Review: Illuminae by A. Kaufman & J. Kristoff

Review: Illuminae by A. Kaufman & J. KristoffIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 602

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


Such a crazy ride! Not just the story, but the formatting, written in styles of emails, chat logs, documents, footage, art (etc.), it was an experience out of this world!

There’s a ton of awesome (and detailed) reviews, so mine will be fairly brisk.

Okay, story – it was quite the adventure. Kady just broke up with her boyfriend (Ezra) and to make the day a bajillion times worse, their planet is attacked, than to make even more of a disaster, after they’re saved, there’s a plague outbreak, and to make matters even worse worse! There may be more enemies than they thought!


It’s fast paced and action-packed. There’s a deadly disease and an interesting (and almost somewhat unexpected) villain that keeps the story full of surprises. A lot of people died, which made me sad (I hate when authors introduce all these wonderful characters only for them to die /sad face).

I loved Kady and Ezra. Kady is totally the rebellious, computer nerd who doesn’t like to play by the rules. She’s all snark and it’s lovely.

“I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

Ezra is hilarious (and big hearted). He becomes a pilot, and is cool and self-confident but also so dorky. Just perfect. He also knows how to be ridiculous charming and say all the right things when he needs to be. What more could you want?

“You have me. Until ever last star in the galaxy dies.

You have me.”

I just love it

I actually really enjoyed their romance. It’s one of those romance that would probably survive the ages, but also, it’s like a normal 18-19 year old relationship with it’s ups and downs. I liked the arguments, the teasing, the reconciling, the “ugh, you guys are too cute, it’s gross”.

“Ezra: And then I said it.
Interviewer; What did he say?
Kady Grant: He said, ‘You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.”

In conclusion, it was fun and high suspense read with twist and turns galore. No cliffhanger ending, but so many questions also  left unanswered. Definitely excited for more!


About Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Purchase the Book:

Amazon | B&N |  Book Depository | Chapters !ndigo


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

8 Replies to “Review: Illuminae by A. Kaufman & J. Kristoff”

  1. I’m glad to hear this one doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. That’s always one of my concerns when going into a new series. Glad to see Illuminae worked for you. I have it sitting on my shelves right now.

  2. I’m so glad to see that you liked this one! It ended up being my favorite read of 2015 and I can’t wait for more. However, I’m wondering if the story will follow the same characters or not? I’m really curious about AIDAN… I want to know what happens to him, because he really started to grow on me!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. I’m glad you loved Illuminae! I’ve practically tried forcing all my bookworm fiends to try it out. They always ask me if it’s any good, in which I reply, “YOU WILL LOVE IT.” I love how everything in the book went from bad to worse to even more worse, like you said. AIDAN practically left me thinking all my gadgets could somehow turn against me someday.

  4. I am so glad you loved this one. It was so EPIC!! I loved all the banter and funny quips and the swoon worthy scenes between Kady and Ezra. Now I just need the sequel!!

  5. Kady! Ezra! Such interesting individuals AND a lovely couple. I love how great the romance was, despite the obvious lack in physical interaction! So well done.

    Lovely review, Cyn! 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  6. “Am I not merciful?”

    YES. I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. This was such an amazing book. Kady was an amazing and fierce lead, Ezra was a hilarious love interest, and the twists and turns at the end were just pheonominal. So glad you felt the same way! ♥ Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! xD

  7. Literary Feline says: Reply

    This sounds so good! You have me wanting to read it now. I admit I melted a bit at the lines

    “You have me. Until ever last star in the galaxy dies.

    You have me.”

  8. YES CYN!!!!!!!! It so left me a broken happy mess, I just- THIS BOOK. I mean, the format is crazy but fun and gives you some serious arm exercises but it’s basically perfect, and considering the format, I didn’t think I’d connect with the characters but don’t know why I was worried because ohmygod I love them and and the ship and the ship ship did you ship the ship ship, Cyn? Now I’m just rambling BUT THIS BOOK MAKES ME RAMBLE. 😀

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