Space wars and rogue AIs: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff [REVIEW]

young adult scifi booksIlluminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Random House in October 2015
Pages: 599

Young AdultDystopia, Science Fiction, Thriller
Source: Purchased
Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryB&N
Rating:  photo three half_zps8cnkrlqd.png

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.

The spoilers in this review have been hidden, so you can safely read without being spoiled, if you so wish.

This book is hard for me to review, because I can’t really figure out what it is that made this book not get five stars from me, and instead 3.5. Maybe I’ll figure it out as I write. Let’s see… 

I really love books written in alternative formats, with pieced together information found-footage style. I love it and if you know more books like that then please let me know. Illuminae, as you all probably know, is a dossier consisting of interviews, chat logs, emails, reports, wikipedia articles, etc., about the Kerenza disaster (the main character’s planet). At times you have to turn the book upside down to read, which is another thing I enjoy (House of Leaves anyone? Oh boy.)

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For the nerds & geeks: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline [REVIEW]

20603758Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Random House in August 2011
Pages: 374

Young AdultDystopia, Science Fiction
Source: Purchased
Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryB&N
Rating:  photo five stars_zpsr2o5iiuv.png

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

There is a chance you will really love this book if you A) love video games B) consider yourself a misunderstood nerd/geek or C) love 80s pop culture & games. Even if you don’t do or like any of these things you will probably still enjoy this book, because it’s awesome. I know I got very few of the 80s references, being a 90s child, but that didn’t bother me. (Though when I got to the Pac-Man part I was like AHA! I KNOW PAC-MAN. 10 POINTS FOR GRYFFINDOR)

If you’ve ever played Second Life, the OASIS is kind of like that. Just way more immersive and real. It’s kind of like Second Life + Oculus Rift + a suit that makes you actually feel things inside the virtual reality + a smell tower that makes you smell the virtual reality. Oh, and + Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where Halliday is Willy Wonka and the OASIS is the chocolate factory.

People in this book literally live their entire lives inside the OASIS, they even go to school and get married there. You don’t even need to get out of the house, you can go to a restaurant in the OASIS, order a pizza, and that order will transfer to a the pizza place near you in the real world and they’ll deliver to your door. Amazing. 

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