April 12, 2016

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


This book is the ultimate in production design. Look at that cover. Look at it! I know, right? But wait. There's more.

The story is laid out in a sort of dossier. It's official memoranda, transcripts of conversations, chat logs, journal pages, etc. Here's an example:

illuminae 1

And then there is this one:

illuminae 2

Okay. The story. This girl, Kady, lives on a planet that is an illegal mine. At the first of the book, the planet is attacked by a rival company and a nearby spaceship rescues as many people as it can, including Kady and her recently ex-boyfriend Ezra. Then, bad stuff happens and the AI on the rescuing ship orders the elimination of one of the ships in its own fleet. Everyone freaks out and they shut down the AI. Eventually, they fire it up again, and it begins narrating some of the story. Those pages sometimes look like this:


The thing I appreciated the most about this book is that it doesn't feel like it has to spell everything out for the reader. It assumes you have a brain and you can put the pieces together. That is fairly rare in YA fiction, in my experience. And it's something I hate in any book, really.

This thing is 600 pages, and I read 450 of those pages in one day. Kady's badassery and the general mayhem and derring do kept the pages turning at a rapid pace.

10 out of 10 bookmarks for this one.