Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another super late book review I’m finally posting. I don’t remember why I never posted this in the first place, but whatevs… It’s here now! 😊

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

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 a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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— MY REVIEW —



⚠ WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!



This was my second sci-fi book ever read (The first was The Martian, which I loved!) So I seriously hoping it would be similar to that book in the sense that the “science-y” stuff is going to be easy to follow, that there was a bit of humor to break up all the technical aspect and based off of the synopsis a bit of romance.

Well… this book didn’t fail. I loveeeeed it! 🙌 I’ve been saying to just about anyone who would listen that if all science fiction books were as amazing as The Martian and Illuminae are then I could be reading a lot more from the genre! 😉

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I think another thing that captured me with Illuminae is how quirky and different the book layout was. It wasn’t set out like your everyday typical book. Some of the pages were written to form images, some were written to make follow each line into a bigger picture. It’s hard to explain, all I can say is if you haven’t gotten a copy yet – do! Go to your local bookshop, look for it and just flip through it and you’ll see what I’m trying to say.

The book overall is set a journal/ records type format and put together into one big file, basically. So there’s emails between characters, logs recorded from certain days and interviews. It’s ridiculously jam-packed!

It’s very well created and it had me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. It was hard putting it down for the day.

I never saw full reviews on Illuminae prior to reading it so I wasn’t sure what people thought of it besides whether or not they liked it but I have to say halfway through the book I had a strong sense of Resident Evil-esque to the story line. Where the spaceship’s AI (aka AIDAN) is corrupted and pretty much turns evil and starts wanting to kill everyone on board but thinking he’s doing the right thing. Then you have half the crew and civilians on board infected with some kind of virus that’s also causing serious problems all over the ship. It’s one massive chaotic disaster that puts you on the edge of your seat.


“Am I not merciful?” — AIDAN


Reading about Kady and Ezra’s roller coaster relationship added a romantic touch to an otherwise sci-fi story line and it pretty revolves around them and wanting to keep each other safe. I loved reading their messages to one another. It’s probably the bits of the book I loved reading the most.

Besides the sci-fi aspect and the romance aspect – this book also provides us with comical relief in all the right places (usually involving Ezra because he’s a funny smartass). 😄

Downside to being introduced to super cool characters?

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That was me the further I read. As much as I loved reading Kady and Ezra’s exchange of funny but sweet banter-filled emails, I knew it wouldn’t have lasted forever and I was right. Why do authors love making us fall for characters just to take them away from us?

Spoiler Alert: Ezra died! 🙈

Yep… and just like Kady, you don’t find out til it’s too late. Unless you’re one of the clever readers who analysed every detail of this book and probably saw signs early on.

*Side Note: Jay and Amie actually said that if you really pay attention to the details in the book, it gives off little clues on who certain characters are that are still unknown to us or hints of upcoming events.

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Seriously, this book was one big fuuuuuuuck-with-your-mind type of story. It was so hard to put it down because I just didn’t know which direction the story is going.  I don’t know about other people who’ve read this but I didn’t see any of the plot twists happening. Not even a smidge! Maybe I need to reread it again and keep a lookout for those hints I mentioned earlier lol.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Another highly recommended book. If you’re like me who usually only ever reads fantasy fiction, give this one a go. Trust me you won’t regret it and I guarantee you’ll love it enough to want to read Gemina (second book in the Illuminae series)!


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Happy reading, friends! Hope you’re all doing well. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Infinity by Jus Accardo

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— BLURB —

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away… That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

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— MY REVIEW —

This was surprising an enjoyable read. I borrowed from my local library after having read the blurb and I’m really glad I did because now I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series! 🙂

My thoughts on the characters:

Let’s start with Kori. She was a treat! No sarcasm here — I mean that in a good way! I’ve ready so many books with female leads who are tough, who have attitude, but who almost always irritates me at some point with their cockiness because they know how to fight and can take care of themselves. I mean… it’s cool that they’re independent ass-kicking chicks but what gets me is when they’re smug about it. Kori isn’t like that. She’s a realistic character. She’s an army brat (her dad is a General) and although she’s not interested in ever joining the military, her dad made sure she can at least defend herself in case of emergency —

Quite early on in the story there’s a part where Kori gets chased, dragged into an alley and attacked by Dylan (the antagonist in the story). At the time she didn’t know who he was and although she was scared out of her mind of this random guy trying to kill her, she knew that if she didn’t try to escape she’d be done for. Reading this part, reading her desperation to survive by kicking, scratching, trying to call out for help, anything really — it’s part of the book that just seemed so real to me… (I mean it’s the type of crime you hear and see on the news more and more these days, am I right?) There was no magical powers or epic weapons to help her out; it was gritty, intense and had me really imagining the scene. This was the scene that had me rooting for Kori. It was from this point on that I knew that Infinity was something I would enjoy reading.

