Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Illuminae // Book Review

So this was the first book I read in 2016 and I had some pretty mixed emotions about it. I went from the verge of boredom, through to "WTFFFFFFF", then about 30 pages to the end I was begging it not to end. And so the story goes (....along with a cheeky bit of sketching I've been up to); 

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."

So here's the deal, chick finds love, loses said love, loses parents (why not), gets caught up in an interstellar war, interacts with artificial intelligence, and also gets caught in the fray of infected individuals which makes for great character building. 

The main thing I want to point out is the unique plot progression of the story. It's honestly nothing I've seen before. Basically the book is a series of documents, audio transcripts, military files, psychological musings of aforementioned AI and strategically censored blackouts. It read quite seamlessly even in the transitioning of documents, the perks of this kind of writing allows maps, behind-the-scenes-planning-that-will-soon-bite-the-arse-of-the-protagonist-to-be-fleshed-out, and creative digression in the layout. 

Yep, have a page dedicated to the word "silence" (*grammar Nazis feel an excruciating pain in their proverbial heart*) and have it positioned to the right about three-quarters down the page for dramatic emphasis [p49]. Totalling 600 pages, don't mistaken this to be a LoTR novel because in actuality, a considerable amount of pages (if not all the pages) are not full... if that makes any sense. To give you some confidence there are 6 consecutive pages in one section that has a total of seventeen words. [pp578-583] 


You know Adian, right? OK I have to admit, I had a love-hate relationship with him. Oh man, I hated him so much when he said he was pretending to be Ezra. That broke me. Also the fact that you were engrossed in the mind/thinking process of an AI just made the scene all the better. The sardonic big brother was humorous as much as he was cold hearted heartless. 

When I was OK with the fact that Kady was going to die, she backflips and makes it home after exploring two juggernaut space ships. Which makes sense because this will be a trilogy.