Illuminae

4.5

Wow. This book is very unique and so, so good. The story is told in a series of diary entries, emails, instant messages, surveillance footage summaries, medical reports, interviews and amazing illustrations. This clever method sucks the reader into the story, making it hard to put down. Despite the book clocking in at 599 pages, it’s a very quick, engrossing read.
The story starts on an ice-covered mining planet. Kady just broke up with her boyfriend Ezra and is focused on surviving the school day. Suddenly, her planet is invaded. A megacorporation ship attacks the planet, annihilating its inhabitants with impunity. Still mad at each other, Kady and Ezra run for their lives. Barely make it onto an evacuating ship, the survivors flee the planet with an enemy ship in hot pursuit. In the chaos Kady and Ezra are split up onto different ships.

As the remaining three ships of survivors flee, a deadly virus breaks out on one of the ships, turning the infected into rampaging, homicidal maniacs. The fleets artificial intelligence, Aidan, determines the virus is a threat to the fleet and blows the ship up. Fearing Aidan will exterminate the rest of the fleet, the crew shuts it down to try to gain control of the ships… but Aidan won’t go away quietly and the crew still needs the AI to operate the ship and defend themselves against the enemy ship. The captain keeps most of the fleet in the dark about the seriousness of the situation, which Kady can’t accept.

An expert hacker, Kady makes her way into the fleet’s computer system to find out the truth. But to do so, Kady must get help from the last person she ever wants to talk to again – Ezra. The rest of the book details Kady’s search for the truth and the plight of the survivors as they flee from the enemy ship following them.

This is an exciting, thrilling sci-fi read that keeps the reader engaged and anxious to read just One.More.Page. The creative format, which could easily have doomed the book, enhances the reading experience.

Prior to its release, I had not heard of this book or its authors. I received a free copy at Comic-Con and after schlepping around this really HEAVY book all day, I’m so happy that my persistence was not for nothing. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series. You need to read this book!

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