Kaufman A. & Kristoff J. (2015). Illuminae. New York: Ember.
Illuminae is a stunning book about an illegal mining colony that gets attacked by a rival mining corporation. The plot is told in an unusual fashion, as the book does not contain the normal word after word story. Instead it is mostly comprised of several chat rooms, emails, maps, interviews, transcripts, etc. This style of telling the story makes a real impact and you feel like you’re right there experiencing these events with the characters. The story follows two main characters, Kady, onboard a science vessel called The Hypatia and Ezra, onboard an attack vessel called The Alexander. They’re just two of the thousands of refugees that escaped the attack. Now they’re part of a heavily damaged fleet that’s slowly limping towards safety, a wormhole station called Heimdall, with an attack vessel, The Lincoln, slowly closing in to mop up the mess. If they don’t think of something to get to the wormhole in time, The Lincoln will destroy the fleet, killing everyone. It feels like it couldn’t get any worse, except it could. From a faulty and somewhat lethal AI to refugees feeling the insane effects of biological warfare, things are looking very deadly. It’s going to take the combined effort of Ezra and Kady to get the injured fleet to safety and prevent the death of everyone in their fleet.
Illuminae is a fantastic, interesting book that captures your attention and mind. Its unique visuals and storytelling are a breath of fresh air and don’t deviate the plot from a great story. If you’re into sci-fi this book is a great one to add to your list.
Illuminae also has two amazing sequels that combined, make a fantastic trilogy:
#2 Gemina: #3 Obsidio: