**This review is spoiler free**
I just finished reading Illuminae as a buddy read last night and to be honest, my mind is a little blown. I had/have another book with me that I intended to start right after, but after completing this book I realized there was no way I could immediately start reading something else. This is one of those books where you need a few deep breaths and some time before you start something new.
I read this book with my friend Amy (checkout out her instagram, @readingwithamy!) and we both weren't really feeling it after the first 200ish pages. This series has gotten a lot of hype, especially with the recent release of the final book in the trilogy, Obsidio, so we were a little concerned our bookish expectations were too high.
HOWEVER. Then we read about another 50 pages and it became pretty clear why this story hooked readers. I know that sounds like a lot of reading to do before the story picks up, but it is entirely necessary it set the story up this way, and makes sense in the context of the whole book. Additionally, the format of this book is incredibly unique- it is told as a report about an event that has already happened, so is told as a collection of analyst reports, email exchanges, military files, interviews, etc. It sounds strange, and it certainly takes some getting used to, but the unique format is one of the things that makes this book so interesting.
Illuminae tells the story of Kady and Ezra, a couple that broke up, and then had their planet invaded later that afternoon. As they flee across the galaxy with other refugees from their planet, they discover escaping their attackers are the least of their worries. A deadly virus has broken out on one of the ships, and the fleet's Artificial Intelligence (AI) has sustained damage and is causing problems in its attempt to protect them. Command is not telling anyone the truth of what is happening, so Kady, who is extremely skilled with computers, starts hacking into different systems to try and discover the truth.
From there, an action packed story starts to unfold, and one that will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat. It's a unique reading experience, and one that I would highly recommend! I will definitely be reading the rest of the series, and look forward to what happens next!
Overall rating: 8.5/10 stars
You'll enjoying this book if you liked: Divergent by Veronica Roth; The Maze Runner; This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab; Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo