Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Rating: 3/5 stars **minor spoilers included**

I really wanted to like this book, I really did. But it just didn't deliver.

First of all, I love the format it's told in: interviews, IMs, emails, classified documents, security footage reports, pictures, diary entries, thoughts of an artificial intelligence defense system. Anything but prose. The format is the main reason I decided to read this book.

Illuminae had a good plot idea but not a good execution thereof. I was often confused and unsure of what was really happening. However, this is my first real sci-fi book, and science fiction isn't my favourite genre, so maybe I'm just biased.

Sometimes this book was boring and I didn't want to read it. The first 100 pages: good. Next 200 pages: boring. Next 100 pages: intense; the best part of the book that included the twist about Ezra. Next 100 pages: boring. Last 100 pages: moderate.

Here are some discrepancies I noticed:

In the future, they still have the same references as now. If you go back 560 years from today, culture was way different. So 560 years in the future, culture is going to be very different still. Other than having space colonies and massive spaceships, the culture references in this book are exactly the same as today.

The map of the ship has ~130 afflicted on it when there are ~1,000 in actuality. The dots on the map should be smaller and more abundant to be accurate.

They're moving through space at hundreds of km/sec, yet they're running on backup engines and they're too slow for the Lincoln? And the Hypatia turned off its engines and is supposedly just sitting there next to them, but the Alexander is moving fast through space? That doesn't make sense.

A robot cannot have feelings. Aidan essentially acts like a real person. I just didn't understand or enjoy the parts about Aidan. And why does Kady help him anyway? After all the people are off the ship, she should just go back to smashing him to pieces.

Kady moves through the ship quickly, but it's two miles long, so how is she able to get from one end to the other so fast?

If Aidan was pretending to be Ezra, why did he tell Kady not to come to the Alexander if he really did want her there?

Anyway, those were the questions I had while reading. Despite my feelings toward this first book, I still intend to read the second book; I hope it will be better than the first.

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