Tags

The Ship Tag

I found this tag via Book Princess Reviews a while back and as I’m well known in my circle of friends for shipping basically everyone and everything so I thought this would be a fun one to try out and what better time to do so then for Valentine’s Day?! (Not going to lie this was just a happy coincidence and I’m rolling with it). I tried to label each answer with any spoilers but there are technically spoilers about who gets with who in a lot of books but thats as far as any spoilers go so although this post is not technically spoiler free they are only mild spoilers.

1) If you could date a fictional character who would it be and why? Can I please date Kady AND Ezra please? I love them both so much and I wouldn’t want to separate them?

2) If you were to go on a date with said fictional character where would you go and what would you do?
I feel like there would be sweet waffles or pancakes and hamburgers? I bet Kady has some weird taste in food like she puts syrup in her burger or gherkins on her pancakes and Ezra and me are just like wha and then we try it too because we’re idiots.

3) A favourite “ship”/ couple you’ve read?
I can’t pick just one and you can’t make me.
Katherine and Matthew from The Next Together series because I love them so much and they are couple goals.
Kady and Ezra from Illuminae, I loved their relationship and dynamic together so much and that it didn’t feel too intrusive or over done.
Yelena and Valek from The Poison Study series, I wasn’t too sure about their relationship originally but it really grew on me, I love their balance of give and take as well as the real trust and teamwork they share too.
Also low key shoutout to Kieran, Mark and Christina, I’ve not finished Queen of Air and Darkness yet but my favourite thing about the entire book so far has been the beautiful relationship between these three and I’m glad to see it done well.

4) A “ship”/couple you hated?
(ToG and ACOTAR couple spoilers)
I’m not a huge fan of any of the couples in the A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass books. I’m not sure if its the way Sarah J Maas writes but I absolutely hated Roawn with a a passion and then he’s suddenly her Caranam, which I could just about stand but then he turned out to be her mate? Ew. I enjoy some pretty unhealthy relationships in books (see next question) but for some reason I just can’t look past the way Rowan treated Aelin. I’m a little better with Rhysand and Feyre but it just makes me feel eehhh.
Ooo there is one ship I like in ToG, Dorian and Manon (Pre EoS at least as I’ve not finished that yet!)

5) A book that had the classic Hate to Love trope?
(Couple spoilers for The Cruel Prince and The Vampire Diaries)
I feel like I’ve read quite a few of them but honestly most of the time there was never any real hate, occasionally mistrust or just a general dislike, genuine hate is a bit more difficult. I would say Damon and Elena from The Vampire Diaries books? I am also SO here for the hot mess that is Jude and Cardan from The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I really enjoy this trope for it’s intensity and the line “Kiss me until I’m sick of it” has become one of my all time favourite quotes.

6) A book that had insta love?
A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris, I love the way the insta love is played out in this little book, from the main character thinking she was too wild and untameable to ever actually love a human boy and then seeing him for the first time and falling head over heels in love with him. It’s described so well as are the consequences later which is nice and refreshing for a book featuring inst

7) A book with a light cutesie relationship?
Maybe Fangirl? That was pretty cute? I don’t read a lot of light cutsie books.

8) A book with a relationship that made you cry?
Lazlo and Sarai from Strange The Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares, they’re so beautifully tragic

9) A book without romance (or with very little)?
Vengeful and I’m so pleased for it, I like a little romance in books but I really don’t think there was room for it in this book and not having any was absolutely the right choice.

10) If you could delete one “ship” from a book who would it be and why?
Simon and Clary from the Shadowhunter books, it was painfully cringey and ironically it felt like she was dating her brother.

11) A new couple you read that you ship?
Matthew and Diana from the All Souls books, I know these aren’t a new couple technically but I only read the first book recently so they’re new to me. I like that although Matthew is partially still a ‘you must do what I tell you’ sterotypical male vampire Diana very much still does her own thing and Matthew learns to trust and value her and her opinion as she does his like a real couple and I’m really enjoying that at the moment.

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Bookish Wishes

I’ve been trying to work on a blog post about what my three “bookish wishes” would be for almost a year now, I keep looking at the draft for a little while then giving up and closing it. Today I not only have to come up with just three wishes BUT SIX! I must stay strong and get this post finally finished so here goes nothing!

