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Thursday, February 11, 2016

ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Published October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Read: November 2015
How I Got It: Purchased Hardcover (599 pages) from Amazon
Series: The Illuminae Files (subsequent books to be released in 2016 and 2017)

In the year 2075, people travel through space, artificial intelligence has a name and personality, and terrorism is unfortunately still a problem.  When the Kerenza colony is attacked by a company called BeiTech Industries, Kady and her boyfriend (or is it ex-boyfriend?), Ezra, are forced into a war. There is battle carrier action, a disease turning the ship inhabitants into zombie-like creatures, and a supercomputer (AIDAN) with a god-complex. The book is set up like a dossier of the “incident” including news briefs, chat conversations, surveillance footage, and data straight from AIDAN’s core. The text is not always linear; the words twist and turn on the page to reflect the ships in battle and become convoluted with a mix of ones and zeros when AIDAN becomes damaged. 

In the midst of war, there is still romance, humor, and strong character development. Young adult readers, especially those who prefer short text message language, will enjoy the way this story is written. Readers will also love the mix of outer space, warfare, zombies, and technology that this book presents. Kady and Ezra are relatable characters, and seeing this war through their eyes allows it to be exhilarating yet somehow a little less scary. Knowing that this book is part one of an upcoming series, the Illuminae Files, lends to the fact that the characters will be okay even if there are many yet unanswered questions.

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