By Fayetta Doll, Staff Reporter
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff utilizes different storytelling techniques such as email conversations and images to detail a creative, fully functional world. This book is a chunky read at over 500 pages, so it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you do choose to pick up this bad boy you’ll be happy to know that most of the pages don’t include giant chunks of text and instead are tastfully artsy. To quote Kaufman’s site, “[told] through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.”
To detail out why I loved this book would be giving quite a bit of spoilers so instead I will only say YES. Yes, there’s this one character that is absolutely amazing. “His” name is AIDAN and he has lines such as “like roses in his hands death blooms” on page 275 and “Numbers do not feel. Do not blood or weep or hope. They do not know bravery or sacrifice. Love or allegiance. At the very apex of callousness, you will find only ones and zeros” on page 299, among many, many, many more fantastic lines that leave me gawking and craving more.
Okay fine, I’ll tell you who this guy is, but you have to promise to still consider reading the book despite the KINDA spoiler, because it isgreat. Anyway, AIDAN is an AI turned sentient who turns against its crew. He is an antihero if ever there was one. “Am I not merciful?” is one of AIDAN’s repeated lines.
Besides AIDAN, this book features a cast of flushed out characters such as the main two: Kady and Ezra. I don’t usually get interested in those sappy heterosexual love stories (who am I kidding? I may prefer LGBTQ+ romances but I’m a giant sap and love me some romance) but their dynamic is INCREDIBLE. Kady and Ezra’s relationship is so detailed that I got almost too invested in it. By that I mean I cried. Multiple times.
This book is described as a space opera and needless to say, what do you get when you combine an invasion with a psychologically inhibiting virus with space? Something unbelievably iconic.
I don’t usually read sci-fi, as fantasy is my genre of choice, however even for someone who prefers other genres to sci-fi, I enjoyed the book. There was an excess of cursing (albeit censored) and some sexually implicit and occasionally explicit things, but overall it was a good read.
I give this book eight out of ten flowers. On Goodreads I gave it five out of five stars.