Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

3.5 stars.

Illuminae

I heard so many amazing things about this book on Twitter that I gave it a shot. At first it seemed like exactly my thing: a cross between Battlestar Galactica and 2001, with space zombies thrown in. It moved at a breathless pace pretty much from beginning to end. There was a lot to like. But a lot of it felt derivative. And the teenaged main characters’ romance was . . . a teen romance. I’m sure if I was a teen I would have liked it more. As a 34-year-old, it was sometimes cute and sometimes not so much. There was a side character who was so off-putting that I almost stopped listening* at that point. But *spoiler* he died soon after, so . . . 

Notes: *The format is unique. It’s supposed to be a compilation of documents, recordings, communications, etc., thrown together, and you figure out the story between the lines. Apparently it’s beautifully done. I listened to the book, so I can’t vouch for that, but the audiobook was extremely well done as well. There was a full cast, as well as atmospheric noises, so it almost felt like listening to a movie. I can’t imagine trying to convert such a book to audio without going that far, though, because it would have been impossible to follow otherwise.

Also, while all swearing in the book is censored, there is a lot of it. If you don’t want your kids reading stuff like “What the f*** were you thinking?” maybe this isn’t the book for you/them.

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