Illuminae (The Illuminae Files Series #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files Series #1)

by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff


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“It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica–shaped hole in my heart.” Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of The Red Queen
Read the New York Times bestselling blockbuster that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” The first in an epic sci-fi series unlike anything else out there.
Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. 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 biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
“Brace yourself, because you’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.” —Marie Lu, author of the bestselling Legend series
Look for the sequel, GEMINA, coming in October! 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553499148
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Series: Illuminae Files Series , #1
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 12,660
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

New York Times bestselling co-authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff met thanks to international taxation law and were shocked to discover they share a love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. Their first collaboration resulted in the international bestseller Illuminae. Separately, Amie is also the co-author of the bestselling Starbound trilogy, while Jay is the award-winning author of the Lotus War trilogy. They live with their respective spouses in Melbourne, Australia. You can learn more about Amie and Jay at and, and follow them on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MisterKristoff.

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Illuminae 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the previous reviewer stated, this is an intetesting concept, but nook can't handle the content. The reader crashes and it won't skip ahead to avoid the pages causing problems. What I could read of the book (about the first 30 pages) was good. I was disappointed that I couldn't keep reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really creative and awesome book. But, much better hardcover becuz nook will crash or won't work very well on the creative/cool parts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book seems interesting, but that is all I can say because when I reached page 25 or so, where the pictures of the ships are, the nook just crashes and doesn't let you flip pages. I was able to jump forward to about page 35, but a few pages later the nook crashed again. Pointless to read this book on the nook, go hardcopy.
BeesKneesBookishKorner More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun book to read. Don’t let the 599 page count turn you off of this book. The story is told through instant messages, e-mails, official reports, and transcripts of video footage. Through these various documents, the story is told of Kady and Ezra who escape from a planet that is attacked by a megacorporation. Kady ends up on one ship trying to hack her way to the truth of what really happened and what is currently happening with the refugees. Ezra ends up on another ship, conscripted into their military, and becomes a pilot. Both are on the run from another ship, the one that attacked their planet and is trying to eliminate the last witnesses. This was a fast-paced, edge-of-your seat novel. Despite the dire circumstances, it was witty and endearing. Kady is so smart for her age that it’s hard to remember she’s only 17 until you hear her sarcasm and snarkiness come through in the different transcripts. Illuminae is such an entertaining and unique read. I really and truly do NOT recommend that you read this on any device. It needs to be read in its printed form. I can’t imagine how the different documents and images would translate to an eReader of any kind. Even if it formatted correctly (and I’ve seen people complain about it NOT in other reviews) you would lose something in the experience. Not only that, but it has the neatest cover (the hardbound dust jacket) of any book I’ve ever seen. Waiting for the next installment of this trilogy isn’t going to be fun.
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Amazing Futuristic, Sci-fi, Young Adult Kady thought breaking up with Ezra this morning was the hardest thing she’d have to do. Instead this afternoon her planet was invaded. In the year of 2575, two megacorporations that are rivals are warring over a planet that’s little more than a speck on the edge of the universe. Kady and Ezra are barely talking to each other and they are dealing with enemy fire raining down on them and are being forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit. Their problems are just starting, though. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results. If that wasn’t bad enough nobody in charge is telling anyone what is really going on and the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy. Kady soon realizes that the only person that can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she would never speak to again as she hacks into a web of data looking for the truth. This is a book that readers will race to finish to find out just what is going on and how things will turn out for Kady and Ezra. Knowing this is the beginning of a trilogy will thrill readers but also have them upset to find out they need to wait for the next book to come out. Told in a very unique and original way the story pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go even after they finish the book. It will be very interesting to see how the next two books read. The characters are very interesting and they move the story along at a lightning fast pace. Anyone that enjoys space and sci-fi will love this book and even those that don’t will fall in love with this book.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
