Series Review: The Illuminae Files

Series Review: The Illuminae Files

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is one of the most original series I have ever read. The books are all written exclusively using files, and the story is surprisingly complex. I loved each of the main characters throughout the series, although Kady was my favourite. These books are such an emotional rollercoaster, and I am pretty disappointed that the series is now over.

Series Review: The Illuminae FilesTitle: The Illuminae Files
Series: The Illuminae Files
Author: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: Oct. 2015- Mar. 2018
Rating: four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. 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.

BRIEFING NOTE: 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.

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Series Review: The Illuminae Files

This series is told completely through documents and tells the story of a planet that has been invaded by a corporation. The characters are forced to evacuate and defend themselves against BeiTech, creating an action-packed story filled with plenty of plot twists. Although the books consist of only files, the characterization and the world building is incredibly complex, which is not easy to achieve. The emotions are real in this series, which is also hard to imagine considering the unconventional format, but honestly, the messages between the characters do an excellent job of conveying feeling. This series is a sci-fi lover’s dream, and I would consider it a must-read.

❀ Variety of Characters

I loved the variety of characters throughout the series. Each of the books follows two different leads, but the characters from previous books also make appearances. I loved how every single character has a backstory and flaws specific to them. While I enjoyed most of the characters, my favourites were Kady and Ezra from Illuminae. Kady is sarcastic, sassy, and clever, and she and Ezra make such a great team. Hanna from Gemina was also one of my favourites, since she may seem like a classic rich girl, but knows how to fight for herself.

❀ First Book is a Favourite

As is typical with series, the first book was my favourite. I found it to be the most creative and the most captivating. AIDAN, an artificial intelligence, also has a prominent role in the story, which I haven’t seen too much in other books. However, Gemina and Obsidio are by no means sucky sequels, and I actually found the second book to be the most shocking. This series maintained 5 star ratings all the way to the end, which is a very rare occurrence, and it just goes to show how masterful these books are.

❀ Creative Series

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is a creative series told with documents and data. I loved the space setting and the diverse range of characters. I enjoyed the first book the best, but all of the books in the series are incredible. Now that the series is complete, I would definitely recommend picking it up if you haven’t already—the hype is real.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

13 thoughts on “Series Review: The Illuminae Files

  1. Mary @StackingM BookShelves! says:

    Wow, this series sounds fantastic. I loved Everything, Everything for the same reason. They used texting and book reviews (by Maddy) to tell the story. I like different and these sound like a fantastic sci-fi series. Great review and to get 5 stars through them all. PERFECT!

    Mary @StackingM BookShelves! recently posted…#CoverReveal – Love You S’more by Beth Merlin!! @bethmerlin80 @XpressoTours #Adult #Contemporary #book

  2. alexx says:

    This series is actually on my wishlist! I’m curious about it since I’ve heard nothing but good reviews from friends! 😄

  3. Zoey says:

    I’m so happy that you loved it 😀
    Ahh, I still remember the feels of “omgomgomgomg” I felt as I was reading these books :’)
    The first book was my favorite too! But the second book really was probably the most shocking, as you said. Ahh but the books were just amazing as a whole :’)
    Will you be reading Aurora Rising? Or did you read it? It’s not as uniquely told as the Illuminae Files but I loved it and these two authors are such an amazing combo.

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