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Digging through a dusty old library (as opposed to the very awesome, much less dusty libraries you usually find today, this one is an exception) you find a heavy old book with worn but unmistakable gold sprayed pages and a simple foiled lamp printed on the cover. Upon opening the book there’s a huge puff of smoke (or maybe that’s dust, it’s very hard to tell). When your vision clears, you see a figure with messy hair tied back in a hasty ponytail with dark smudges under their eyes, desperately clutching a no longer hot cup of coffee. You recognise the fabled spirit of an author on a deadline.

“Six bookish wishes, they’re yours but be quick about it! I’m on my third round of edits, I’ve only allotted ten minutes to procrastinating and wish granting and I’ve already spent five of those looking at gifs of Adam Driver’s hair.”

1. I wish I could read for long periods of time without falling asleep. This annoys me so much, I’m loving a book and want to keep reading but the moment I get too comfortable I start to nod off. I adore reading in bed but can only manage about twenty to thirty minutes at a time before my eyelids start to droop and it drives me nuts. So let’s fix that, please.

2. I wish for more time to read. This wish is kind of two-fold, obviously I wish for the actual time to be able to read but also I wish that I would allow myself allotted time for reading, especially for books that aren’t review copies or that I’m deadline for, these books I often manage to explain away to myself as “for work” but then I begin to resent them because instead of reading them I could be reading something more of my own choosing which is sometimes silly because I only review books I choose to read but I then feel obligated to them and it’s a vicious cycle. I pretty much need Bernard’s watch.

3. I wish for an Aurora Rising ARC. I know y’all probably sick about me going on about this book by now and it’s not even out yet but I’m so crazy excited for it and they’re starting to be sent out around now I think so these bookish wishes couldn’t have come at a better time really.

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4. I wish for a satisfying and well cast TV or Film adaptions of The Illuminae Files books. What with the Grisha/SOC books by Leigh Bardugo being picked up a lot of people are wondering what the end result will be like and if it will, in turn, present an opportunity for more YA books being adapted. It’s happening a lot right now and it’s both brilliant and a little terrifying although I’d like to think I’m pretty good at separating the books from their adaptations in case of things going south. I’m aware that Plan B and Warner Bros were interested in purchasing the rights to Illuminae back in 2015 but not sure where things stand four years later so fingers crossed and we’ll see.

5. I wish for a Killjoys tie in/prequel or continuation novel of some kind. I’ll probably look back at this in a year and think “Whaa?” I tend to go through phases and at the moment I’m bingeing the SyFy show Killjoys about a group of reclamation agents (a kind of bounty hunter) in a far-flung dystopian future with a corrupt agency and government etc to boot. The dynamic of the crew and bending of the rules they love to indulge in, as well as the interesting characters they meet along the way has me completely hooked and I’ve been watching it at every opportunity (which with a three-year-old and three games of dungeons and dragons a week is not a lot) but I would really love for this kind of series in a book. I would be all over a tie in or prequel of some kind but I’m also happy for more books in the same vein, especially with a kick-ass, morally confused female character like Dutch.

6. I wish for more New Adult books. There are definitely a few books out there that could be classed as New Adult but it still hasn’t become what I could class as a proper or marketable genre yet. There’s nothing wrong at all with older readers reading YA (I wrote a whole post about it here) but, and I’m fairly certain I’m not alone here I love reading YA books, maybe it’s the way they’re written, the themes or the content but I almost always imagine the characters as older than they are which can make some parts confusing, not to mention the time of your life when you’re in your 20’s is in some ways just as pivotal as when you’re a teenager but in different ways. I’m terrible at explaining this but I hope you’ll understand what I mean?

You look back at the spirit but they are nowhere to be found. Where they ever here to begin with? Had you perhaps just inhaled a bit too much dust from the stacks? Perhaps a rather large book (probably Kingdom of Ash or Queen of Air and Darkness to be honest) fell and gave you a hefty bump to the head? Or maybe she had to get back to her writing, you had been warbling on for a bit. Ah well, you sigh, there’s no way to know for certain so you may as well carry on with your day and maybe…just maybe some of your bookish wishes will come true!

 

 

book talk, booktube

Illuminae Book Talk

Hello! Welcome to Fantastic Books and Where To Find Them! This week I need to talk to you about Illuminae. I finally read it and now I have feelings I need to talk about. BRIEFING NOTE: This review will most certainly contain spoilers. If you haven’t read this book I highly suggest you do so before watching this video or risk spoiling some big moments for yourself.