Illuminae is a book I put off reading for a long time. I had access to it before it was even released, yet I couldn't bring myself to read it. Was there a reason why? It could have been because everyone was in love with it and I was afraid that the hype about it was going to ruin it for me..or it could have been because I tend to put off books I really want to read. If I read them, then they are over....and what if I hate them? Or it could have been a bit of both. Or it could have been because I just never picked it up. Eventually I did though. I actually read it as a part of #ARCApril. And now, here is June, and I am finally writing something up about it. Procrastination? Maybe. Waiting for the right words to describe this book to come to me? Maybe that too. But if I keep waiting for those perfect words to come to me, then I will never ever write anything up about this book. Those words are never going to come. This book...there really are no words for this book. Illuminae is actually set in space in the far out future. A small, illegal mining company is attacked by another mining company. Their home is destroyed. Thankfully there was a fleet nearby to help save some of those who lived in the colony or else there would have been no survivors. Of course, even though the ships got away, the attackers continued on in pursuit. They didn't want to have any one left behind. There were only 3 ships with survivors...and things started to happen...and no one was talking. I really cannot go into much more of a description of the story than that. I do not want to accidentally give away anything. There are so many aspects to Illuminae, it is mind blowing to say the least. Illuminae has a little bit of everything to it. There is romance. There is war. There is espionage. There is There is There is. It is so hard to explain. It will definitely keep you on your toes the whole way through though. You will never find yourself bored or wanting to put it down. And then there is the formatting of this book, which only adds to the brilliance that is Illuminae. Illuminae is far from being formatted like a normal book. It is meant to be a collection of files on an incident. There are conversation logs, emails, files, and more to it. In my opinion, this book should not be read as an ebook. I think reading it digitally will take away from some of the magic that the formatting lends to the story as a whole. So do yourself a favor and order it or head down to the store and get it. You might not be able to start it as quickly as if you were to download it onto whatever device you have, but it will be well worth it in the end. So was there anything that I didn't like in Illuminae? Yes. That it ended. And that the second book Gemina isn't released yet.... But other than that? No. I loved it. I wish I could read it again for the very first time and experience all brand new over again. My Rating 5 Stars Find more of my reviews here: This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Th3bibliophile More than 1 year ago
just finished reading Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and am super excited to write this review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first got the book. It is written in a very unconventional way and has a lot of very different-looking pages. But it also looked very interesting and so, without knowing much about the story, I dove into it. The book tells the story of two teenagers in the year 2575, who are dealing with typical teenage love stuff in the midst of interstellar war and killer viruses. I don’t want to give too much away, but Illuminae was an incredibly compelling read! It’s a pretty thick book but it did NOT feel like a long read at all. The story was so intriguing that I found myself counting down the hours at work until I could get back home and read some more! I ended up reading it in three days, and as is the case with great reads, I had that sad feeling when there isn’t any more to read. So I mentioned that the story is told in a very unconventional way. What do I mean by that? Well the “story” is rather a dossier of hacked documents compiled to show the events that occurred, and includes Wikipedia-type articles, blueprints, IM conversations, interview transcripts, surveillance footage, classified documents, etc. While some might think this method of story-telling might be off-putting, it was instead an extremely refreshing way to read a novel and was utterly compelling. The authors have taken an interesting idea and executed it to absolute perfection. They created a beautiful book. Here are just a few examples of how great and interesting the pages are! The main characters are charming. The way the authors have organized the book gives us a great picture of who the main characters really are without trying too hard. They were just able to seamlessly interweave a teenage relationship, an interstellar war, a deadly pathogen, and other pressing issues into one great read. Like a perfectly composed dish, the separate arcs just melded together to give one excellent story. I was supremely impressed by Illuminae, and by the skill the authors possess. I highly recommend Illuminae! Things to look forward to: –Gemina, the next book in the series, which should be released in October! (cannot wait!!) --Brad Pitt is going to be turning Illuminae into a movie! Please check out my blog for more book reviews!
Coreena More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my sixteen year old son (who will normally only read Manga) because of the visually stunning way it is written and he raced through it. Then my twelve year old son devoured it and told me that I HAD TO READ IT. Illuminae is told through interviews, text messages, and other documents, with certain words blacked out, meaning there is no one narrator. Still, the story is remarkably easy to follow — as well as being engaging. This is a fun and dynamic way to tell as story that, I imagine, will appeal to even reluctant readers. I really felt for the characters and their plight. They were in an impossible situation, trying to get information in the midst of huge cover ups. Their world had been destroyed and everyone had family and friends who had been killed. Even through the documents and descriptions of videos, the reader can relate to them and how they must feel in this terrible situation. And there are some great twists, all of which are there to see in the documents, if you know where to look. The adventure, conspiracy, a quest for justice, and characters the reader can root for, combined with dynamic storytelling and page formatting make for a compelling read.
