Saturday, 30 January 2016

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hey guys!
So I haven't written on here for months and I...don't really have an excuse. Although I have recently been swallowed by the fandom pits that are Hornblower and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. respectively, so I suppose that kind of is. *shrugs*
Anyway, I read this book around Christmas and I adored it so I thought why not do a review on it? So, here you are. Also, I'm going to use Hornblower and Man from Uncle GIFS because I can, so deal with it.

Does this fit? Who knows, but it's an epic moment so I don't even care.
Okay, so onto the actual purpose of this post. A review of Illuminae. Right. First of all, this is the book in question.


First, what's it about, you might ask?
Well, it's about spaceships and corrupt authority and zombies and a really adorable romance that I got really attached to. Also there's an evil computer who's only sort of evil and you'll get attached to him too. And there's other stuff too, like an actual plot. I don't know, I'm not good at describing books. I'm also doing my best to avoid spoilers, so bleh.
What? Did you expect a proper serious review that doesn't involve me fangirling and overusing GIFs? Ha!
But because I am technically reviewing it, let's look at the different stuff that's important in a story and how well (or badly) Illuminae did it.

Plot
Going back to the plot, in all seriousness this plot was amazing. It had so many unexpected twists and turns. I couldn't predict any of it, once I passed a certain point particularly. I was practically on the edge of my seat until the last few pages. And even then to some extent.

Basically how I felt during some of these twists.
And some of them really hurt, but in a good way. Sort of.

World-Building
Oh, boy. The world-building here was incredible. I'll talk more about the way it was written when I talk about style, but there was some stuff in this book that just made it so much more real. But it wasn't just that. The whole way the politics of the thing were arranged and the descriptions of the virus in particular just made the world burst with colour. It was so amazing. Such a thrill.

I am Mr. Bush here and Hornblower is the book. Just so you know.
Style
And now we're on to style. And let me tell you, the way this book was written was so good. And very unusual. You see, there weren't many bits that were written like a standard book. Instead there was a lot of images...




...As you can see in the above photographs. You might think that this would make it harder to read, or that the characters and story might not come across as well, but it doesn't affect it like that at all. In fact, sometimes it made it better than it would've been just as a written book. And it was really emotional at times. I was nearly full-out sobbing at parts in this book (though admittedly it was worse with The Book Thief).

Literally me. 
As someone who's read some of Jay Kristoff's writing (specifically some of Stormdancer), I knew I'd love at least some of it as I really enjoy his style and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I'm more excited to finish Stormdancer than I was before and now I also want to read some of Amie Kaufman's writing. 

Characters
The characters in this were amazing. So beautiful. 
There were two main characters, Kady and Ezra, and both of them were awesome though in their own ways. I found it really impressive how well their different voices came through and made them sound like genuinely different people. Also, their romance is literally the best thing ever. And will make you cry. 
All the characters will probably make you cry at some point, though. Particularly one with a name beginning with J. You'll know when it comes. 
Also so much death and it makes me cry all the tears. Seriously, I would be hard-pressed to name a non-dead character in this book. 

Well. they can't die. but anyway, appropriate GIF is appropriate.
Which one was my favourite, I hear you ask? 

Did I just want to use a Man from Uncle TV show GIF? Maybe. 
I really can't choose. There's so many amazing characters in this book. And they all hurt my heart so much. Even the computer. (Maybe especially the computer).

So, in summary, this is a really good book. Probably my favourite book that I read in 2015. It's well-written, has some amazing and deeply complex characters and some breathtaking world-building. I read it in about three hours. And it is not a thin book, in fact it's nearly six hundred pages long. Admittedly, I'm a fast reader, but that's pretty quick even for me.
You should all read it. Share the pain. 

COME!
Also, am I over-using GIFs in this blogpost? Maybe, but I love GIFs so I really don't care.
So my question for you is have you read Illuminae? If so, what did you think of it?