Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher/date: Ember; Reprint edition (April 25, 2017)
Genre: YA Space Opera
Series: The Illuminae Files (Book 1)
"The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance."
Kady and Ezra are refugees of a planet that was attached by an evil corporation. Second-class citizens on two different rescue ships, they know that they are being fed lies. But the truths they are told are terrifying. A battleship still chasing them. 6 months to the nearest rescue. And the only ship in the fleet capable of defending it is practically limping along. So what is Captain Torrence hiding?
"Centrum Tenenda." Latin translation: Hold the center. The motto of the Alexander, and said many times throughout the book. What did it mean, when the captain would sign off with this statement? Hold the line? Hold what's important to you, what's at your center, close? Maybe the vagueness of this statement is left for interpretation.
Ezra lost his dad. And we don't know what happened to Kady's mom, though it's obvious she's hiding something. A ship full of people with PTSD. Or...so they thought.
"Most people would say I'm pretty cold, but I think of it more as...private. People are always saying, 'how are you,' to each other, and I guess I don't see why I should answer such a personal question for just anyone."
Kady and Ezra broke up the day their planet was attacked. And how are they dealing with only having each other now, and being on different ships on top of it?
Ezra: "That's so not your business, it almost punches clean past the event horizon of not your business and becomes your business again."
Kady: "I should have been big enough to tell him what he meant to me. Now I get to tell him in seven minute bursts."
Kady is not doing well. So when Jong, a hacker bent on the freedom of information, finds her hacking ship databases trying to figure out what the hell is going on, he decides to take her under his wing and train her. She hides behind 1's and 0's.
"I don't know my limit, but I'm scared to reach it. I don't know what will happen when I do."
Ezra is conscripted into the military as a pilot. He's good, but he's also 18 years old and green as new spring grass. But he's good. Which is bad. Because they need all of the good pilots they can get, to hold the line when Baitech inevitably catches up with their limping fleet.
"Lieutenant Ezra Mason moves through shells and burning plasma like a needle through silk. He sees the patterns before they form, knows the end before it begins. Flowing across lightless black as action transcends thought, he presses his triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms." Space Opera Poetry, this.
"You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet, and a thousand diamonds in your hair." Teenage love is very angsty, and at times can be quite annoying in a book. But these two authors have struck the perfect balance of realistically over-dramatic and sweet. It's not irritating, it's adorable.
"As you wish." I like how even 500 years in the future, Jay and Amie have thrown in these movie quotes. Pithy, ain't they?
Do you like to be personally destroyed by an author? Well, meet Illuminae! Your own personal emotional rollercoaster! I'm serious, I always add a star for me throwing a book, but this was more than that. I laughed hysterically at Jay's patent sarcasm infused into the characters. (And I later learned that Jay wrote Ezra while Amie wrote Kady, so I'm now deeply in fan love with Amie as well now...) I cried and cried and cried and tweeted and tossed the book across the room at the plot twist. I was infuriated by Beitech and A.I.D.A.N., I was frustrated by knowing as little about WTF was going on as the characters... I screamed at this book. Seriously, I haven't been this frustrated about the suspense of an impending outcome of a book since Kingdom of Ash. Hope and crushing defeat, and hope again, all on the raging rollercoaster that is Illuminae.
The perfect first book in a series. It had it's own story, enough world building even through the extremely original and honestly pretty weird format to explain without being annoyingly verbose, and a beautifully dramatic ending with a SECOND plot twist that will send your running to the bookstore for Gemina. Literally. I'm going now!!!
5 Stars, I love love love this series! Maybe 6? IDK, it's good, if the format annoys you grab the audio book because that's how I read it and it was bomb.