AvaJae More than 1 year ago
Sometimes, when a book gets a ton of hype, I get a little skeptical but I also feel more inclined to at least take a look during a stroll at a bookstore. And I'm so glad I did because ILLUMINAE more than lives up to every ounce of the hype. I started reading ILLUMINAE on New Years Eve, thinking that I'd just read maybe twenty pages or so and continue reading the rest the next day. So I read twenty pages. Then I read two hundred more the same evening. Because I legitimately could not stop reading. Teens on two space ships, a mutating, dangerous virus, an unforgettable AI, and an enemy space ship ready to destroy them looming ever closer come together to make this book unputdownable. I haven't read a found materials book in a long time (maybe ever?) but I have to say, I loved the format. The book is written in e-mails, IMs, interviews, etc. and has intense action and conflict right from the start that kept me ripping through the pages. There are loads of twists (some of which had me cursing out loud while I read), lots of people die, so many scenes broke my heart, and it was just an incredibly good read. *Finally, an important note on format:* this book is beautiful with some truly creative formatting that had me literally flipping the book around to read certain two-page spreads. I've confirmed with some people who have read the e-book version that the formatting does not work nearly as well in the e-version, so if you get it, I HIGHLY recommend getting the print version. It's a brick (nearly 600 pages), but the formatting actually makes it a surprisingly quick read, and I promise you, it is so worth it. Diversity note: All the major characters, as far as I can tell, were cishet and white with exception to one Chinese character. There's more diversity with minor characters both with race and sexual orientation (mostly really minor characters, to be honest), but representation was lacking in the major cast, aside from PTSD and other mental health issues common amongst trauma victims.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I need to start this review off by just saying that Annie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae is unlike anything that I have ever read before. From the plot to the actual storytelling—everything about Illuminae is unique. There wasn’t a moment spent while reading this novel where I wasn’t on the edge of my seat and completely into it. This book is everything. Honestly, if you don’t give it a read, you are missing out on something great. Set in the year 2575, when Kady breaks up with her boyfriend Ezra, the very last thing she expects is for her planet to get invaded by a megacorporation that is interested in starting a war. Narrowly managing to escape on a fleet of ships, both Kady and Ezra find themselves trying to outrun a warship—the Lincoln—that is dead-set on leaving behind no survivors. The threat the warship poses is nothing compared to the threats that are beginning to appear onboard the ships Copernicus, Alexander, and Hypatia. A deadly airborne virus has begun to infect survivors, leaving them feral and bloodthirsty. And the Alexander’s AI, the only thing that can save them from the oncoming warship, is showing malicious intentions. For Kady and Ezra, safety and survival have never been so far away, and there’s no telling if they’ll make it. I loved this book. I cannot emphasize how much I love this book. I had my doubts before reading (because the few things I’d read about it were nothing but people raving about how fantastic it was), but now I can tell you with complete and total honesty that this book is just amazing. The way that Illuminae’s story is told is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. There is no typical first person or third person point of view where everything is told through chapters of prose. Illuminae is told through transcripts of conversations, IMs, documents detailing videos from security cameras, and other ‘found’ footage. It takes a bit of time getting used to, yes, but the way that Kaufman and Kristoff present the story is immersive and innovative. The way that the story is told makes Illuminae all the more haunting to read. Readers will feel like they’re reading something that actually happened, something that was real, making Illuminae something forbidden to them. It’s a story that leaves you on the edge of your seat, hoping that your favorite characters make it to the very end and unscathed. There were far too many moments where I was left with a horrible feeling in my stomach as I watched some of my faves meet their utter demises. The protagonists of the novel, Kady and Ezra, are both such flawed characters. They feel very real when you read their interactions with one another and the other characters in the plot. Even though they’re both exes, you can watch as they begin to fall back in touch with one another, and readers will wonder if there’s hope for their romance yet. Will they be able to get back together even though Kady is on the Hypatia and Ezra is on the Alexander? We just do not know, but there’s hope. In the end, Illuminae is a novel that I’m going to end up holding on very closely to my heart. It’s been too long since I’ve read something as truly unique as Illuminae. The stakes are raised with every single new piece of information that’s offered to us. The characters are all amazing. The storytelling is on point. Nothing is ever what it seems, and I’ve shed far too many tears on the pages of this ARC. It’s with great excitement that I await the next installment to
Michael_A More than 1 year ago
As another reviewer stated, this Nook Book is messed up somehow. The Nook can't handle it, I could only get a few pages in before my app would constantly crash, and I can't skip beyond this spot either. It takes a long time to download, even on the PC app. The PC app has problems of its own, it renders the book badly, chopping off several inches of the edge of the page, making the book unreadable. It's disappointing, as the story seems very promising and I genuinely want to finish it.
