If you’ve spent any time around the YA community you’ll have heard of Illuminae. Why did I take so long to read it? I honestly don’t know because it is perfect for me. If you’re not aware, it’s a sort of futuristic epistolary novel, told through logs, transcripts, messaging and personnel files.

Kady and Ezra are not speaking to each other the day their planet is attacked. In the evacuation they are separated, placed aboard separate ships in the mismatched fleet that comes to their rescue. Fortunately they don’t spend their time mooning over each other and they get on with their, somewhat restricted, lives.

Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us. And that’s what I think you’re afraid of. Maybe not of dying. But of this you, the you you’ve become, ceasing to exist.

Kady has also been separated from her mother, who is on the third ship of the fleet when it is attacked and destroyed by the Lincoln, the nuclear-armed BeiTech ship which is in hot pursuit. Or that’s what everyone is supposed to think. It was actually the AI onboard the Alexander, AIDAN. The people onboard Copernicus were suffering from a virus which could not be stopped. AIDAN’s only looking out for them…

So yay, space virus and artificial intelligence, I’m here for you, I stayed for the amazingly fast past and gripping plot. I thought the format might be a bit clunky but it does an amazing job of setting the scene just enough and lets the story roll without the unnecessary padding of formal prose. If you don’t read much science fiction, I can understand the world-building might be a bit on the light side but I just fell into it, and didn’t come out until the final page.

Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.

AIDAN is great, manipulative and clever but also grows as a sentient being. How far is an AI expected to go to protect people and what rights does he have of his own?

I liked that Kady was shown to be struggling emotionally too. There are the undercurrents of a universe where corporations are so big they can go to war over resources. They are only in the background but I can’t wait to see where this series goes. I’m not buying books until after Christmas, but one of the first I’ll be getting is Gemina and then I can look forward to the third book next year!

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Book Source: Purchased