Illuminae reminds me of a mash up between the ideas in i-Robot, 2001 a space odyssey, Firefly and the Walking Dead. It’s a mash up that you’d think might not work but for me it totally did.
***“No neuroprogrammer is stupid enough to make a computer capable of conceptualizing deceit.” ***
Hahaha! Or are they?
This book is one of those that have been on my TBR pile since it first came out and it has been there for years, so long that the series is now in fact complete. This is the book that friends swear I’m going to love and ask, ‘why haven’t you read it yet’. Well finally, finally I have found the time to read it and it was a really great ride.
The writing style in this isn’t going to be for everyone, it is filled with IM conversations, interviews, tech descriptions of video feeds. In the audio format I liked how this worked for the story, the hardback looks huge, but there is a ton of dead space due to the way the story is told. I read the Black Company Chronicles which is in the same epistolary format from journals and such so I can handle this format and understand what it does and doesn’t do for the story.
The story kicks off with an invasion of a mining colony. Kady, had just broken up with her boyfriend and now the world as she knows it is ending. Not because of the break up, but because a corporation has traveled through space to take over the illegal mining operation and pretty much kill all the people there to do it. She is running for her life, trying to escape the incursion. I like her right off and not just because she is also frequently underestimated, probably because she is short .
Ezra, the afore mentioned boyfriend ends up on a different ship than Kady. He has lost everything, but can’t help thinking of the girl that broke his heart on the same day his world ended. Now they are both on different ships trying to outrun a battleship, whose mission is to kill every last witness to the atrocity committed on their home.
***“It’s not the bullets that kill you. It’s moments like these. One piece at a time.” ***
You’d think being chased by a battleship through space would be enough for a good story, but Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman go ahead and turn the dial up to 11 by adding in some biological warfare gone wrong/right, depends on your PoV and a Murderous AI with the best of intentions.
***“Um, because you're loopier than Flacky McPsycho, Mayor of Crazytown?" "My databases show no record of this Crazytown of which you speak. A brain the size of an entire city burns inside me. My intelligence quotient is beyond the human scale. I would prefer if you did not refer to me in such a fashion." "Oh, poor baby. Did I hurt the mass-murdering psychopathic artificial intelligence's feelings?” ***
This is a ride and a half. If you can enjoy the way the story is presented then I think it could really work for you. This much like the Princess Bride has a little bit of everything. Romance, fights, a deadly plague, murderous AI, humor, an evil corporation bent on killing all the characters we like, deception and sacrifice. A little bit of everything really all wrapped up in an intense story.