Review: Illuminae

Hello readers!

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have a new book coming out next month. It’s called Aurora Rising and I took one look at it and knew immediately that it was going to be my jam. Squad of pilot losers in space? with a heist? Sign me up.

But when I mentioned to Tara and Allison how excited I was, both of them immediately just said, “Okay, but have you read the Illuminae Files?” To which I responded, “…should I have?”

Turns out this combo author team has three other freakishly good books out that I somehow missed. The rest of the teen book world was obsessed with them, but I missed them entirely.

Until now.

I got Allison’s ringing endorsement: “SOME TERROR, LOTS OF TEARS, AND A LOVE TRIANGLE BUT ONLY IF YOU KINDA COUNT THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE UNIT. Stargate meets The Walking Dead, or something. And the secondary characters are really well-fleshed out through DOCUMENTS AND CHATS (so are the mains, for that matter). Fabulous. The entire narrative is told through military dossiers, chat logs, charts, and graphics. And I cried a lot, so this was obviously an effective mode of storytelling.”

And Tara’s deep-seated love for the books (and the authors): “Not only did the format keep me turning pages well past my bedtime, but it also enhanced the storytelling rather than diminishing it. The characters came to life through snippets of interviews, messages, and diary entries. And the story, which started off with a bang, propelled forward with an abundance of tension and action. I cared about these people, I wanted to know more about the mysteries being uncovered, and more than anything I wanted to know how, and if, they would make their escape and survive.”

So I sucked it up against the creepy parts and read it in a day and a half. Tara said it was worth losing sleep over, and she was right. I still could have done without the zombie plague (it’s just never going to be my thing, I think), but the beautiful page layouts, the quality romance angst, the frankly fantastic rogue AI, the spaceship dogfights, the characters all drew me in and made me love this book in spite of myself. The very refreshing style of this book was to die for, and it was an extremely clever way to tell this story while constantly building suspense, slow reveals, and constantly amping tension.

It was a marvelous roller coaster of a book, and I’m deep in the second one, now, which is just a deliciously creepy and inventively told.

And Tara and Allison were right–even though Aurora Rising has absolutely nothing to do with The Illuminae Files, I’m even more excited for it, knowing what these two authors are capable of together.


You can purchase Illuminae  online or call the store to reserve a copy.

You can pre-order Aurora Rising (and get 15% off if you order by Tuesday the 23rd!) and it will be waiting for you on May 7th.

Happy reading!


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