Rating: 4 stars
Let me begin by saying I am not much of a Sci Fi fan. I used to be a fan of horror novels, although as I’ve gotten older I’ve had a harder time stomaching them. I do love romance novels, especially those that involve time travel and historical fiction. Illuminae is a YA Sci Fi/Horror/ Romance novel that I discovered on a booktube channel. The reviewer had mentioned the cool formatting, so when I saw it in the bookstore I flipped through it and immediately understood what they were talking about. I had to read it.
This is not your typical novel formatting. The events in the story have already taken place and are told through various documents: files, text messages, interviews, transcripts, maps, etc. I really loved how they did this because for me this made the story unfold like a real officially documented event and added a technical sci-fi feel that was appropriate to the story.
Kady Grant and Ezra Mason are 18 year olds who just broke up. They are living in 2575 on Kerenza, an illegally settled colony on another planet. Kerenza is attacked by BeiTech Corporation and many inhabitants escape via three different space ships. Kady and Ezra wind up on different ships and a lot of the dialogue is of the two communicating with each via messages. Meanwhile, the three ships are being chased by a BeiTech warship that is trying to destroy them in order to do away with any evidence of the Kerenza attack. Also, one of the three escaping ships has an AI, artificial intelligent computer, that has a mind of its own and needs to be dealt with. Add to this a virus that was released during the Kerenza attack and turns many of the survivors into zombie like killing machines.
Normally I would give this book less than four stars because I found the story line making me quite depressed. The plot is pretty much about destruction, depression, and death. While the authors fit in a young romantic story line between Kady and Ezra, it is still pretty bleak. But it earned four stars for those very same reasons. The presentation was so realistic and evoked such depression and despair, that I had to give it some kudos for that.
This is the 1st book in a series. It is 608 pages but because of its formatting it is a very fast read. I will continue to read this series to see how it ends, but I hope the next book is more uplifting.