Sunday, November 29, 2015

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Wow. What an interesting book.

Illuminae is a sci-fi novel centered around two main protagonists, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason. Kady and Ezra are living on a small planet, Kerenza, that is attacked by the Beitech Company, a major corporation that is warring with another mega-corporation. The Kerenza survivors are whisked away on a convoy of ships, but they have to contend with the continued pursuit of Beitech's fleet, a biological weapon that is affecting many of the survivors, and an artificial intelligence system that has gone haywire, and may now be doing more harm than good. 

The story is told in a really fascinating way. Various documents, including transcripts, e-mails, IMs, and reports are used to construct the narrative. The style is a little gimmicky, and can feel like reading a found footage film. Sifting through the documents can certainly feel draining at times, but they were interesting enough to keep me moving through the book. Ultimately, the book was a pretty quick read for me, even though it clocked in at a little less than 600 pages. 

I think the main aspect of the novel that held my attention was the strength of the characters. Kady and Ezra were pretty well developed. The two were in a relationship that had just ended on the day Kerenza was attacked, so they had some personal issues to work out while also dealing with the issues on their ships, which led to some great IM conversations between the two. Kady and Ezra had great personalities, and their talks were chockful of witty banter, I'm a sucker for good banter, and it can be hard to pull off without seeming cheesy or becoming annoying, but Kaufman and Kristoff make this dialogue feel natural and use it to give the novel some much needed lighter moments.

Also, AIDAN is creepy. Read the book, embrace the creepiness.

This book is definitely worth a read. Plus this is happening, so now you have added incentive to get to it sooner rather than later.