Saturday, January 21, 2017

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The book design caught my attention. As I inspected the dust jacket design, removed it from the book, then seeing the inside - okay, I'll buy it!

illuminae files 01 front cover
Illuminae front cover
Title: Illuminae
Series No. The Illuminae Files_01
Author(s): ,
ISBN: 9780553499117
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published date:
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction
Language: English

I buy books based from word of mouth, given awards and good reviews so I visited Goodreads to check if It's really good. I saw, It got several awards and convincing feedback from one of the author. It's my deciding factor. I went to different local bookstores to look for it. It's actually hard to find as I'm buying it after a year release. Luckily, I got my copy from Fully Booked.

Read my full book review below (click 'Read more' or continue scrolling):

illuminae files 01 back cover
Illuminae back cover

illuminae files 01 book edge
Illuminae book edge

illuminae files 01 without dust jacket front
Illuminae without dust jacket (front)

illuminae files 01 without dust jacket back
Illuminae without dust jacket (back)

The dust jacket is translucent giving a cool effect to the binding.

illuminae files 01 dust jacket
Illuminae translucent dust jacket

As you can see, It's a thick book. You might assume it will be a long read. It's actually easy and not tiring to read. It is thick because of the illustrations and other artful portrayals.

illuminae files 01 opening page
Illuminae opening page

Reading the first several pages, I find illustrations, chat logs and other media logs. Readers of traditional paragraphed style chapter-by-chapter books might feel a little regret like "What is this? Is this a Novel?". I'm about to quit it because I'm not used to reading books layout this kind of way. But I'll be regretting it even more if I quite because of the time I put finding this book. So, I just gave it a chance. I just have to get used to it. I eventually got comfortable reading it.

It did give me more interest to read it because of spaceships. Am I too shallow? I like Sci-fi. I'm a Star Wars fan and adding cool illustrations like this got me hooked and I think other Sci-fi fans will like it too:

illuminae files 01 sample illustration
Alexander-78V and Hypatia illustrations

illuminae files 01 sample page
Illuminae - some artful page describes what's happening

It’s a new reading experience. I've never read such unique book before. I'm reading files of different records collected to make up a story.

illuminae files 01 kady grant
The Illuminae Files 01 - Kady Grant

* written reviews ahead may contain spoilers

I find some plot holes in this book. In one of the files, AIDAN instructed Kady to change suit whereas the Phobos virus is airborne. It's so unrealistic that she only holds her breath while changing suit and never infected. What about the Phobos virus particle stick to her skin while she's changing? It's already within her suit, right? Plus, she just wore Ezra's suit. So I just assume Ezra wore a different suit upon his escape to Hypatia? Also, her fake acting while interacting with AIDAN is so unbelievable on part where AIDAN told her Ezra's dead (AIDAN is reading her emotion by judging her facial expression). Perhaps, human can really outwit a Super AI in spite of its high IQ.

Anyway, the awesomeness of space battles, scary AI and hyperactive zombies weighs more than the plot holes I found so I still really like this book.

illuminae files 01 ending art
Illuminae Files 01 - ending art

My rating for this book is: 4.0 / 5.0

I'm now hunting for Gemina :)

- Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) 2016 - Book of the Year Older Children (age 8 - 14 years)
- 2016 Gold Inky Awards by State Library of Victoria / Inside a dog

- Brad Pitt's "B Entertainment" with Warner Bros. have already teamed up to make The Illuminae Files 01 film (see news: reported as of Nov. 20, 2015). There's no update as to what stage of the film they're in.

Want to buy this book? Buy it now at Amazon:

Or buy it at BookDepository (FREE DELIVERY WORLDWIDE):

Illuminae (Hardbound)

Note: I recommend the hardbound copy because of its cool dust jacket and inner bindings. The paperback doesn't have such feature (see photos above posted here in the blog post). But if paperback is really your personal preference, you can buy it here.

Hope you like my review.



- Goodreads user review -


  1. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

  2. I want to buy this book soon!

  3. I am interested to buy a copy! Thanks for sharing

  4. The author missed out on some points, knowing that the Phobos virus is airborne. Glad you enjoyed your read just the same.