2020 Reviews

Audiobook Review: Illuminae

Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Format: Audiobook, ~11 hours

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Illuminae on 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 mega-corporations 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. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: Holy Sh*t! I’m so mad at myself right now. Why did I wait this long to read this??? Why did no one tell how PHENOMENAL this audiobook would be???

So I remember working at my bookstore back in 2017 when the Obsidio per-order campaign was in full swing and thinking I should read these books. The printed books are a work of art and I’m so happy I have physical copies of them. But I also remember thinking that I would have a really hard time reading them because of my ADHD. I still picked up a copy of Obsidio when it was released in 2018 but every time I tried to read Illuminae I just couldn’t focus enough to get into the story.


Then in 2019 I discovered audiobooks. I can have a hard time getting into them but more often than not I have really enjoyed the ones I’ve listened too and late last year I decided to give Illuminae another shot as an audiobook. And I’m really angry at myself for not listening to it sooner and for not binging it when I started it last December.

This is by far, the best audiobook I have ever listened too. The cast is phenomenal. The sound work is amazing. If you are looking for a great audiobook experience this is it. Even if you’re already read Illuminae, you NEED to listen to these audiobooks.

Looking beyond the audiobook performance though, this was also a really good book. I wasn’t surprised by the events of the book, but I was still anxious listening to it, especially the last couple of hours.

I really enjoyed Kady and Ezra’s relationship and while I know they’re not the main characters of Gemina I am looking forward to seeing how their relationship continues–assuming we get to see enough of them to see that.

I also really enjoyed watching Aidan develop throughout the book. Artificial Intelligence is really interesting to me and I loved how Kaufman and Kristoff developed its character. I’m also hopeful we’ll get to see more of Aidan in the rest of the series as well.

This was just a really great book that definitely lived up to the hype. It’s prefect for fans of Firefly and Mass Effect.

Up Next: Next in the Illuminae Files is Gemina. I’ve already downloaded it from my local library and can’t wait to start it!


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