Book Review: Illuminae

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is a delight! I was really unsure about this one because the story is told through emails, instant messages, military files and medical records. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get engaged with the story without more traditional prose to unite everything but I was so wrong.

This is a story about Kady and Ezra, two 17 year olds who live with their respective families on a remote planet rich in natural resources. On the day that Kady breaks up with Ezra, their colony is attacked by a corporation intent on wiping out the existing mining colony and taking the natural resources of the planet for themselves.

With thousands of other residents, Kady and Ezra race for the evacuation ships. Separated in the chaos, they board different ships and along with a third evacuation vessel and the war ship Lincoln, flee the invaders who are intent on hiding their crime by massacring all witnesses – including those on the evacuation vessels. The chase is on!

At first, it seems like a miracle that the Lincoln was in the area of the mining planet on military maneuvers at the time of the invasion as they stepped in to help fight off the attacking ships and are the only reason the evacuation vessels were able to escape. However, it quickly becomes apparent that not all is as it seems. Kady uses her time on the ship to enhance her computer hacking skills so that she can locate her missing loved ones and find out what secret their saviour and now military escort, the Lincoln, is hiding.

The story is fast-paced with a number of twists and turns that I did not see coming. You care about the characters in this story and not just the main ones – there are secondary characters that you learn to love and root for as well. Although marketed as YA because of the age of the main characters, there are some really graphic and scary scenes in this book. The desperation of trying to outrun their pursuers comes across so well and the feeling that Kady, Ezra and their friends have stumbled across a truly sinister conspiracy keeps you turning the pages as you learn more details through your review of the dossier.

Don’t wait as long as I did before reading this book!

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