Showing posts with label The Illuminae Files. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Illuminae Files. 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 ( 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...