So I want to start this out by saying that Illuminae is in no way a romance novel, but there is a romance within the novel that takes up a significant part of the story, and I’m not one to read contemporary or romance novels, so right now this is as close as it gets. The book itself is actually a thrilling sci-fi set in the year 2575 and written in a very unique style, in that the story is actually told solely through hacked documents (interviews, IMs, emails, medical records, letters amongst officers, etc.).
Illuminae, told through various documents, mainly follows the story of two characters Kady and Ezra. The story starts out taking place on a small planet, that seems like a mere blip on the map, but on the planet exists an illegal mining “colony” who are responsible for mining a rare mineral. When the story starts, we find out that Kady and Ezra were once together, but on the day the story starts the two break up. Other then that, the day seems like any regular normal day, they both are in high school and are in class when all of a sudden the planet starts to get attacked. It turns out a major corporation, known as BeiTech, finds out about the colony and tries to destroy the settlement. Kady and Ezra are two of only a few thousand people who manage to make it off the planet and into one of a few different ships that make it off. Kady ends up on the ship Hypatia, meanwhile Ezra ends up on the ship Alexander. The ships need to get to safety but they’ve been damaged, so they’re not traveling at full capacity, and they are being chased by BeiTech. But as time goes on, it turns out BeiTech is no longer the only threat Kady, Ezra, and the other survivors have to fear, but that worse things might exist even closer then they could ever imagine.
This book is just so good! First of all, I love the two main characters Kady and Ezra. Kady is a bit of a pistol, very sarcastic and witty, and very intelligent. She’s a hacker and she’s the one who ends up figuring out just what exactly is going on, and she might be the only one who can save them all. Ezra is also very funny, and a bit of a hopeless romantic; over time Kady and Ezra kind of rebuild their relationship and he’s always the one saying sweet and romantic things meanwhile Kady never knows quite how to respond (something I relate to immensely!). Ezra turns eighteen during the story and ends up getting conscripted to become a pilot thanks to his great hand-eye coordination and dexterity. The relationship between the two at the start of the story is very strained, they both wanted different things and that’s ultimately what led them to split up, but as time goes on they begin to release what a mistake it had been and how much they had really loved and cared for one another, which is why I’ve listed this as a romance set in the future, because although it is not the main focus, their romance is a very important aspect in the story and leads both to making certain decisions that change everything.
The writing style is very unique. I really liked all of the different documents that were throughout the book, explaining the story, it was neat because not only did you get to see Kady and Ezra’s perspective but you also got to see the decisions being made by the higher-ups on the ships. And the story is also incredibly unique. Not only do we have a story that takes place in space on a chase, but we also have a kickass hacker, a talented pilot, a zombie-like virus, a homicidal computer, and a twist ending. The book is full of suspense, many tense moments, love, sci-fi action, and even a little bit of horror. I definitely recommend this to sci-fi lovers or those who are interested in getting into sci-fi, this is seriously an amazing novel and I look forward to the other books in this trilogy.
Side note–The book is beautiful! The dust jacket is very neat, but the actual cover on the book itself is even better! Definitely one of my favorite covers ever!