ILLUMINAE (The Illuminae Files, _01) is the first in a trilogy by authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The set up of this novel is one of the most original I have encountered: screen-shots of "computer data", memos between people aboard spaceships, surveillance footage, and the commentary of main characters.
The story unfolds with details of a biological strike against the small planet of Kerenza. Our main characters are Kady Grant and Ezra Mason--two teenagers that had broken up the day of the attack. Although they end up on different fleeing ships, their correspondence and determination to get to the bottom of the mystery encompasses this entire first book.
". . . I had no idea how safe I was, because I'd never been unsafe . . . "
Add to the mix a computer operating system with faulty circuiting, AIDAN, and we have some intense drama and the potential for mass destruction on multiple fronts.
Luckily, the story is also laced with sarcasm and dark humor all throughout. I honestly found myself laughing at comments/thoughts in the middle of some of the many life threatening situations.
". . . at that point the southeaster anti-missile battery got vaporized by what I assume was a missile . . . you might wanna note in your report that those things don't, you know, stop misses."
Kristoff and Kaufman do an excellent job of giving the reader all the details they need in a unique and compulsive fashion. This story was one I struggled to put down even once. Everything about it--the characters, rogue computer, unknown assailants, and constant action veiled in secrecy--made this anunforgettable story that I will be re-reading in the future.
". . . you've REALLY gotta think up a better pet name for me than '"idiot"'.
Overall, a "perfect" start to a trilogy with an ending that satisfies, yet also leaves you begging for more.