Thursday, October 8, 2015

Interview Style Review of Illuminae (+ Formal Review)

Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Genre: YA science fiction
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Description: 
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.

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. 
Interview between [name redacted] and Kaitlin, a book blogger
August 9th, 2015, time unknown

Interviewer: Hi Kaitlin. Thank you for meeting with--are you . . . okay?

Kaitlin:  NO. I AM NOT.

Kaitlin: I mean, I am a little, but Illuminae wore me out with the the intense feels it shoved at me.

Interviewer: *chuckles* Is that so? What were these "feels?"

K: TEARS. ANGUISH. DESPAIR. HOPE. TEARS. WORRY.

I: You know that not all of those are feelings?

K: I'M TOO WORN OUT TO CARE.

I: Okay . . . Shall we move on . . . ?

K: Okay, okay. I'll dial it down a little. But I just finished the book and it was absolutely AMAZING.

K: It was. So. Freakin'. Intense.

K: And the formatting only made it better.

I: I've heard of the formatting. It's told in pictures and IM chats, right?

K: There's so much more than that. There's video surveillance summaries, emails, documents, and so much more that you would just have to see for yourself.

I: How did that impact the novel?

K: Like I said, the formatting made the book more intense. Weirdly, it allowed me to get to know the characters better and truly become invested in them. All we got were their words (or words about them). Everything else was stripped away and all that was left was dialogue, thoughts, voices . . . even the video surveillance summaries had a character's voice behind them.

I: So . . . if this book was written like any other book . . . 

K: It wouldn't be nearly the same. There's just no way.

I: You said the format made you care more for the characters. Who were your favorites?

K: Ezra and Kady. Definitely.

K: I rooted for them from page one. Kady was intelligent and had a huge attitude. I felt for her the most because we got to see the most emotions from her. My heart hurt for her because she had to go through so much. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll leave it at that . . . 

I: Alrighty. How about Ezra?

K: Honestly, he was kinda an idiot. I mean that in an endearing way, though, because I adored him. He was also very real. He wasn't prettied up. He wasn't made out to be a super special guy. He was normal.

I: Any other characters?

K: Oh, there were a lot. I couldn't always keep track of them, but their voices felt very real to me as well. My heart hurt for them, too, even though I didn't know many details about them.

I: We'll have to move on . . . we don't have much time left.

K: That's fine. What else do you want to know?

I: *shuffles papers* Talk about the genre.

K: I have a lot to say on that! Primarily, the book is sci-fi. It's set in space and has a lot of sci-fi elements. This can be one of my least favorite genres because my interest fades often when I'm reading it. Add in romance and intense scenes, though, and I'll LOVE it.

K: Illuminae felt like a horror book, too, which is a genre I love. The book scared me quite a bit. REALLY freaky things happen. And there is a lot of blood. It reminded me of a horror movie.

I: I think we're out of time. Any last words for those reading this interview.

K: To anyone reading this, Illuminae is a MUST READ. This brilliantly told tale will have you laughing, crying, and screaming--or maybe it'll leave you utterly speechless. It's an incredibly intense ride. Buckle up and brace yourself.

I: Thank you so much for the interview. The book does sound pretty good.

K: RIGHT?

[End of interview]

Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet! Illuminae is utterly amazing. The unique formatting was impeccably done and I'm already excited to reread it in print. I read it on the computer, and it did have a couple issues, but that obviously didn't get in the way of knocking my socks off. The formatting made it so easy to connect with every single character and truly feel for them. I cried for characters I barely knew! The book was soaked in emotions and intensity, so I oftentimes had strong reactions to seemingly small moments. The story was incredibly hard to pull away from because I absolutely HAD to know what was going to happen next. Lastly, this book had a really cool horror feel. It's sci-fi, but really freaky things happen and . . . there's a lot of blood. Overall, Illuminae starts a new series off with a bang. You do NOT want to miss out on this intense ride. 


2015 challenges this book counts towards:
Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge

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