Illuminae is the first book in the sci-fi trilogy The Illuminae Files. It’s followed by Gemina and Obsidio (out in 2018), and it’s the first book I finished for the Tome Topple Readathon.
One year and one month ago, I read this book in one sitting. Today, I reread it in one morning.
This doesn’t happen.
I don’t read books in one sitting. It usually takes me 2-3 days or more. The last book I read, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, took me a whole week, and I really liked that one.
What makes Illuminae so special is the format in which it is told. If it had been written in a more traditional way, I wouldn’t have rated it 5 stars.
But it’s told in a way that makes it memorable, and yes, it’s flawed and I don’t care.
I didn’t like the romance. I didn’t care for Ezra. I noticed some things that looked like… science fails to me (the virus is mutating, what a surprise! Isn’t that what viruses do?) but it’s not relevant. There’s just so much good that I can’t not rate this five stars.
The first 400 pages are good, but not perfect – there were some scenes that could have been shorter, some that could have been cut – but the last 200 pages are some of the best things I’ve ever read.
When I finished the book, I was shaking. The ending, the way in which it is written – it’s almost like a film, if films were written in the murderous AI’s point of view. And that murderous, morally ambiguous AI, AIDAN, was my favorite character (knowing who my favorite characters are… this is not a surprise). I also liked Kady, but it took me a while to connect with her – the format does have downsides.
My rating: ★★★★¾