Book Club Pick: June 2017
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files series
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Alfred A. Knoff
First Published: 2015
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 one of the 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!
BRIEFING NOTE: 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.
The novel is set in the year 2575 and focuses on seventeen-year-old Kady Grant and her ex-boyfriend Ezra Mason.
Kady and Ezra are two high school students living on Kerenza. After their plant is attacked the two teens make it out aboard two rescue ships. Kady is onboard the Hypatia and Ezra on the Alexander.
The stakes are high – the Lincoln, an enemy warship is in hot pursuit; the AI on the Hypatia appears to be controlling the ship; the crew onboard the Copernicus are infected by a virus and have launched escape pods towards the Alexander.
At 599 pages Illuminae may appear as a big book. This may intimidate some reluctant readers, but just as one should not judge a book by its cover, one should not judge it by its size.
The novel is written in found footage or epistolary style, in that it is made up of a collection of classified documents that have been retrieved by hacking. This includes emails, transcripts, reports, classified files, instant chat messages, diagrams and artwork. Many of the pages have only have a few words and there are a few blank pages, so it is quite quick to read once you get use to the style.
It is a very visual book.
There is a lot of violence present in the novel but it is not overly graphic. Coarse language in the ‘documents’ has been blocked out with black, although it possible to guess the swear words by the size of the black and the context in which it appears.
The sequel Gemina was released in October 2016 and the third book Obsidio is due out early next year.
Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B Entertainment, announced in November 2015 that they had secured the film rights.
I saw Amie Kaufman, co-author of the Illuminae, recently at All Day YA at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Click here to read my recap on the event.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.