Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What is the best way to make your YA book standout? Change the format of the novel. That was the first thing that made me even look at this novel. Most of the time if it’s YA and people are talking about it, I tend to stay away. Props to the authors for coming up with a great strategy. What’s more important though is that they managed to execute the strategy proficiently. I really enjoyed reading this novel.

The novel consists of several data logs, chats, and journal entries. i’ve read something similar, in terms of the format, before and I remember enjoying the particular novel too. The strategy was frowned upon by a lot of people, but opinions vary and maybe the format just didn’t catch their interest.

The plot can be considered your typical Sci-Fi or YA thing going on. Artificial intelligence, romance between the main characters, and space war. Those three alone could sum up the plot of the novel, but the 3 things made the novel a lot more enjoyable than what I perceived. The plot twists in the middle were unexpected, but unfortunately the major plot twist in the end was predictable and I saw it coming. I liked how the authors made AIDAN (the A.I.) a bit more humane than pure A.I. I know it’s a bit of a cliche for robots/A.Is to be with human traits, but I still liked that the authors incorporated that in the novel. It brought out a lot more depth in the story, especially in the ending. I don’t want to spoil anything so let’s just say the plot was great, but not fantastic and nothing new.

The character development is the best thing the novel possess. I liked the relationship of Kady and Ezra. I don’t read novels that are heavy on the romance, but the relationship in this novel was good. It wasn’t forced or cheesy at all. Another thing about the characters that was so important was the sense of attachment I felt toward them. It was a pin for some to die, even the minor characters. I was even rooting for Aidain at one point in the novel. The authors truly nailed it in terms of the characters.

4.5/5 stars. One of the best YA novels I’ve read. I know this book has been receiving mixed opinion from a lot of people, but I’m glad that I enjoyed it. Can’t wait for books 2 and 3 to come out real soon.


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