Showing posts with label Amie Kaufman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amie Kaufman. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

#re3 - Illuminae

Ok, I did warn you that I might mix things up on the Pewter Wolf and on my Goodreads (goodreads.com/pewterwolf) for the next few months, till I find my groove back with reading and blogging (this is a strange new time!), but after listening to the audiobook of Illuminae (a reread, as first read it back in 2018), I knew I wanted to talk about this so, let me get the typical “Here’s all the Info/links” rubbish out of the way and we can talk! 

  • Title And Author: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Publisher: Rock The Boat
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 608 Pages or 11 Hours 40 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Now, I’ve already read this so this is a reread and I know most of you guys have read this as you are much better readers than me, but if you haven’t, Illuminae is a bit of a weird one. But in a good way. Stay with me with this as I try (and fail) to explain this. 

The year is 2527 and two megacorporations are at war over a tiny, ice-speck of a planet. Shame no one thought to warn the people on the planet. As enemy fire falls down on them, Kady and Ezra must make their escape to the evacuating fleet. There, they will be safe. Right? 

Wrong. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the ships and is mutating, the ships’s AI has gone AWOL and the enemy ship that was destroying the planet is chasing them, wanting to kill them all. And no one is saying or doing anything. Kady knows her way round computers so she decides to hack their computers to find the truth, but soon realises that she needs one person’s help: Ezra. Yet, there’;s a problem with that: they broke up mere hours before all this crazy started and she’s not sure she wants to talk to him…

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Book Review - Illuminae

... well, if you've read my last post, that didn't take me long to read. Well, actually, I finished this the day after my "I'm On A Blog Holiday" post went live and I had been reading it for two weeks prior to that. Mainly because of my fantasy reading slump. Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I would have kicked myself up the backside and would be back reading my beloved fantasy again.

But, until then, let's talk Illuminae.

Illuminae is the first book in the Illuminae Files trilogy, and it starts with Kady dumping Ezra and both thinking their day couldn't get any worse. Oh, you poor teens, for their don't know that, by the end of the day, their planet had been invaded...

Two mega-corporations go to war over a tiny ice-covered planet that drilling illegally for fuel, not many people got saved from the planet. But Ezra and Lady did. But they're not on the same ship. They're on two different ships and after the fight the ships got into and with the enemy chasing them, it's going to take a long time till they're safe.

But things are going wrong. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the three ships, turning people into something close to space zombies, the ship's AI is seriously flawed and the enemy is chasing them, and it looks like the people in charge of the ships are lying to the refuges. Kady is trying to hack the ships's computer, trying to find the truth, but it looks like the only person that can help her is Erza, the boy who's heart she broke mere hours before the invasion...

So, this book - ok, this series now that book three is out - has got a lot of love on booktube and the blogosphere, and I did try to read this years ago around the time when the first book was published. Got about 100 pages in then had to stop. It was so jarring to read (I will explain in a tick, bear with me). But I wanted to try again and after the whole Page 112 Tag (and my Other Half picking it when I got super stuck), I wasn't sure if this was going to work with me...

The biggest issue that I worried about (and this is the reason why I DNF the first time and the reason why I struggled/nearly DNF this time round) is the style of this book. It isn't written like other books. It is written solely in reports, emails, interview transcripts, DM/IM, diary entries, classified documents to name a few. And because it's written in this style, it works both in favour and against the story. It takes time for you to get your head round the style - around 100 to 150 pages - and because of this, you have to go slower and the pacing feels off and it feels jarring. The whole start feels jarring because you want to get use to the book's style and the story but you can't connect to it till you get the book's rhyme.

I am going to admit this, reading the first 100-150 pages was a struggle. There was one or two occasions I did consider DNFing to because I couldn't get my head round it. But something clicked and I went "OH!" and it made my reading experience with this book interesting. I got it and it made the story go quicker. Plus, it was hugely different to read a book made completely out of reports and documents. It makes this book feel unique in the scifi genre - I do hope this isn't going to become a gimmick through the trilogy.

The story itself is interesting. Yes, there are one or two of you out there who have said it's a bit flat, character-wise, and the plot is quite cliche, and I understand why. This is a file, full of documents so the characters and the plot are going to feel more flat and distant compared to most books. The weird thing is once I found my groove in how to read this, I couldn't stop thinking about it and trying to find moments to read one more page...

I am going to say that, because of how it's written, this book is one trippy read. This book is very much a marmite read - you are either going to really enjoy its uniqueness or you are going to hate it and struggle like heck. There is no middle ground here.

So, am I going to read the rest of the series (Gemina and Obsidio)? Well... yes. Yes, I am. The publisher, Rock the Boat, has sent me the entire series so can jump right back in (but am going to read a few other things before I do), but to find a scifi book or series that clicks with me is kinda rare - like I said, I am a fantasy/contemporary YA reader - so to want to find out what happens next is super rare. My only concern is that I hope this style of writing isn't going to be become a gimmick and Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff keep it fresh and new and engaging...

