Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman was one of the most brilliant audiobooks I have listened to!#2021AudiobookChallenge

Synopsis

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.

 

Audiobook Review

 

5 stars

I first tried to read this book nearly two years ago. I went the “classic” road and had the paperback but I stopped after 120 pages as the format was putting me off my read.

 

This book is very unique in its conception as you have files, briefing notes, then dialogues and some schemas of spaceships. You are constantly shifting between these formats and that made for a broken story. I simply could not focus as I apparently need something more linear with the plot unfurling steadily with one or two point of view, bare of briefing notes or interviews.

 

There is only one physical book that broke that rule and still interested me: Sadie. But we only had two formats: one podcast and Sadie POV.

 

Yet, as everyone was gushing over that book, a trusted friend recommended the audiobook to me.

In the beginning, I had the same issues but soon enough, I truly was immersed in the story and able to finish it in a matter of a few days.

 

The audiobook is brilliant!

We have a whole crew of narrators, every single one really good AND we have special effects.

You have an “off voice” sounding like these distorted voices of masked witnesses you hear on the television.

You have beeping noises and a nearly constant hum as background noise, plunging you into the belly of a spaceship crossing the galaxies while simultaneously hunted by another ship and threatened by an unknown plague.

I find movie with spaceships and astronauts very oppressive and I had a similar feel listening to the book.

The tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife and you will really feel like being in space. I had to remind me that I as on earth and NOT in that spaceship!

 

The plot is also very efficient as you have twists and turns aplenty. The ending totally surprised me!

I was constantly on edge, wondering if our heroes, Kady and Ezra would beat the odds or get infected by that virus or get pulverized by the Lincoln who was chasing the Hypathia and the Alexander to erase every trace of their foul play.

Some scenes had me panting, when you had crazed infected rushing after one or another hero in a deadly chase of cat and mouse! All that happening on a spaceship made an escape even more improbable!

 

The tone of the story slowly shifted. In the beginning, when the threat is present but not too serious, Kady and Ezra’s banter is light and I enjoyed the sarcastic remarks. The more the threat develop, the more serious the tone. Soon, it was all banter with very sharp edges, especially between Kady and the AI Aidan.

 

If, like everyone else I think, I loved the love story (kind of second chance romance astonishingly) and of course, Kady (spunky) and Aidan (loyal and courageous) , my feelings for Aidan truly surprised me.

Most of the book I despised that killing and crazy machine.

BUT

Closer to the end, when he had all these conversations with Kady, I felt …pity and sadness. It was fascinating to see that AI developing what was something akin to human feelings. Being afraid of being undone, even if he could be remade. Because he would never be exactly the same, have the exact same experience and memory.

I dare say that he fell in love with Kady and their duo at the end of the book was at the same time gripping and nostalgic.

 

There is no doubt that this story is brilliant.

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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37 Replies to “Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman was one of the most brilliant audiobooks I have listened to!#2021AudiobookChallenge”

  1. I adored this in paperback but I really need to try it in audiobook cause I’ve heard nothing but amazing things!

  2. Sooo interesting that the audiobook worked so well for you! I enjoyed my time with the physical book but I still need to read book 2 and 3 hahah

  3. I loved this! Gemina is even better! 🙂

  4. I love this book too! I still need to read the third one in the series. If I ever get a copy, I’ll reread the first two in audiobook form.

  5. So glad you enjoyed this one Sophie! I read this a few years back in physical book format and enjoyed it, but I never continued the series and was wondering if it might be an even better experience to try them on audio. Hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the series as well!

    1. Maybe you could try the audio too Lindsey?

  6. I’ve been saying that’s the way to do audiobooks, I’m glad someone took the initiative to go with it! Sounds like a much more immersive experience.

    1. Exactly Jacquie!

  7. I’m so happy you loved this book so much and that the audio worked for you! This is one of the series I plan on bingeing this year and I’ll keep in mind that if the physical book doesn’t work to give audio a try, thanks!

  8. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Sophie. i love this series and would love to re-read it on audio some day.

  9. I loved this series so much! I am going to have to give the audio version a try now, too. 🙂

  10. Wow…..I am so happy to see that this book blew you away, I really think the talent of narrators can win the book for one. Its always the best feeling in the world to have a story keep you on edge like this one did for you. Glad to see this one lived up to the hype.

    Lovely review.

    1. Thank you Renee!

  11. Holy hell, that sounds freaking fantastic Sophie! I love listening to audiobooks like this. I’m getting this book the moment I get my next credit σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡

  12. One of the best SF books of the past few years (and the other two in the series are just as good, if not even better…): having read the printed copy, I do wonder how it would feel in audio – and your description of it makes very, very curious! 🙂

    1. Maddalena please, listen to it and tell me if you prefer the printed copy or the audiobook!

  13. I would *not* peg this as a book that would lend itself to audio. What a surprise!

    1. Well Katie honestly, try it and give me some feedback 😉

      1. I’m good. I didn’t realize it before I read it that it had zombie vibes, and I really really really don’t do zombies. Once was enough for me, lol.

  14. Best recording EVER! It restored my faith in audiobooks again!

    1. Agreed Shannon!!

  15. I’m so happy you liked it! I listened the first books and oh boy were those so awesome!

  16. Gaaaaaah I’m so glad you loved it!!!! The audio is the best! I think this is an audiobook I could listen over and over to!

  17. Glad you enjoyed, although the print copy version has touches that I don’t think audio or ebook could handle. I’d be interested to see if the successors held up to the caliber of this first book, here.

    1. I loved this series but I never imagined it would work as an audiobook, you’ve got me interested!

      1. It’s amazing Heather! Trust me.

    2. I will let you know! And that’s true that the print version has drawings of ships etc.

  18. These books are the few physical books I have read. They are so visually delicious, but I heard raves about the audiobook. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

    1. If you are curious one day, you can listen and compare Sam LOL

      1. I don’t normally re-read, though my daughter checked out the second book just to hear the lollipop song.

  19. I’m so glad you loved this! It’s so good and the audiobook blew me away.

    1. Exactly! Itwas outstanding!

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