Source: borrowed from a friend.
Genre: YA sci-fi.
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.
If you’ve been around my blog before, you’ll probably have noticed my dislike for over-hyped books. Or rather, my wariness to read them because I feel that the hype invariably causes my expectations to soar so I am disappointed by the time I read the story. It’s not the author’s fault, nor is it mine – it’s just a combination of a ridiculous amount of publicity and my excitement.
I have to say that Illuminae is exactly such a book. I think it must have been one of the most hyped-up releases of 2015 and it received fantastic reviews on a number of blogs I read. I wasn’t even going to read it (or I’d have waited for the release of book 2 to see if the general obsession with the story continued), but I got a chance to borrow a copy from a friend and I took it. And… well, I’m not sorry I read it, it just wasn’t a good fit for me.
I went into the story blind, without even reading the synopsis, and all I knew was that the story was supposed to wow me. I liked the innovative formatting – most of the story is told through reports, chat logs, interview transcripts, etc, and even includes spaceship schematics. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi so this was a new experience for me – and let me tell you, I would not do well in space. The thought of being separated from the endless void by a mere metal wall is terrifying. I never wanted to be an astronaut when I was little.
I did like Kady and Ezra, they were cool kids and I liked that their story was complicated before the action even begins (they’d just broken up when their home planet is destroyed), so there was no danger of insta-love or anything. No love triangles, either, which is refreshing. But I wished I could see into their heads more. I wished for a more personal view of their thoughts and actions – the fact that the story is told through reports and such means we never really know what’s going on with them in the moment, not really. I lacked some sort of personal connection that would have made me root for them more.
I also didn’t know the book would have a horror-tinged conflict at its heart. I am a total chicken when it comes to horror so I avoid it scrupulously, but since I didn’t know anything about the story before I started reading it, I was in the middle of the carnage before I realized what was happening. Would I have read the book if I knew that this would happen? Honestly? Probably not. I don’t need mental images of these things and it really seemed like a lot (and I mean a lot) of these scenes were there just for the shock factor. Eh.
In any case, I probably won’t be continuing with this series, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I know others liked it because it’s action packed and a fast read and different from other stories, so I’m sure the sequel will be just as well-received by the majority.
Have you read Illuminae? What did you think?
Do you ever go into books completely blind or do you always read the synopsis first?
I’d love to hear from you! :)