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Obsido Review

As with the review for Gemina I will do my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible but there will more than likely be things like the mentioning of characters names etc that would be classed as spoilers for the first two books in this trilogy, Illuminae and Gemina. You have been warned, read at your own peril.

24909347Obsidio by  Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 13th 2018 by Rock the Boat 

“But imagine what life would be like if it only gave us what we asked for? Wouldn’t that be grand?”

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

I needed a day or two break after finishing Gemina but dove right back into the Illuminae files trilogy with the last installment Obsidio. This being the final installment I had some concerns about how it would end and where it would leave my beloved characters. I was also worried about it not making an impact at all. The first two books had kept me on the edge of my seat with a very similar structure to each of the, both have quite big ‘fake outs’ as I would describe them and it worked well but I was one hundred percent I didn’t want that for this book. One of the biggest draws emotionally for me and final installments is that all bets are off, characters can die, things can go horribly wrong and so much more. It took me a lot longer to read this mostly because of that worry, a case of Schodingers Cat but with the ending of a book. If I don’t read the end then there are all these possibilities of things that could still happen but once I’ve actually read it then that’s the way the story ends no matter what. I was really worried I wouldn’t like it. Relatively good news though, Obsido may be my least favorite of the three if I was forced to choose but there are so many great moments and characters here.

Just like with Gemina I wasn’t overly keen on the new characters. Kady’s cousin Asha and her ex boyfriend Rhys. I warmed to them a little but nowhere near to the level of adoration I have for Kady, Ezra, Hana and Nik (also Ella and yes…even AIDAN) but this isn’t because they’re bad characters or badly written but more because they have to share narrative time with a lot of other stuff in this book. Kady and Ez were lucky and got pretty much a whole book to themselves, Nik and Hana got a good chunk of Gemina to themselves too but Asha and Rhys had to share so much more and as a result I don’t feel as much for them as the others. I often found myself wishing we were back on the Mao because that’s where everything felt more interesting.

Although I didn’t bond as well with the new characters, my love for some of the ‘older’ characters was solidified. The chemistry between the main four couples, Ella and even Issac grant are one of the best things about this book. I would happily read books and books of these guys, they make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me want to be better. We got a lot more insight into these characters and more, there are some absolutely great scenes that I’m so very glad we got and are some of my favorite in the series as well as some of my favorite lines. I cried a good couple of times and at one point I laughed so hard I choked on the biscuits I was nervously demolishing. I have so many feels about this book.

One important thing that I was glad was addressed in this book was a reminder of the fact that these characters are still just young themselves, Ella for example with all she’s been through is still only fifteen but they do no let their age dictate what they can and cannot do and this is the first time when there have been adults who really see them as nothing more than children and won’t even let them have a chance to prove them wrong. It makes my blood boil as I’ve been over looked so much in the past because I was young, because I was a girl/woman, because I didn’t have nice clothes or a fancy job so this resonates with me so much and really brought an extra dimension to it for me. My favorite part about this under lying theme though? When shit hits the fan they all day what they have always done and just got on with things. The adults in this series fall at the hurdles but these clever young people maneuver around them and help each other over them, no questions asked, no thanks given and without complaining. The way the world is today I’m starting to see more and more these kind of young people in our lives and how important it is that they are given voices and not over looked and I’m so pleased that was something that was touched on in this book.

This is a hard book to review while avoiding spoilers so I will most certainly be filming a spoiler filled book talk about all of these books in the super near future but I did want to say that I enjoyed the ending more than I though I would. It irked me a little in places as I closed the book but after a couple of days of reflection (which is why this review took a little longer to get out then the previous two) I realised that I did like the ending and that it felt right to end how it did which is the best I can say about a series I never wanted to end.