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Happy Illuminae Day!

HAPPY ILLUMINAE DAY!!!

I am really excited to read this (have been saving this read - CURSE YOU REAL LIFE!) but to celebrate this exciting read (it is insane! Trust me! I have read several pages as it's nuts!), I have been allowed by the UK publisher, Rock the Boat, to do a tiny giveaway.

I have five copies to give away to five lucky UK readers (sorry, International readers! I lack funds to do international contest but I PROMISE YOU, I WILL DO A SMALL INTERNATIONAL CONTEST IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS)! All you have to do is fill in the form below.

The contest will end at midday this coming Sunday (25th October) so you only have a few days to enter! All the winners will be chosen via Random.org and they will be emailed for their home addresses so the publisher can send them their winning copy!

Good luck everyone! And hang on - it's going to be one insane ride!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

GoodRead - This Night So Dark

After I finished This Shattered World that the lovely Luna from Luna's Little Library lent me (she got a copy from BEA - my review of that is here), I wasn't ready to leave this world. Even though I have LOADS of books to read - one book I really should have finished sometime this week but I know I'm not going to make my mental deadline and I have a second that I need to read by 3rd December - I wanted to stay in this world for a tad longer.

I knew about this eNovella for a while, but it took a while for me to hunt it down and get a copy of it. This is free and if you live in the UK and you want to read this eNovella within These Broken Stars world, you can go here. Anywhere else in the world can go here.

Tarver has started to have nightmares. Nightmares about something that happened six months prior to the horror that was the Icarus crash. Six months prior where Tarver has to rescue a group of civilians from a group of brutal mercenaries. But is what happened then connected to what happened to both him and Lilac...

I finished this several days ago and, I did like this. It was a fast read (though I did have to spread it over several days - real life sucks sometimes!) and it was a nice titbit for readers. We get more Tarver and Lilac and we see them after the events of These Broken Stars. But it also gives us a insight to Tarver's history and why he was on the Icarus. 

And it does a good thing by making the plot thicken over the mysterious LaRoux Industries.

But, I did have some issues. I always do so why did I expect not to have problems is anyone's guess.

While it was nice to read this, I was expecting more. I'm not what more I wanted but I was expecting more details, more hints and clues and more story (with this download, 47% is This Night So Dark and the rest is sample chapters of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World). Also, I expected to see a crossover where we meet Jubilee from This Shattered World and see how she and Tarver know and interact with each other. But the only clue for This Shattered World is Tarver mentioning he was based on Avon a month or two ago.

While this isn't important to the series in my opinion (so if you miss it or decide not to read it but read This Shattered World), I think fans will enjoy this. And if you're curious over this series, this is free and there is sample chapters of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, I would say go to it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

GoodRead - This Shattered World

I must thank Luna from Luna's Little Library. Thank you Luna! Luna got this at BEA earlier in the year and I kept going on about wanting to read it (I went mad over the first book in the trilogy, These Broken Stars [review to that is here!]. And, very kindly, Luna offered to let me borrow her BEA copy as we were going to meet at the Zoe Marriott/Walker Books event (and she "forced" me to buy more books in a charity shop. Will read them soonish. Hopefully).

So, I got this and I spedread this and, yes, even though this isn't out till 23rd December, am going to write my review now and maybe - MAYBE - review it on the Bookish Brits YouTube Channel  nearer the publication date. Maybe.

In this, the second book in the Starbound trilogy, a war is raging on the planet of Avon. Captain Jubilee (Lee for short) Chase has been sent to he planet to crush the terraformed planet's rebels. Flynn is one of these rebels, trying to end the war peacefully.

The two were never meant to meet. But a chance meeting make Flynn taking Lee has a hostage. As his fellow rebels plan to execute Lee, Flynn makes another decision, changing them both. Soon, they find themselves working together to figure out a way to end this senseless war...

And, from a distance, LaRoux Industries is watching...

Ok, as you are aware, I LOVED These Broken Stars so I knew from the word go that it was going to be hard for this book to live up to my reaction, and with this book focusing on new characters rather than Tarver and Lilac, it was going to be a very interesting.

It was going to be, I decided, like Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins. But in space.

And I really liked it. I enjoyed myself while I galloped through the pages. Yes, it didn't live up to my love to These Broken Stars, but it is a very worthy sequel.

First thing I really enjoyed was how different yet similar this book was to These Broken Stars. We have two strong and interesting characters. I think you guys are going to love reading about Jubilee (Why, authors? Why use that name? Every time I read it, I kept thinking of Jubilee from the X-Men?!). You'll like Flynn too, but this was really Jubilee's book.

