Book Review - Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff // Sprinkles of Dreams

Book Review // Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffThis 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 an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015

You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies.
You have me.

Illuminae is less a book, than it is a work of art. How do I even begin to write a review for it? Honestly. I don’t have the words in me.


I was hesitant about reading Illuminae for the longest time, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t particularly enjoy the epistolary format—nothing melts my heart like beautiful (and descriptive, if done well) prose—but even so, I ended up enjoying it very much.

My favorite parts were the beginning and the ending; the beginning, because the comedic timing was so on point, and had me smiling throughout Kady and Ezra’s preciousness and snark, and the ending, because my heart stopped several times, and went “?!?”.


I can safely say that Illuminae is the most unique book I have ever read, and not just because of its format. I’m not the biggest fan of the science-fiction genre, or stories that take place in space, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff won me over, nevertheless.

I only wish I hadn’t emotionally disengaged from the story a few times during the middle part—hence the slightly lowered rating.


Let me just gush over my two favorite characters, though.

Kady is such a badass female heroine; she is smart, she is bold, she’s sassy, and have I mentioned utterly heroic? I want to possess only a fraction of her valour, and hacking skills—and I desperately need more female characters like her in my literary and real life.

James (aka Jimmy). Gosh, only thinking of him makes my heart grow. I just wanted the universe to bestow all the best things upon him. He was pretty much my favorite character in this book, and a tiny part of my heart died, reading about what he had to endure in the course of this book.

Honestly, if nothing else, read Illuminae for James McNulty.


You’re interested in this book?

You can buy the Paperback or Hardback at Book Depository.
(Free delivery worldwide!)

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wideblue-watercolor-wash-texture-5letschat!-2Have you read Illuminae? Did you like it?
Have you read any other books from Amie Kaufmann or Jay Kristoff?
What are your favorite books in the Sci-Fi genre?

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xx, Lily


43 thoughts on “Book Review // Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

  1. Great review love! I was struggling to read this book at first but then I’m obsessed. James Mc.Nulty is such a good person and OMG I think I’m gonna cry now 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carolina! 🌷

      I actually really liked it right away (I loved Kady and Ezra’s banter!), but then slowly lost interest during the “technical” parts. 🙉 James is the BEST, I love him so much. 😭💞

      Have you read the other books as well?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t, they have been sitting on my shelf for months and I somehow lost interest LOL. I should pick them up soon!! Have you read them?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ohh you should! I have, and I actually liked book two a bit more than book one (it had more “action” scenes, and a better pace, imo), and the trilogy has a pretty satisfying, albeit slightly formulaic conclusion.

          Oh, and lots and lots of plot twists, of which some are more predictable than others. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. All I can say is: “What the heck are you waiting for? Go read the next one!!”. If you enjoyed this one and felt like “?!?!?” at the ending, you’re going to love Gemina 🙂 These books just keep getting better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh I am so happy to hear you enjoyed that one, Lily! I was so nervous to read it at first, just as well, because science-fiction is not my favorite genre, nor is it one I am used to read. I was SO happy that I did though – the formatting and the story as a whole were so unique and the characters really won my heart. I didn’t expect to be so engaged in that story and to enjoy it this much. I’m happy you did and I can’t wait for you to continue on with the series 😀
    Lovely review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t, I have read Gemina -it was much darker and a bit harder to get through for me, because… I’m a marshmallow haha, but it was still really, really good!. I have yet to read Obsidio, I am SO nervous about it haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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