BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae – by Amie Kaufman

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Title: Illuminae
(The Illuminae Files #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: October 20th 2015
Finished reading: January 15th 2016
Pages: 608
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“Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us. And that’s what I think you’re afraid of. Maybe not of dying. But of this you, the you you’ve become, ceasing to exist.”

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There has been an enormous hype around this book even before it actually came out, and now I’ve read it I can definitely understand why. Illuminae is without doubt a very special book. The plot itself might not be overly original, but the prose and creative layout of the text and many illustrations are just that: highly original. Still, it was the creative layout of some parts of the book (especially the AIDAN pages and the battle scenes) that were also starting to frustrate me. Those who have read a shiny paperback or hardback version will probably be surprised, but trust me: having to read a kindle version of Illuminae royally sucks. There really should be a warning on the cover saying to only start reading it if you have an actual copy in your hands… Because I really started to get a headache trying to decipher some of the pages and ended up finishing it on my computer. The plot is quite simple and I liked the idea behind Illuminae, but I’m not sure I was a fan of the relationship between Kady and Ezra. The computer AIDAN had an interesting role even though I’m still not sure why they couldn’t just shut it down… But hey, a computer of fantasy story is set in 2575 can do whatever it wants right? Would I recommend it? Yes, but please don’t make the same mistake as I did and read it on your kindle…

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Kady decided to break up with her boyfriend Ezra the other day, but what she didn’t know is that her planet was about to be invaded… Two megacorporations are at war over a planet, and the planet and its people are being destroyed in the process. Some manage to escape, and both Kady and Ezra are among them. They were forced to fight their way out onto an evacuating spaceship, and the three ships that managed to escape are now trying to escape the enemy warship in pursuit. Kady, her mother and Ezra end up on different ships, and the enemy warship is not the only problem they have to face… A deadly plague broke out on one of the ships and is mutating, and the onboard computer AIDAN is having problems as well. Will they be able to make it somewhere safe on time?

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Like I said above, the actual plot is not that special, but the way the story is told is. Amie Kaufman has used all kinds of documents, emails, military files and other things to slowly tell us the story what happened on those ships that were trying to escape the enemy warship… The creativeness of the layout and illustrations is clear, but I also cannot deny some of the pages really started to frustrate me as they weren’t easy to decipher on my kindle. Still, there is no doubt that I will pick up a paper version of the sequel as soon as it comes out.

WWW Wednesdays #74 – January 20th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading my pending ARC, Eternal War: Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini yesterday. It’s a historical fiction/fantasy read and I’m really enjoying it so far! I’ve also finally picked up The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings… I have been wanting to read this sequel for too long now so I’m glad I finally did.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. People kept recommending this book to me and I have to say it was just as good as I thought it would be. Minor complaint: I NEED a physical version because the creative layout doesn’t look nearly as good on my kindle. 😦
* I then finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which turned out to be quite a slow read and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I would. It’s more about the family history than it is about the missing girl… And somehow it didn’t manage to convince me completely.
* The last book I managed to finish (I DNFed Death Of Secrets by Bowen Greenwood) was The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas. Finally a good mystery read and a new series I can add to my favorites list!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I might try to read I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios next, although I’ve heard mixed things about it… Confessions by Kanae Minato is also still on my list as well, but I might read Defending Jacob by William Landay first since I’m in the mood for mystery/thriller reads. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick…

WWW Wednesdays #73 – January 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I finally picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and so far I’m absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to continue reading it later today! Looks like this is one of those books that is actually worth the hype around it…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. A very good middle grade story that has a good mix of fantasy and scary elements and I really liked the prose.
* I then finished All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this historical fiction novel. Such an original, beautifully written and emotional story!
* I was in the mood for another crime read so I picked up Confessions Of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson. It’s the first time I read a Patterson YA novel, but I flew through the pages and it was a really entertaining read.
* Afterwards I decided to read Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl since it has become a tradition to reread at least one or two Roald Dahl books a year. He is one of my favorite childhood authors and I always love rereading his work. This is not my favorite, but still good.
* The last book I finished during the read-a-thon was Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid.  I can’t say I was impressed by this one. It wasn’t terrible but there were some parts that really bothered me…
* The last book on this list, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, was not as great as I would have thought either. It’s definitely a dark, twisted and disturbing read with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending, but it took me a long time to actually finish it and I didn’t like the characters…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC waiting for me: Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. This book set in the 13th century is a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and I’m really looking forward to it! I really should read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings as well, so I can at least start finishing all those poor neglected series… Although I will probably read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng first. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick.

Teaser Tuesdays #76 – January 12th: Illuminae

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at A Daily Rhythm. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

It’s finally happening!!! Words cannot describe how excited I am to be finally picking up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I have only seen raving reviews about it, so hopefully it’s just as good as everyone keeps telling me!

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My teaser (3%):

“I don’t know how long I was unconscious for. I came to and thought the sky was covered in spiderwebs. And then I realize I’m looking through the smashed windshield and we’re buried under half a building.”

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #72 – January 6th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Bout Of Books 15 is really helping me fly through my books! I have started All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry yesterday evening and I’m really looking forward to continue it today… And Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty I will finish for sure today; a very entertaining middle grade read that is definitely living up to expectations!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished this year is The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. I actually really enjoyed the first part of the book, but then another freaking love triangle was introduced… And things went downhill from there.
* I then finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a book I absolutely LOVED. I think this is my new Gaiman favorite, although The Ocean At The End Of The Lane comes close…
* I was in the mood for a crime read so I picked up Dead Wood by Dani Amore afterwards. It turned out to be a quick and entertaining read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as Bout Of Books 15 is over, I’m going to start Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I’m so excited about this read that it’s getting really hard to wait any longer! I also want to read both Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn; with a little luck I will be able to finish both before the end of the read-a-thon. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is my newest TBR jar pick, which is kind of funny because I already had that title on my January TBR anyway. 😉

WWW Wednesdays #71 – December 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading my last TBR jar pick: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’m still not too far into the story, but so far I’m really enjoying it… Hopefully I will magically find time to finish this read before the year is over!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books finished this week, and only because I managed to finish the last two yesterday…
* The first book is Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. I ended up quite enjoying the first story, but things went downhill from there…
* I then finished My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins and a bunch of other authors yesterday. I loved some stories while I didn’t really like others… But overall it was an entertaining bundle of short stories.
* Last up is The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I really like her prose and the story, although I could have done without the love triangle. It’s quite a sad read for the Holiday season though!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Now I have a copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, I want to start reading it ASAP! Although I might wait until after Bout Of Books 15.0 because it’s quite a long read… I also want to read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings so I can cross of another series from my to-finish list. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury looks like a quick read, so I might pick that one up for the read-a-thon… And Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty is my new TBR jar pick.