And how this book linked with These Broken Stars. I don't want to spoil anything but, if you loved These Broken Stars, you'll squeal when you see who/what pops up...

Also, the last 100 or so pages - Meagan and Amie know how to make those last few pages count. They will have you on the edge of your seat and breathless - I remember finishing these pages and going to Twitter to some bookish pals and going "PLEASE TELL ME YOU READ THIS?!"

(Again, why doesn't this series not have a UK publisher? Why?!)

I am going to admit there are little things that bothered me. There are not big deal breakers but I noticed them and, once you notice something...

The one real thing that bothered me was only really used in the first 50 or so pages when we are told several times that Jubilee is Chinese descent and people of Avon have hints of Irish. Compared to some books where they drum this details into the reader's head with a fork-lift truck, this was more gentle. But I spotted it and was annoyed over it... I blame Zoe Marriott (not read her. You should!

I think my issues come down to the fact that with These Broken Stars, I listened via audiobook so I crept under the character's skins. But with This Shattered World, I borrowed someone's book (I'm weird over borrowing books from people) and I devoured the book within 8 days. That is fast for me, but I must have liked and enjoyed myself as I usually take two weeks to read one book. But I think if I listened to the audiobook, my reaction might have been different.

Maybe I should get the audiobook when it's released and do a reread...

But fans of this series will really enjoy this book and I can't wait to get my hands of the third and final book in the trilogy, which should be out in December 2015 (SO FAR AWAY!). But, there is a eNovella that ties These Broken Stars and This Shattered World together - This Night So Dark - and I plan to be reading that VERY SOON (you can read it here...).

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

GoodRead - These Broken Stars

As you are probably aware, I am doing a bit of an audiobook blitz, thanks to the lovely ladies at Mystical Lit Lounge who, this month, is book clubbing Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnson (my review's here and the Mysterical Lit Lounge's here!) and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Now, the ladies will have their podcast review up at the end of the month but here is mine. And the reason why will be shown in a second...

On the spaceliner, the Icarus, there is Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsent. Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the universe while Tarver Merendsen is a nobody, a war hero. They shouldn't meet, but there do. And then the Icarus falls suddenly out of hyperspace and plummets into an unknown planet. Lilac and Tarver are the only survivors and if either of them want to survive, they need to rely on it each...

I think I'll stop there because if I go any further, I might enter spoiler-area and I try not to write about spoilers in my reviews.

Now, before I go any further, I must say something. I am not a great lover of YA space books. I got around 50 pages into Across the Universe by Beth Revis and just couldn't "click" with the story. 172 Hours of the Moon by Johan Harstad I liked but I didn't love. The same with A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix. And while I did request this on NetGalley (and got rejected - my first EVER NetGalley rejection [which I am oddly pleased about!]), I did have my doubts on whether I was going to like this. I mean, from the synopsis, it's sounds like Titance in Space (I have seen reviews using Jack & Rose GIFS) or the Doctor Who episode, Voyage of the Damned.

So, my reactions... I ADORE THIS AUDIOBOOK!

I actually got a little obsessed with this, if I must be honest with you. The action happens super quickly (within the first 5 chapters!) and then the tension is kept throughout the story. There was always something happening - whether that be something action-packed, character-development or something quite creepy. It never felt dull and, because of this, I was always thinking about it and trying to find time to listen to more. I would listen while driving to my other half, while in the shower, late at night when I should have been sleeping, early in the morning while I was getting ready for work. I couldn't leave this story alone!

And because I was always rushing to get back to it, I got emotionally involved in this book. Which is SUPER rare for me. A book that can do that to me is like stardust (pun intended!). There was one chapter where something happened where I literally starting shouting at my iPhone. I am being serious about this fact and then, from that point onwards, my emotional state in my brain was like this (the clip is taken from this YouTube video from polandbananasBOOKS on her Clockwork Princess booktalk)



Sorry about the audio. Not used Vine before on my blog so... yeah... MOVING ON!!!

I adore the audiobook production. It was FAULTLESS!!! The voice who did the "Interviewer" as I called him (Sarge Anton) made me hate him, even though we knew NOTHING about this character, and the voices who did Lilac and Tarver - Cynthia Holloway and Johnathan McClain - were perfect and made the characters more fleshed out and made this two-hander of a story more gripping than it actually was.

And the story - hats off to both Amie and Meagan. Just hats off to you both.

My only fault (if you need me to nitpick) is the last chapter - it felt a bit wet - but it had to be that way, seeing as the other books in the trilogy are companion novels where Liliac and Tarver aren't our main characters (a bit like the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins). But it gave me the ending I wanted and needed so I can live with that!

I need the sequel. I need This Shattered World. I need this series to have a UK publisher (Why doesn't this series have a UK publisher?! WHY?!).