much a part of the message for this book that I think the only way you can get the experience intended by the authors is to read it in hardcover or paperback!

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