Cade seems like a nice enough guy for the most part, I guess. To be honest when he wasn’t thinking about wanting to stop Dylan, he was pining for Kori (both of them).. but other than that I didn’t get much of a personality out of the guy. Maybe because they’re in a time sensitive mission I dunno… but it would’ve been nice to see more of what makes him tick. He always seemed like he was in soldier-mode. Kind of… umm… what’s the word?? Reserved..? *shrugs* 😅

And when he did show emotion, it was usually snippets of an angry temper! Talk about going from 0 to 100 in a split second.

Here’s the two personality traits Cade displayed:

Trait Number One ↓

  

and then there’s Trait Number Two ↓

😂😂😂

It’s obvious from the beginning that he’s not the antagonist in this story and his actions throughout have meaning behind it. I couldn’t help but sympathize but I also couldn’t help think that the few occasions where he did go ballistic, Kori never thought to back away. There were occasions where she felt intimidated and realized that Cade was more similar to Dylan than originally thought but still kept confronting him. I don’t know.. if that was me, I would’ve kept my mouth shut, walked out of the room calmly and given him some time to cool off. Like sheesh girl, you don’t poke an angry bear no matter what!

But… whenever he and Kori found themselves awkwardly alone I couldn’t help but grin. They would start talking about his relationship with ‘his’ Kori and eventually start secretly think about kissing each other — I know it’s weird and confusing but it’s young love. Still cute! 😁

Ahhh! Okay, Noah next! He’s probably my fave character from the bunch! The stocky-built guy who stayed tight-lipped for most of the book (unless something really ticked him off) and who was ALWAYS eating! Bonus!! Love him! He was an onion all throughout, with each layer something new was revealed about him.

He has a unusual relationship with Kori. In his world, he was Kori’s older brother and they had a pretty close relationship…but in this dimension, Noah was never born and therefore Kori never had a brother. After what happened to his sister in his world, he tries to keep his distance from this Kori, but at the same time she’s trying to figure him out. So it’s sort of a push and pull dynamic. I love the gradual growth of their relationship and how deeply he really does care for Kori (for all the Koris).

He is THE sweetest guy! He really is. When everything gets revealed about why he acts the way he does and the ending… where Kori kind of sacrifices herself and says goodbye to him and he’s left speechless and his expression is one of wishing they could have more time together. Ugh! The feeeeeels!

Now. After having read this one, I wanted to know more about the series so I checked Goodreads and discovered the second book revolves around Noah and his life. Eeeeep! I can’t wait to read it! 😁

Aaaaaaand… then there’s Dylan. *Sigh* He’s a hot mess. A broody one at that!

He’s driven to CRAZY by a tragic accident. It was hard to completely hate the dude.. but it was also hard not to think of him as a nutjob what with all the stuff he did to get revenge and to try and get the love of his life back. I read that the third and upcoming book in the series centers around Dylan. I’m really curious to read more about his past before all the running around and murder sprees occurred. The way Cade and Noah talked about him and how they grew up together, he seemed like a genuinely caring guy who was full of love.

If you’ve watched The Vampire Diaries, Dylan reminds me of Damon. The guy who hides his pain by acting out, getting revenge and going on killing sprees. But deep down he’s a tortured soul.

I’m eager to see how this all ends for Dylan. The way Infinity concluded, it seemed like there was still some spark of good in him left but I can’t imagine the ending going any other way besides finally turning himself in.. or dying tragically (I think it maybe the latter).

Either way, Dylan gave this story the drive that kept it interesting and unpredictable. You can thank Dylan for the rollercoaster ride. If he makes it out of this alive, I strongly suggest he goes to therapy and anger management classes! Hell.. send him to a one of those friggin retreats! What can I say? I’m a sucker for villains, anti-heroes and morally gray characters! 😜

My thoughts on the storyline:

This was a relatively short book (about 300+ pages). It goes straight into explaining multiple worlds, multiple versions of people and why Kori is in danger fairly quickly but it doesn’t feel rushed. The story wasn’t lacking and didn’t drag on. Kori, Cade and Noah were in a time pressured mission and you can really feel that throughout the book. There was just enough backstory of Cade, Noah, Dylan and their version of Kori to give you an idea of how they’re all connected to one another. I thought it had the right amount of sci-fi, suspense and romance to keep you intrigued.

I recommend trying this one if you’re tipping your toes into the YA sci-fi genre and not completely ready for the full-on science fiction mumbo-jumbo-techie-jargon. I know I’m not, and this was written so well that you can follow Kori’s personal story as well as the without any confusion. This is my first Jus Accardo book but I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the near future.

Ooh, annnnd if you’re like me.. romance is always a bonus (no matter what genre) and this one was.. yes.. complicated (what with the multiple Earths and multiple Koris and Cades) but still a nice young love story *cue the swooning!* 😄

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5


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Happy reading guys! Wishing you all a great month and catch you in my next one! Xo

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