The acknowledgments were as grisly and awesome as always but it also announced that Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman would be working on another series together! The Andromeda Cycle coming out next year and according to Jay includes “hot space elves” and I am already so ready for this! Not to mention Lifel1k3 coming out in July also by Mr Kristoff. To finish off I gave this book an obvious five star rating, I toyed with a 4/5 but decided in the end it was more than deserving of the full five. If you haven’t check this trilogy out yet I highly recommend you do so, I’ve downloaded the audio books and know that I’ll be giving them a listen soon as I’m sure as hell not ready to fully let go of the Illuminae group just yet.

book talk, Uncategorized

When someone reads a book you love.

thumbnail_IMG_0160A couple of weeks ago I finished Illuminae and if you’ve read my review you’ll know how very very much I loved it. My husband, over the past year or so has fallen equally in love with the Warrior Cat books so we came to an agreement that he would read Illumiinae and I would read Warrior Cats (well…listen anyway, I had the first one on my Audible account.) He got off to a slow start, he’s not a big reader and I think I may have reminded him one or two times too many that he was meant to be starting Illuminae. He did in the end though and I couldn’t help but plaster a huge grin on my face as I heard him giggling away to himself as he read.

Soon however I found whenever he read completely nerve wrecking, this is one of my favourite books, what if he hates it? He had already tried to give City of Bones ago and could not get on with it and I was stealing myself for another rejection but I held out more hope because I knew Illuminae was more his taste but still I couldn’t help worry.

Have you ever told someone how much you love a song, you perhaps play it for a friend and they just sit there and look bored or unimpressed (it is, to be fair, very difficult to make appropriately interested faces to music) and you find yourself panicking and saying things like “Don’t worry, the chorus is much better” or “you had to be there” etc. Just me maybe? I don’t do it as much now but I also don’t get people to listen to my favourite songs anymore either. Everyone has slightly different tastes governed by different factors. For example I love the song “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” by Panic at the Disco because I first saw it with the video (which I ADORE) at a Fall Out Boy concert ON a Saturday night, had I just heard it on the radio one random day I probably wouldn’t feel the same about it. This sort of thing is the reason I love to read so many different reviews for the same book, especially if it is something I’ve reviewed myself because I’m not overly interested if the book is written amazingly (although Laini Taylor you are a word queen) and quite often the “themes” of a book are completely lost on me but I know how a book makes me FEEL and for me at least, that is what’s important.

I was so sure he would like it. Mainly because he is an older, dorkier Ezra type character and I know he loves to see characters like that. I am pleased to report that he did in fact absolutely love it and I got to witness the positive side to recommended someone a book you love. Watching him devour pages and pages was so satisfying and when he came to bed at two in the morning moaning “no, no no no no, no” at the book and threatening to put it in the freezer I was ecstatic to see his reactions were pretty on par with my own and I could tell exactly where he was in the story by the faces he was making.

He got to the last hundred or so pages of Illumine when I was at the same point in the third book, Obsidio and so we spent a couple of hours reading together, both gasping at one thing or another, making comments here and there (more him than me as I didn’t want to spoil anything for him) and watching the shock, horror and joy he went through was brilliant. I cried at my book, he cried at his and when he finally finished he told me it was one of the best books he’d ever read and I knew it had been worth getting him to read it and I was glad to have gone on that journey with him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s great to recommend books. Remember not everyone will feel the same way about things as you do and it does suck a bit when someone doesn’t get the same enjoyment out of it that you did so don’t feel too down and certainly don’t force them or you’re at risk of tainting how they might feel about it and over pressure them. BUT if you can introduce someone to a book they completely and utterly fall in love with its totally worth it because reading and loving the same book as someone else is an amazing experience that reminds me why I write blogs, why I make book tube videos (they should return next week fingers crossed!) and why I love talking about books with people so thank you Chris for enjoying Illuminae with me, I can’t wait to see you get your heart ripped out of your chest when you read Gemina.

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book reviews, spoiler free

Gemina Review

Just a heads up that this review will be spoiler free for Gemina but not for the events of Illuminae. I like to keep all reviews as spoiler free as possible to be accessible to everyone but with sequels it’s a bit more difficult to avoid events that have happened in previous books.

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Gemina by  Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX

Published: October 18th 2016 by Rock the Boat 

“It’s just you and it; and everything you’re about to take away.”

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

I am dead. Review to come when I remember how to use feelings again. Were the words I used in my goodreads temporary review, this book, like its predecessor knocked me for six. Illuminae felt like something revolutionary to my world and there was no question I would be moving onto it’s sequel Gemina so there’s no interesting story about how I decided to read this book other than when I had hit just over half way through Illuminae I ordered Gemina and Obsido, which then arrived just before I finished Illuminae. Perfect timing.

Gemina is set out in the same format we already know and love from Illuminae, instant messages, audio transcripts, surveillance footage etc but everything seems to have have been knocked up a notch for this second book. First of all we are treated to excerpts from the journal of one of our main characters and instead of being hidden behind super encrypted files digitally, this journal is a pen and paper, leather bound journal and not only are we treated to the inner thoughts of this character we are treated to some beautiful and funny pictures which help portray events that transpire, explain the layout of the jump station etc and are just there for fun doodles, not to mention the ever present foreboding bullet hole present in every entry that becomes more and more saturated with blood as we read on. There are also pictures of the aforementioned (in the synopsis) Bei tech assault crew and I really enjoyed this little extra that popped up occasionally, helping to keep track of who’s who and what they do.

The basic story for Gemina is once again, if sparesly desribed at risk of sounding like a mish mash of done before sci-fi troupes but Kaufman and Kristoff have done it again by taking these very basic Sci-Fi/horror ideas and brething a good few extra dimensions of life into them, making them utterly addictive and thrilling. Like Illuminae I found some parts of Gemina rather chilling and even a little scary (I honestly have no idea how these books have not given me nightmares yet!) Not only do the events in Gemina freak me out a but it’s there way they’re presented in the file transcript, I turned a page and jumped at one point, which isn’t something I’ve ever experienced with books before and was a nice suprise in a twisted sort of way. I feel like the tension was higher here due to the way the information was presented and to me that speaks of some very good writing.

It took me a little longer to get into Gemina after becoming very attached to Kady, Ezra and even AIDAN, I had trouble meshing with our two new main characters, Hanna and Nik. Hanna seemed like a typical spoiled brat and Nik just seemed the worst kind of desperate, sleazy, don’t care if you have a boyfriend because he must be an idiot, I’m clearly the superior choice kind of guy and I was distraught after having loved Illuminae so much that these new IMPOSTERS would ruin the sequel for me. Kady and Ez went through some rough stuff before we technically even meet them and the way we see them react and deal with that helped to develop a closeness and fondness for them pretty early on. Turns out tragedy is a great character builder.

A Lot of my notes from the first quarter of the book are me moaning about things that Nik and Hanna do, how Hanna’s boyfriend is too sweet and good for her and angry/sighing faces about Nik’s desperate attempts to flirt and woo Hanna. It’s okay though, my dislike for these two is actually a point in favour of this book because I don’t remember ever having done quite the 360 on a pair of characters like I did with these two. The character progression here is totally phenomnal and is one of the things I liked most about this book, by the end of the book my notes went from “I can’t believe this spoiled child is meant to be one of our main protagonists, Kady would kick her butt” and “I really hope she breaks his wrist, he’s such a creep” to the other end of the scale with “Hanna is so amazing, everyone is in trouble” and “Nik is precious baby, I want to hug him.” I felt horrible for the way I felt about them to start with now because I realised I was judging them without knowing much about them and before I’d given them the chance to prove themselves and that they did.

Gemina is full of the heart wrenching twists and turns you would expect from the Illuminae files, this book broke my heart even more than it’s predacessor I think, to the point where I just sat and sobbed for a good few minuites and honestly debated throwing the book across the room or putting it in the freezer. I was worried about this book as middle books are notorious for being a little boring or proving that a series probably should have been a stand alone but this is totally not the case for Gemina which I think could have easily stood on it’s own if need be.

I am cautious now however about Obsido, there seems to have been a pattern in the first two books that they have both followed and I think the mould needs to be broken for the third or risk becoming boring through predictability.

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Illuminae Spoiler Free Review

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Illuminae
by  Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX (If there was a higher rating this book would have it!)

Published: October 22nd 2015 by Rock the Boat

“If I breathed I would sigh. I would scream. I would cry.”

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 megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Wow. Just. Wow. Those three words were the original review I left on Goodreads after finishing this book at some ungodly hour in the morning and being unable to sleep but trying to resist reading the next book straight away. I’ve been interested but kept putting off reading this book. I would see it or Gemina in a book store and pick it up almost every time but was put off by the format and left without it. Then recently with the launch of Obsido I kept seeing this series appearing everywhere again and my interest was again piqued! One of my bookish friends on the other side of the world was a big fan I realised and when I asked her about it she couldn’t recommend it more and she hasn’t steered me wrong yet so I decided to take another look at it. By this point I had read “The loneliest girl in the Universe” by Lauren James which is largely in the format of emails sent across deep space between two people and is one of my favourite books. I figured if I liked that so much and enjoyed the email format maybe Illuminae will be just as good?

