Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 01)
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
4.5 / 5
This was my first read of 2021, and I’m not sure what prompted me to pick it out of my ginormous stack of books, but this ended up being quite fitting for the times.
The book starts much like a typical YA romance, with a break-up. The year is 2575, Kady Grant tells her boyfriend Ezra Mason it’s over, but then things get crazy. The cold icy planet they live on is attacked. Evacuation measures ensue and Kady and Ezra end up on separate ships.
This small fleet of ships is all that is left of their home planet. They must regroup and retrain forces to stay alive. Kady is on a science ship and becomes a big-time hacker, while Ezra is trained to become a fighter pilot.
Not only has their world been overtaken, but the ships are in imminent danger. Enemy warships are attacking, a deadly virus has been released within one of the ships, and AIDAN, the fleet’s AI system, appears to be trying to take over. As Kady continues to hack deeper into the system she finds the truth, and she knows that only Ezra can be trusted with it.
Here’s what makes this story so unique: it’s told through transmissions between ships, data entries (think Star Trek), computer code (think War Games), as well as, great dialogue. The book has wonderful graphics, but I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. It was as if I was listening to an intergalactic – dystopian – romance movie.