Illuminae Review (YA Science Fiction)


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. – Goodreads Synopsis


Illuminae Review

This really is an epic story of survival, love, determination, set far in the future, and taking place on space ships. Overall, the cast who voice the audio book do an amazing job. I’ve seen pics of the contents of  printed Illuminae, and I don’t think I’d enjoy it nearly as much in paper form. The audio form is smooth, seamless, with no visual distractions, no frustrations with formatting. It is the meat of the story, woven into an aural soundtrack that blooms images inside your mind. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff do a fantastic job with the story, and the cast amplify the impact by adding their voices to it. 5 Star Rated Illuminae Review


(Possible Spoilers Warning for content below this line. I gloss over certain key points. I don’t believe that I in any way ‘spoil’ any part of the story, but…just in case…)


There are so many stories being told in Illuminae. The one that ties them all together is the desperate fleeing of refugees from an evil corporation determined to wipe out all evidence of their wrong-doing. There’s the authors playing on our fears of Artificial Intelligence via AIDEN’s insanity. Is it really insanity, though, or is it humanity? Kady and Ezra’s story, which while it doesn’t appeal to me, will definitely appeal to those who seek seemingly hopeless romance. The infected: Intelli-zombies of a sort driven into psychopathic paranoia by the virus. Kady’s determined undercover white-hatting. The ego of those in charge dooming so many people. The AI’s obsession with the one it thinks can save it. Katie’s moral core leading her on a path that may lead to her end. The bravery of unexpected personnel which save so many…and a few others I haven’t named.

The scale is insane, the story told through the eyes of people who hardly ever actually lay eyes on each other, and while there’s a delightful twist at the end that explains how they’re going to do a book two, you feel like the story that’s been told is suitably complete that you don’t need to read further if you don’t want to.

All in all, Illuminae was fantastic piece of work that I’d recommend for any sci-fi fans out there. However, I don’t care if the words were blacked out in the book, Audible needs to freakin’ warn people that it decided, for some damn reason, to silence out the curse words! It was distracting and pulled me from the story a few times!! However, Illuminae was still a good enough listen that it made #4 on my Top 10 “Scifi and Scary Reads of 2015”.

Click here to find Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) now on

Book Details for the Illuminae Review

Title: Illuminae | Series: The Illuminae Files | Authors: Amie Kaufman (site) and Jay Kristoff (site) | Narrators: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, Jonathan McClain | Audiobook Length: 11+ hours |  Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (site) |  Pub. Date: 2015-10-20 | Pages: 599 | ISBN13: 9780553499117 | Genre(s): Science Fiction & Young Adult | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 2015-11-20 | Source: Self-purchased audio book.

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5 thoughts on “Illuminae Review (YA Science Fiction)

  1. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the audio book is amazing, and from what I have heard it is done in a format of emails and similar things and not a full book. I think I will give it a try on audio

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