Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Book for Young Readers
Everyone has problems, but Kady didn’t realize how bad things could get. She had just broken up with her boyfriend when everything blew up—literally. While she is at school, the company-owned mining planet she lives on is invaded by a rival corporation. Everyone scrambles to escape the attack on any ship they can get to. Her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, makes it to one ship; Kady finds another, and she can only hope her family was able to escape as well. Their situation becoming even more severe, Kady and Ezra are forced to work together and do their best to get keep everything from falling apart. Fear, trust, forgiveness, and a fierce need to stay alive take their toll in this action-packed sci-fi adventure.
While Illuminae is filled with action and suspense, the authors take on difficult issues such as what do you do when choosing the right thing will hurt others? How do you stay connected to others when they are far away? And what can you do when people and organizations let you down? The entire book is written in the form of military reports. This takes a little time to get used to but adds to the intensity of the book. There are plenty of details and intense quotes by participants in the action. Readers may be surprised to find that there is no profanity in the book; it has all been redacted or censored by the authorities in the story before they released their reports. This makes for a fun, but unusual reading as some readers may find themselves filling in the missing words. The authors of Illuminae experimented with other unique features, for example, there are sections of text that are typeset like experimental poetry. A fast and exciting read, this is clearly a book for teens. While there is violence and death it is in keeping with the plot of the book. A great read for anyone looking for an escape.
*Contains mild violence and themes of war.