Cute_Book_Nerd 10 months ago
When I first heard about this book, I had no desire to read it, reasons unknown to me. I passed this book several times whenever I would go to the bookstore and after months of ignoring it I finally decided to give it a try. I am not in love with this book by any means but it did surprise me and I ended up buying Gemina. My favorite thing about this book was how the story was portrayed in many ways (email exchanges, journals, charts, pictures, AIDAN), this tactic made for a more interesting story and it kept me interested and intrigued. I didn't know anything about this book nor did I look into it beforehand so every twist and turn surprised me in a good way. I found it interesting that AIDAN was given human-like qualities which was creepy but also shows the power of technology and where it could be headed. All in all, I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would!
TheLibraryEnchantress More than 1 year ago
Let's talk about Illuminae. I would like to start by saying I am not a scifi fan. Aliens and space and time not my thing. I can manage Doctor Who and that was about it. But friend insisted I HAD to read it and OMG WAS SHE RIGHT! First of new book-boyfriend Ezra....I love that man. Yes...I do have a type. No, I refuse to change. Ok now back to the review . The format, while super intimidating, is actually brilliant! It helps it feel way less #sciencefiction and more...real. the characters, while annoying at times, are fleshed out and zo brilliantly written! The plot is so intricate and there are moments when you go "I totally saw that coming" only for something else to go BAM and you're just sitting on your couch, reading it with you mouth open going "what just happened?" Seriously...put this on your TBR because it is 100% worth it! My rating: 4 stars Favorite quote: "What you do when @#$! like this happens is you LIVE, you survive it."
JLAustin More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I would like this format of a book, but after I got over the initial strangeness of it, I really enjoyed it. I was surprised Amie and Jay were able to really display character and nuance with nothing more than basically dialogue. It was exciting and suspenseful and I can't wit to read the next one!
Kibbyra More than 1 year ago
Review originally posted on HOLY HECK I LOVED THIS BOOK! I didn’t know to expect going into this read, but a fast paced, hilarious, and INTENSELY CREEPY science fiction story that was told in an incredible and unique format was not it. To say this book exceeded my expectations would be a vast understatement. The story stars Kady Grant, a spectacularly snarky computer hacker, Ezra Miller, her very pretty and very recent ex-boyfriend, and AIDAN, who I won’t say much about because I’m not sure if it’d count as spoilers but hot damn they are the best character. There is inaudible profanity, snark, slow burn creepiness, snark, space battles, snark, dire situations with dire consequences, and oh, did I mention the SNARK? This little quick review doesn’t even begin to describe all the awesome held within the obscenely orange cover of this book. If you like science fiction, or want to dip a toe into this genre pool, I 1000% recommend this book. Honestly, it is probably my favorite book read in 2018.
BSUTeacherinTraining More than 1 year ago
Now I’ll start this by saying WOW DID NOT EXPECT ANYTHING EVER THAT HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK. Everything that happened I just kept saying: WHAT?? At one point I think I might have thrown it on accident...Anyways, I loved this book, I loved the twists and turns on the page (literally and figuratively), and the characters. Even though it was all interview, diary entry, camera recordings, or action reports I still felt connected to the characters in some integral way. I cried at each death, even the outbreak victims! It was such an emotional ride to me, especially the very end. I never thought I would develop an emotional attachment to an AI system but I guess that is where we are at after this book. Thanks AIDAN, for that. The amount of thought and plotting that had to go into each page and illustration, plus the fact that there was real blood on the pages they scanned into the book was so wild! I can’t believe how much went in to making this the best space book I’ve ever read. The characterization was solid for me along with the development of plot, and even though some of the language (mostly the hacking stuff) didn’t click for me I still understood the basis of what was going on, which I believe was the point. For a 600 page book I’ve never read anything this good this fast. I loved it!
