Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff #atozchallenge

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes

My Review:

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!! OH MY GOOOOOOD!!! This book was soooo good!!!  Just absolutely AH-MAY-ZING!!   

Ok. I think I've got all the fan girly gushing out of the way. lol. Let's get on to why I'm so head over heels for this one.

First of all, let's talk about the big multi-medium elephant in the room. Window? Page? I'll stick with room. The Found Footage elephant is a style that was ALL the rage a while back in movies. It started with The Blair Witch Project and went down hill from there, more on that in a bit. While not as new in books, following society's trends it also became more popular in the written medium too. There seem to be two distinct types of 'found footage' books. The diary/journal entry types, which have been around forever, is the first. The second, the one I feel is more recent and more like the movie genre versions, consists of what seems to be actual 'found footage'. Think less you're reading someones diary and more you're discovering the story through newspaper clippings, pictures, notes, letters, police reports, etc. The former style has been around for a long time and has had time to have found it's formula. So the fear that it will be bad simply because of how it's written isn't that great. The latter, like it's silver screen counterparts however, still is experiencing some growing pains. Unfortunately for movies the words found footage can be a an instant deal breaker. With books it's not so bad, but only because there is more than just one type of information that can be 'found' to create the story. Honestly it makes me sad that found footage films have become sort of a joke. I LOVE the found footage format. But like other style fads, the love triangle, vampires, zombies, etc. it seems that sometimes a author/director will decide to throw it in just because at that moment it's what's hot and they think they can cash in on it. Whatever the new 'in thing' it ends up becoming overused at best. At worst? It is just thrown in pull in more of an audience and because it's just a gimmick and no real thought is put into it the final product suffers. In the long run there's backlash. In the case of found footage, just seeing those words can keep someone from giving the book or movie a second glance. Most people hear found footage and respond the way I do when I hear 'love triangle'.* 

But with Illuminae, which is ALL found footage, the authors have gotten it just right.  They have diagrams and flyers, emails, IM's, transcribed recordings, anything that can be put in a computer. They even have videos. Yes, you heard me correctly: videos and yes, it is a book.(I read the print version)  So the videos that you are 'watching' are actually written descriptions of what is going on in the video...but still.**  There are a few journal entries. But they are there more to give you deeper insight into the characters mindset, than to say describe how a scene is played out. Altogether they authors have created a highly detailed story that pulls you in and doesn't let go. I had to know what was going to happen to Kady and Ezra. I had to find out what was going on with AIDEN. I wanted to see what the next page was going to bring presentation wise as well. Would it be a conversation between Kady and Byron? Would it be a PSA flyer handed out about the Hypatia? The only reason I didn't finish faster then I did was because I wanted to absorb every detail from each page. Also underneath the book cover, at least in hard back form, the outside of the book is just as detailed as the inside. Of course the papers you see on the books skin are still the redacted versions... But the Illuminae sheds light on all of them eventually.

Also this book will drag you through ALL the feels. My heart broke for the various characters as they made impossible choices. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. (Once even in my drs office. If they didn't think I was off before...) I fell in love with the MC's. Correction, all the C's. Supporting as well as main.  Save for a few specific asshats, I wanted them all to make it to safety. I cheered when they overcame a new challenge. I cried when they were overcome instead.   That Kristoff and Kaufman were able to pull all this off with found footage. Absolutely brilliant. Usually with this type of found footage  I fall in love more with the story than the people in it. It's a casualty of not always hearing the characters inner voices. This isn't always a bad thing, it's just a thing. With Illuminae it's a moot point. Even without hearing their every thought I still felt that I really got to know them as individuals, not just a populace that something happened to.

Illuminae is part of a series. The second book is already available. But it can be read as a stand alone. From what I've seen of the second book it tells what happens at the Heimdall Station while the first book is taking place. So not only is it in a new location, but it also is a completely new cast of characters. So when I finished this book, I really hoped there was another one.  I wanted to find out more and it was left open for future books, but it wasn't a sharp drop cliffie ending. So while I wanted the next book right away, it wasn't like I needed it. Scratch that last part. I DO need it! I need it right this instant so I can dive back into Kaufman and Kristoff's universe. The only thing stopping me is that the only cash I have on hand is paper. Neither Amazon nor my computer have a way for me to pay them using real world cash. lol

Definitely recommend this book. There is gore and A LOT of death, but all the curse words are blacked out. (This actually made the book even more amusing because I could insert my own. lol) 
So why are you still here? GO ! Buy the book and start reading! I can't wait to see that you enjoyed it as much as I did! 


*Note to authors who want me to review your work. If there's a love triangle... probably don't tell me ahead of time and you better have put A LOT of effort into it. I will judge and judge harshly.
**Side note: With the advent of new tech, such as e-books and the variety of platforms to read them on why has no one thought to use actual videos and recordings in books yet? At least electronic ones. I mean that would be SO COOL!! Somebody get on this!!!

This is another book that I 'borrowed' from my daughter. I saw it and recognized one of the authors and thought it would be an interesting read for the letter I in the the A to Z Challenge.I have to give it back to her now.  I can't wait for her to finish it so I have someone to talk about this book with!!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment