It was just another normal day in 2575 on the icy little planet (and illegal mining colony) Kerenza, and Kady and Ezra are faced with the run-of-the-mill tragedy of breaking up. Then the BeiTech Corporation decides to launch an attack, decimating the population and forcing the remaining survivors to escape to the few ships that answered their cry for help. Kady and Ezra find that it behooves them to get back on speaking terms as they discover that BeiTech's warship is in hot pursuit of their small fleet; that a horrific virus is beginning to infect the evacuees; and that their fleet's AI, damaged during the attack on Kerenza, has begun to develop an autonomy to deadly results. Told as a dossier through a series of emails, chat sessions, voice transcriptions, surveillance summaries, and imaginative word art, Illuminae is the first of a wonderfully terrifying, thrilling, and fascinating new series.
I was intrigued by the concept and format of the book--it is truly a work of art to behold--but felt a little overwhelmed at the beginning trying to understand what exactly was going on and trying to get into the flow of the novel. So I decided to check out the audio as well, listening to the book as I read along. This ended up being a terrific way to absorb everything--the audio features a full cast of readers with sound effects and occasional strains music, which really lends the plot an overall sense of urgency, and the text provides further context and atmophere for the variety of format and layout that you'd otherwise miss just experiencing the audio. I don't believe much would be lost in sticking solely to one or the other, but I know for sure I will continue this dual method when the second book, Gemina, comes out (October 18th!).