Dianne57 More than 1 year ago
I'm really not sure what to say about this book that won't get me banned from Goodreads (LOL!) I mean so many people have loved this book to pieces and all I felt was MEH about it. This book didn't break new ground, if you are thinking of reading it on your e-reader DON'T, the format is impossible to read on an e-reader (even reading it on my monitor didn't help), the 'twist' was lame and the romance just felt thrown in like a second thought. Adding 'sort of' zombies to the mix to me was over-kill. The space adventure was enough and the zombies, to me, just made this a mess. I might blame my difficulty with this book on my age, for perhaps not understanding all the tech issues, but I'm not going to. I love plenty of YA books and usually have no trouble reading about the tech side of futuristic books...but this book didn't even try to make the reader understand what Kady was doing. It's as if the writers didn't understand the tech side of things and wanted to draw us away from that fact. So I won't be reading the next two books, but in a way, I'm glad I at least stuck it out to read this entire book and didn't give up half-way through like I was tempted to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good story but was very difficult to read in ePub format. The fonts were very small on my screen with no option to make them larger. All of my other books have this option so it is not my ereader. On a couple of pages I could only read one side of the conversation as in Ezra’s words would show up but not Kady’s. The typing that the AI did to “express itself” made it even more difficult. For example The sentences would start on one page and end on the next. Then I had to go back to the previous page and start over with the next sentence, usually flipping back and forth about 3 or 4 times. All the while these sentences are looping around or traversing the pages in an artistic manner. I understand that might work well for a print book and even be intriguing but not for an e book. As for the story itself, it was very good. A lot of adventure, betrayal, and romance. The main character really shows her mettle, and willingness to make sacrifices. It is one of those books you can get caught up in and forget the world around you so if you want an exciting, heart pounding escape, this is the book. There is a lot of violence and some crude not for kids. And buy the print book! Please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exciting and so interesting. The format of the book makes it even more fantastic. Read it, You won’t regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exciting and so interesting. The format of the book makes it even more fantastic. Read it, You won’t regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cannot read past the third page! So aggrievating!!!!!!!:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bookmarks & Blue Light WP More than 1 year ago
Illuminae opens with Ezra & Kady’s relationship and I must say, it is a quick and effective way to rope readers into the plot. Romance works because it’s universal, especially when it’s combined with upturned lives and the end of your everyday routine as you know it. I was already rooting for their relationship by page 10. Despite the graveness of the situation, Kady’s and Ezra’s personalities and attitudes towards each other crack me up, and it especially shines through the use of instant messaging and email. With these mediums, authors can get away with grammatical rules and at the same time, build an atmosphere that feels familiar to readers despite the fact that this book is set on another planet and in deep space. My kudos to the authors because although these formats are used, this book doesn’t feel juvenile at all. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff will pull the rug out from under you, knock the breath out of you, make you want to pull your hair out. I got goosebumps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Illuminae, a book written by Jay Kristoff, is set in a world where space travel is possible. Characters in the book inhabit different planets. While this book is a good read, it requires attentiveness due to many shifting narratives. You begin reading from a teenage girl’s perspective, then a soldier, and a robot which makes it hard to keep up sometimes. Illuminae is mainly centered on Kady Grant, an impulsive teenage computer hacker who just broke up with her boyfriend (the author brings that up frequently), right before her home world was set upon by an evil company named Beitech. The story isn’t my favorite due to the author going for more of a romance setting between Kady and her ex Ezra. I personally don’t agree with this because of the time sensitive action setting. Kristoff does however, make you feel for this relationship and hope that it does work out in the end, but the way he approaches it is a little cliché. Kristoff goes for the cliché of teenagers who are crazy about each other and make up “cute” little nicknames for each other. I really got in to the middle of the story. Here the author changes up the whole feel by creating a new villain. A.I.D.A.N. is a computational software that runs the Alexander which is one of the three ships that is trying to escape a Beitech dreadnaught, and A.I.D.A.N. decides to destroy one of the other ships because of a virus that was on board. The deadly virus named phobos makes people go crazy all in their own way which gives the story a little more volume. Overall this book is an entertaining read. I would like to recommend it to anyone looking for a sci-fi novel which includes a romantic background. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, confession time. I was not overly impressed with my half-@$$ed perusal of the summary. I had no interest in reading this book. But people in my book group kept raving about it, so it was still in my periphery. Then someone posted a picture of the INSIDE of the book. Let's just say, I geek out on book formatting. My interest was definitely piqued! The formatting is very important to the story--it's a visual rendering that makes the reader a part of the story. (So, disregard all those other reviews that gripe about links not working--because it's not an actual website with hotlinks--they are meant to be screenshots!) The actual story is told through compiled documents, kind of like an epistolary novel, but it's also rather Ergodic, in that HOW you read certain parts of it alters your perception of those events. So there are so many things that I would love to shout out about how awesome this book is, BUT I DON'T WANT TO SPOIL THE STORY! You don't just read this book, you EXPERIENCE it! So go! Pick up a copy and LIVE the journey. I read this on my Nook tablet, and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!