Subject known as 'Mary' is experiencing high levels of emotional distress while reading. Her demeanor are rapidly shifting from joy & mirth to shock & indignation and then back again. Facial expressions accordingly. Thirty minutes ago she slammed the book closed and tossed it away from her with the purest look of terror I have ever witnessed, but now she's back with her nose buried between the pages. Seriously, what the ███ is wrong with this ████? I mean, ahem... Is the subject even enjoying her read? Sometimes it is hard for a poor data analyst to tell...
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Ok enough messing around! Truth is, I really enjoyed this read.
While the story was engrossing, it wasn't something I've never seen before. The real champion of this book is the format.
I am a lover of Science Fiction. I live for the spacey-wacey stuff. Spaceships & science & technological advancements & humans contemplating their place in the cosmos.
But never before have a seen a format so unique as this one. To lay out the story in the form of incident reports & analyst summaries & internal chat logs was genius in my book.
The illustrations on each page are absolutely stunning. It's difficult to do something new in a time when so much as already been thought of, but Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman achieve a new level of individuality with The Illuminae Files series.
It kept my attention locked in place, I was dying to turn each page and know how things would play out. There were a couple times where I feel the creator of a document has a bit more information than they're likely to (such as describing how a character on a camera feed is feeling), but it was mostly necessary to give the characters more depth.
The pace was lightning quick & there were moments when I felt genuinely emotional over the twists & turns being thrown at me. A handful of really excellent characters & circumstances made for a very fun read!
**Below this point I discuss a couple spoilery things that made this a 4 star read for me instead of a 5. Read on at your own risk.**
While individually I enjoy Kady & Ezra as characters, I am not much a fan of their romance. It just feels so unnecessary considering everything else that's happening. They have both lost parents to the situation, the Phobos virus is turning passengers into intelligent kamikaze carriers, the Lincoln is in hot pursuit to destroy all survivors of the Kerenza attack & cover their tracks... and I'm supposed to care about their romance?
Well I didn't.
I don't know what this thing is with Young Adult books where we can't have a story without a romance. Kady & Ezra aren't the worst couple I've ever read, I'm just exhausted with this genre forcing a romance in every single book.
I think I would've invested more if Kady & Erza were brother & sister. Maybe their parents are separated, but struggling to rekindle their love with endless miles of space between them. Maybe Ezra is ready to accept their parents getting back together but Kady isn't & that's why they're fighting when the Kerenza attack occurs.
JUST ANYTHING BUT ANOTHER CHEESY ROMANCE!
I'm not at all happy that Ezra & Kady both manage to survive this ordeal. If it's not miraculous enough that Ezra wasn't evacuated with his unit & thus was not executed by Syra Boll, it's overkill that the Hypatia reversed its course & located Kady's escape pod in just enough time to prevent the radiation poison from killing her.
I'm glad AIDAN survived. His is the only survival story I can get behind, and I think it would've been badass for him to be the one exacting revenge against Ezra's mother & BeiTech Corp. in Kady's stead.
The Kady Grant:
SO I actually love Kady. I love her sarcasm & her intelligence & her unyielding bravery. I love that if we must have a broken romance, it was her leaving Ezra because he couldn't give her what she needed. She's a great character.
My only quip with Kady is that I would've liked a little more on her tech background. Just give me a believable reason she can keep up with Zhang, who's almost 30 and been studying computers for most of his adult life.
I'd definitely recommend this for everyone.
Even if you're not a fan of Young Adult fiction, this story isn't plagued by many of the flaws of that genre. Even if you're not a fan of Science Fiction, the book is intelligently written without being overly complicated & the pace keeps you on your toes.
Super excited for Gemina!