Illuminae is the first book in a YA science fiction trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff that is told through a “dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.” The files will often have notes attached at the top by the person who accumulated the documents who represents The Illuminae Group, an intelligence gathering agency. We do not find out until the very end who has asked for the files or why, which makes this book a fascinating mystery.
The book is a whopping 599 pages, but it’s a very fast-paced and addictive read, especially once you are about 25% into the book and have gotten used to the format. You wouldn’t think that a book made of documents could have so much humor and action, but it is handled in a really clever way and one of my favorite characters became the person who summarized surveillance footage: Analyst ID 7213-0089-DN. We don’t know anything about him (or her), but their personality shines through as they describe what they see Kady or Ezra do in the camera footage hilariously to the point I can’t help but wonder how they got their job. I hope we get to meet them in Gemina!
Because I don’t want to spoil anything, I may cut my thoughts short here. I will say if you like sassy characters, high-stakes action, and human stories with a lot of heart, you will be satisfied with this book. There’s also a little bit of romance, but not a whole lot as the characters most definitely have other, more important things on their minds (like survival). The authors strike a really careful and satisfying balance between the light-hearted humor of characters just trying to survive and the dark moments of horror and loss. This is the kind of book that can may you laugh and cry (which is to say the best kind of book).
If you liked this kind of post, let me know in the comments. I tried to tailor my thoughts toward people who have not yet read the book, so if you want to fangirl in the comments about what happens I’m totally down that; just please keep it spoiler-free or put a spoiler warning at the top of your comment! I cannot wait to get my hands on Gemina. I may be treating myself to it this weekend.
Next up on the blog is my week two update on NaNoWriMo, which I’m officially failing at miserably; so it’ll probably be a fun read! If you want to see what else you can expect on the blog this week, check out my first Books & Pixels’ Week In Review which will be going up every Sunday from here on out!