Good news. It totally is. Illuminae is a wild ride and one I have absolutely loved. 599 pages seemed like a long old book but the format makes it such a fast paced read that eventually you’re eating up pages faster than you can count. Turns out I absolutely LOVE the format after all. Not only is it super easy to read once you’re used to it but you get so much extra little bits from it. I was worried it wouldn’t seem very immersive but for me that’s totally not been the case at all, if anything I’ve found it MORE so which I certainly wasn’t expecting. There’s a particular moment where a list of casualties are listed and although you’re not expected to necessarily read every single name the pages are not wasted because there are just enough pages for you to think, “wow, that’s so many…” and if that doesn’t get you there are hundreds of smiling pictures of all kinds of smiling faces, babies, children, families compiled into a few pages and again there is such a weight there from the sheer number and then seeing these faces. It might just be me but that felt like such a powerful moment compiled from something so simple. Then there are ship schematics (always give me ship schematics please), after action reports with lines and sections with lines through but are still readable, therefore given us an extra dimension to that part, what we’re meant to see and what we’re not both feel just as important. I admit I read some of those reports a couple of times to see how different they felt.

The story itself feels like a beautiful blending of classic sci-fi tropes but it doesn’t feel stale or overused. It wasn’t until I tried describing the story to someone I realised that it sounded like I was describing a mishmash of some of my favourite sci-fi films but it works so damn well and feels fresh, surprising, horrifying and shocking all the same. Every twist feels like you’ve been punched in the gut and I honestly have no idea how I made it through this book without having any nightmares. There was however, plenty of gasping, crying, a couple of gags and still a lot of laughs. This story really does have it all but I have so much trouble explaining it because although it sounds pretty good there are no words I can truly find to do this book justice (I’m going to try for a couple more paragraphs though be warned).

The writing is quick, witty and absolutely phenomenal, able to tell a story and give us facts while still being able to use some amazing descriptions that are still relevant in the format. “…It’s like a beautiful painting of a totally empty room” is one that really struck me. There are some on purpose typos when a character is trying to communicate at speed in an urgent moment and I’m sure I missed loads but the ones I noticed fit so well and just gave it an extra dimension. There are countdowns and statistics throughout that help illustrate the passage of time and give an impending sense of doom that is almost palpable and quite often I felt like I physically could not put this book down for fear of missing something, how could I go and do normal things when there was a countdown going on in my book?! I had to have my husband take away and hide this book so I could sleep at one point (I am the worst kind of adult) which is something that hasn’t happened in years (Catching Fire was the last time I believe).

The book starts with two transcripts that overlap, this is where we meet our ‘main characters’ Kady and Ezra. Swapping back and forth between one event told by two people separately this starting transcript of their interviews totally sold me even more because it is done so very well, switching accounts at the perfect time so we get all the details we need without any repetition. Also it contains the line “I’m frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.” By the time the interviews are done I felt like I had a really good picture and understanding of both characters and was already eager to know more. A great start. We go on to get entries from Kady’s personal journal, conversations between Ezra and his friends, audio transcripts from the commanding officers of the ships where we spend our story and much much more building a rich world and giving us more insights into these characters and those around them almost effortlessly. I cried about numerous non main characters and a character I couldn’t see me having any attachment to whatsoever at the beginning became one of my absolute favourite characters. That feels like great character development to me.

It is YA and there is romance but (and I know you’re possibly getting pretty sick of me gushing by this point, I know) the romance in this felt perfect. It wasn’t shoved in your face too much, there are no silly love triangles or alpha males and swooning females. It felt very realistic and totally believable. I’ve been getting sick of the same romance put into every story I’ve read lately which is a shame because I like a little romance. Illuminae however just really hit the spot by managing to be funny, flirty, sweet, beautiful, tragic and just a hint of sweet, sweet angst.

I could honestly go on and on about this book, when I finished it genuinely felt like I’d just watched this amazing film and I wanted to go see it again and again and again. I’m mortified that it has taken me so long to read such a great book but I think maybe it would have made all other books I read since feel inferior so maybe it was for the best. It has rekindled my love of sci-fi books and I’m probably going to binge watch some of my favourite sci-fi movies and shows in between reading the next two books in the series. I cannot recommend this book anywhere near enough. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m about half way through the sequel and losing my mind, speak soon.