DNF Review: Illuminae

23395680Title: Illuninae
Author: Annie Kauffman, Jay Kristoff
599 pages, published October 2015
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

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 an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

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

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

My Review:

I don't often write DNF reviews, but with all the hype around this book I figured I needed to explain why it didn't work for me.  The book is written in epistolary format--it uses emails, instant message chats, memos, "unipedia" entries, maps, etc. to tell the story. This wasn't what I disliked about the book. In fact, it's quite the opposite--I liked the creative way of  telling the story, I just couldn't get into the story itself. I read about 150 pages before I decided it just wasn't for me.

I've been trying to expand my horizons and get into different genres lately--some sci-fi I've gotten into (like Forget Tomorrow) but this one just didn't work for me. I didn't get attached to the characters or really get invested in the story.

If science fiction is your thing, I think you'll love this book. The format is creative and fun,  and I've read many fantastic reviews of this book--mine just isn't one of them!

Overall rating for "Illuminae": 2 stars

Happy Reading!


  1. I've been trying to decide whether or not to read this book. At first I discounted it because I often have a hard time with YA, but I keep seeing glowing reviews of it everywhere. I still don't know if I'll read it.

    I've only recently gotten into science fiction, but I've really enjoyed all the sci-fi I've read so far. You might want to check out "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown (the best book I've read this year!), "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline and "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Those are some of my favorites! :)

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I was really hoping to like this one, but it just didn't work for me. It was a bummer! But I've seen so many amazing reviews--it's a great book just not for me!

  2. I'm still on the fence about this one. I like the format, but I don't know if the story will appeal to me. Thanks for your honest review! Some books just aren't going to work out and it's okay!


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