Blog Tour Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Blog Tour Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf BFYR on October 20, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 608
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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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.

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.

When I was hanging out with my kindred spirit librarian friends in New Orleans, one of them (hiiii Casey) told us about this fruitless fight she got into on Facebook, and this will totally have a point I swear. She’d seen a guy’s status update insisting that one strong woman in the new Mad Max film was enough. He felt it would be absurd to expect more than one woman in a position of power to receive adequate character development, but not for them men. Casey, and all of us confronted by such asshattery, should through Illuminae in their faces. Figuratively, I mean, because this book is massive and might do real damage which I will not actually recommend.

It might not be completely obvious from this book blog, but I do read quite a bit. You know, just a little. Thus, I can say with fairly significant authority that it’s hard to find fiction of any sort where you can find women represented equally in society. That seems especially true in futuristic novels, which really says a lot about our society right now. Anyway, Illuminae is feminist as fuck. Not only are there a bunch of women in positions of power, but I think there might actually be more women in command than men. Not only that but it’s in every field: the military, the sciences, corporations, etc.

gif who run the world girls beyonce

On top of all the boss bitches (oo er), Illuminae boasts excellent tone. I personally am a huge sucker for books that are black as my own heart but also enjoy laughing in the face of danger. Sure, everyone’s dying and everything’s terrible, but that’s no excuse not to banter. Illuminae has sass on every single page. Even the AI is sassy. I mean. This is very necessary when the book is as cruel as Illuminae is.

gif star wars death

gif firefly death

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What most obviously makes Illuminae stand out is the fact that the book is composed of documents: descriptions of videos, chats, emails, reports, and so forth. Illuminae isn’t the only novel with this form of storytelling, but I do think Kaufman and Kristoff do it particularly effectively, mostly because of the aforementioned sass to be found in each document. You’d think it would be boring to read a bunch of reports, but oh man it’s not. Plus, it makes the 600 pages fly by so you feel like you can read like a ninja.

Also, I don’t know how you could possibly not fall in love with Ezra and Kady immediately. I shipped it so hard from the moment they broke up right at the start of the book. I don’t generally ship couples who have broken up but I wanted to shove their faces together SO HARD, which was made very complicated by the fact that they were not on the same ship but WHATEVER. Do not disturb my ship with your logic.

i spaceship it
View Spoiler »

I hope you guys appreciate how much thought I’m putting into this review because it’s actually really tough to review Illuminae. There is so goddamn much that I cannot say without going into spoiler tags. The short version is that this book is boss as hell and kept ripping the carpet from under my feet, leaving me flopping on the floor and messaging Meg (Cuddlebuggery) and Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) for comfort. Friends do not let friends read Illuminae without a support system.


I am SO curious about what’s going to happen next in this series. For a lot of the book, I really thought everything was going to wrap up, and I was so confused, but then of course the last couple chapters happen and open up so many more questions. I love how Kaufman and Kristoff did this, because there’s a complete and epic story arc here but OH MAN I WANT MORE.

So yeah, Illuminae is legit and you should go get it, so you can suffer as I suffered. And you will love it because oh the exquisite pain.

Favorite Quote:

From a sent drunk email:

anyway since i will never send this, I feel it fair to say i thought it wasrough not to mail me back I get mahybe ou don’t want to talk me and thats fine but a simple “i do not wish to speak to you goodday sir” would have been nice and this is shabby treatment madam, verily.

since i will not send this, i also feel it is my duty to inform you that almost six months on i think i still love you and that makes me sad becaue love shouldn’t feel this way. is like getting kicked in the stomach every time i think of you and it makes me want to roll my face across this keyboardbiu;///ubEWdcfhugiov….

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif oh god oh god we're all going to die firefly
The kind people at the publisher are offering one copy of Illuminae to one of my readers. US/Canada only, unfortunately. Just fill out the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 responses to “Blog Tour Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

  1. Casey says:


    Also, I am so glad to see all these flaily ‘I can’t talk about it without spoiling’ reviews because I read it like a week after BEA and FLIPPED OUT but like no one had read it by then and holy crap, reading that book without a support system??? Also, yes, on the spoiler, that is exactly the ‘group’ I thought of two as things went on!

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m so excited for Illuminae! I’ve already read (and loved) Amie Kaufman’s Starbound Trilogy and have been looking for another great YA sic-fi ever since.
    Also, that ship/spaceship pun was the best thing I’ve seen today.

  3. Vivien says:

    I am such a big fan of both authors separately. This book is going to be so fabulous! I have been looking forward to it for months!!!

  4. Autumn says:

    This book sounds intriguing. I love the concept of piecing a story together by different types of documents. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and it’s definitely on the top of my tbr list.

  5. Carl says:

    I’m already a fan of Kristoff’s and hoping to become a fan of Kaufman as well. Thanks for the excellent chance.

  6. Karen Maldonado says:

    I loved AIDAN. But, I am looking forward to having my own copy, and getting to read about Kady all over again.

  7. Lyn Kaye says:

    I am reading it right now, so I did a quick skim. But I had to just chime in on this:

    “She’d seen a guy’s status update insisting that one strong woman in the new Mad Max film was enough. He felt it would be absurd to expect more than one woman in a position of power to receive adequate character development, but not for them men.”

    Why the fuck is it absurd for strong female characters to populate the media? I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around this. This is the type of comments that drives a spike into my chest, every time I see it. It is 20-andfucking-15, and women are still props and objects, and it just makes me want to rip out chunks of my hair.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Inheritance of AshesMy Profile

  8. I’m looking forward to it because I’ve heard such amazing things about it. I’m also a little scared of it!
    Tabitha Williams recently posted…Review for Crown Of Midnight (Throne Of Glass #2) by Sarah J MaasMy Profile

  9. Chenise J. says:

    I’m so, so curious to read this book based how it’s formatted alone. It sounds like it will be one of the most unique things I’ve ever read. And from what I’ve read about the two characters, I’m already on board this space ship.

  10. Anita Yancey says:

    I am looking forward to it because I love science fiction, and I haven’t read anything by these authors yet. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  11. Jenelle Riane says:

    Because I’m convinced that this is the book of the year and I’m so excited to read this, pain and all!

  12. Eileen says:

    Everyone’s loving this so I’m excited to get a copy! I’ve heard the whole design of the book is really unique so can’t wait to see. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂
    Eileen recently posted…WoW #67: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra ClareMy Profile

  13. […] & Feminist: Christina at A Reader of Fictions goes into this more and better than I do, but you won’t ever doubt that a woman or a person of color could do any job in this book – […]

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