Illuminae Review (2020 Reread)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

2020 Read:
Wow, every time I read this book I am astounded by how good it is. I think I last read it about six months ago and now I am gearing up to read the sequel (can you believe that? It took me six months to read the sequel to one of my favorite books??). I’m also super excited because I have the hardcover of the next book. This series is definitely one you want to read the physical book, it’s just not the same on kindle and if I loved it as much as I did on the kindle, then I can’t imagine how good it must be in hardcover.
Spoiler Warning
Something I really enjoyed after reread was trying to pinpoint the part where Ezra’s texts were replaced by Aidan. I want to be on the right page (no pun intended) with where his character is at the start of the next book. The only problem is I’ve read the sample pages of the sequel on Amazon and it doesn’t seem like we are hearing from Kady and Ezra immediately. The new characters do seem interesting, but I can’t lose the dream team! I guess I’ll just have to wait until they show up.
The crazy thing is that I was just as thrilled by the action as I was when I finished the first book. I actually had to stop myself at some parts and be like, ‘Don’t worry Avalon, she survives”. Aidan was just as infuriating as last time and I also wanted to see more of the real Ezra, just as I did last time.
I actually went into this scared I would be disappointed by the book though. I think that’s because I just finished Aurora Rising and I was disappointed by that one, so I was afraid that the only reason I liked this book was because I had read it at the right time. In the end, I had nothing to worry about, this reread was just as good as the first reread and I can’t wait for the next book!

2019 Read:
Spoilers Below
No review can do this book justice. Everyone has to read it; it was so good. The first thing I will rave about is the style the book was written in. At first I was skeptical, I did not think it was possible to tell a good story thru documents. I was wrong! This book is perfect! So many more books should be written like this. The way everything was so real, it totally made me feel like this had actually happened. As if these documents had actually come from somewhere. Coupled with the fact that all the science actually made sense (a fact the authors were careful to preserve); it just made this book seem so real! I loved the way the chats were set up, and I think putting schematics of the ships in the beginning was a great way to world build.
Now, the characters. When it comes to the main two this is probably the first book where I have liked the male lead more than the female. Don’t get me wrong, Kady was great and such an amazing strong female character, I just related to Ezra more. Personally I think they are a super cute couple, and the way the bickered all the time was adorable. I also admire Kady so much, the way she went back to the scariest ship ever for Ezra was beyond brave. I also really liked AIDAN. At first he was terrible, (I know everyone agrees with me about this at first) but then he has the quickest, most fulfilling character arc in the history of character arcs. The way I went from hating him, to crying when we all thought he’d died was really a spectacular demonstration of how good these writers are. Also, the way the authors showed that he actually cared about Kady was so perfect they haven’t invented an adjective that can properly describe it yet. I cannot believe that I cried over a murderous AI.
Now, Phobos. Oh boy! I happened to read the scariest part of this book at midnight. You can be sure that I was definitely scanning every part of my room for infected babies ready to rip my heart out as I slept (yes I am still afraid of stuff like that XD). The way the afflicted were like zombies really scared me, but the worst part was that they could actually still think. The way they were taunting Kady at the end and putting on the life suits… Those things are not something zombies can do which is even scarier. Basically if you came across one of these you’d be a goner, because the afflicted are humans who don’t think about anything but killing, however retain everything that makes us stronger than any other animals (i.e. fine motor skills, communication, all that…). They are an unstoppable force that are only stopped by blowing them up… Which is what they did in the book. Plus the way they were so creepy just made everything scarier where Phobos was concerned.
The story itself was amazing! When I arrived at around the 50% mark I was again getting skeptical because I could feel the big shebang coming. But! I was thinking how was it possible for the climax of a book to be the entire last half of it? But the authors pulled that off too. The ending didn’t feel long or stretched out at all, in fact I think it is perfect. The length was perfect for everything that needed to be accomplished and I feel like I didn’t even notice the end was the same size as the beginning because I read thru it so quickly. I definitely think that if the authors had tried to condense it, the story wouldn’t have turned out as good.
Now, let me talk about that climax. It was scary as heck! The fact that Kady was running around a ship with infected super-human monsters was just panic inducing! I don’t know if I would have survived. With most books, I usually think I could survive whatever happens in the climax (though I doubt that would be true if I actually had to survive it XD), but with this one I just don’t know. It was so scary how she had to leave the safe rooms to repair AIDAN on the Alexander, but she knew that all the scary things out there wanted to kill her and she had no choice. And by the way, I think we can all agree we knew that Ezra hadn’t really died. It was too abrupt and even Kady didn’t believe it (I think). I knew the minute AIDAN said that he’d dies, that there was no way he was dead. I hypothesized that he had made it back to the ship and was looking for Kady, and I felt that it would have been an adequate ending for them to both go to each others ships looking for the other only to have one end up dying (kind of like Romeo and Juliet), but when I saw that there were two more books I knew neither of them were going to die. Still it is extremely hard to believe that Kady did not die when the ATOMIC BOMB hit her ship, but since everything else in this book was so good I’ll let it pass. Also, the way AIDAN had taken over her texts to Ezra was something I never saw coming. It was so well written that I should have seen it coming, but was so well disguised that I didn’t.
I think that’s about it… That’s all I have to say… A lot isn’t it XD? Wow! I just…Wow! I NEED THIS BOOK IN HARDCOVER!!!!
This book completes the ‘It takes two: Read a coauthored book.’ requirement for the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge that I am deathly behind on since there are only like two more weeks of summer and a lot more requirement to fulfill. I better get reading!

It takes two: Read a coauthored book.
Actually want to read: Read a book that’s been on your Want to Read shelf for more than a year.
Not from around here: Read a book set in a different culture from your own.
Reading roulette: Read the third book you see on your Want to Read shelf.
Good as gold: Read a book that won a Goodreads Choice Award.
Continental drift: Read a book set on every continent.
The book is better: Read a book being adapted for TV or film this year.
Wheel of format: Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (­a graphic novel, poetry, a play, an audiobook, etc.).
Stay awhile: Read a book with more than 500 pages.
New voices: Read a debut novel.
Armchair traveler: Read a book set in a destination you want to visit

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