Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae, the first book in a science fiction series, begins in the year 2575 on a tiny planet that is being invaded. The story follows Kady, a teenage girl, through their evacuation from the planet and space travel as they try to make it to safety. It was presented as a series of reports, transcripts, diary entries and visual poetry.

I found this story hard to get into, primarily because of the format. The multiple methods of telling the story felt disjointed and choppy. I guess I have a ‘words only’ preference while reading books. I also found the blacking out of ‘offensive’ words distracting. Early on in the book, it is explained that any profanity would be blacked out because the person reading the report didn’t want to see it. It would have been more effective to simply avoid using the offending words in the dialogue as in most cases they seemed to be added just for the sake of showing that they were being blacked out.

After completing the book, I found I did care about the characters and want to know how their story ends in subsequent books, but I’m hoping the format changes to flow more smoothly.

Overall, I’d give the story a 4/5, but the format a 2/5.

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