Popsugar Reading Challenge 2020 Book 29

Prompt: A Book with a robot, cyborg or AI character

This was not a prompt I was particularly looking forward to. I don’t read sci-fi or fantasy as a general rule and last year I found that I ended the year with my least favourite prompts and my December TBR pile was a chore. This year I am determined not to make the same mistake twice! The Goodreads group was a lifesaver for this prompt and among the suggestions for those who shy away from sci-fi was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

What it’s about?

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 a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.


But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

What I think:

What I really liked was this layout of this book.

The combination of reports, logs, transcripts and art was really interesting and sometimes beautifully poignant.

Kady and Ezra’s love story is played out against invasion and deadly plague. People lives are irrelevant to the mega corporations feuding over resources.

The most interesting relationship is between Kady and the AI. The ship helps and hinders Kady as the crew fight to stay alive and escape to safety. At times she trusts it explicitly and at times it is her enemy.

This is complicated story with lots of twists and turns.

My only criticism was that it was very long and dragged in places.

On the whole I did enjoy the book and while I won’t be rushing out to read the other two connected books in the series, I am pleased that I read and enjoyed something that was completely out of my reading comfort zone.

Discover the world of Illuminae for yourself at:

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here

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