Illuminae

The Illuminae Files, Book 1
Series: Illuminae Files, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,942 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Marie Lu comes the first book in an epic series that bends the sci-fi genre into a new dimension.

“A truly beautiful novel that redefines the form." (Victoria Aveyard, best-selling author of Red Queen)

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 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 audiobook in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.  

“Prepare yourselves for Illuminae.” (EW.com)   

“[Y]ou’re not in for an ordinary novel experience....” (Bustle.com)

“A truly interactive experience.... A fantastically fun ride.” (MTV.com)   

“...stylistically mesmerizing.” (Publishers Weekly)    

“[A]n arresting visual experience.” (Booklist)     

“[A] game-changer.” (Shelf Awareness)

"Genre: Undefinable. Novel: Unforgettable." (Kami Garcia, best-selling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable)

“An exuberant mix of space opera, romance, zombies, hackers, and political thrills.” (Scott Westerfeld, best-selling author of Zeroes and Uglies)

“Stunningly creative. Smart, funny, and romantic.” (Veronica Rossi, best-selling author of Under the Never Sky)

“This is one of those rare books that will truly keep your heart pounding.” (Beth Revis, best-selling author of Across the Universe)

“This book is xxxxing awesome.” (Laini Taylor, best-selling author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

©2015 Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (P)2015 Listening Libary

Critic Reviews

"Brace yourself. You're about to be immersed in a mindscape that you'll never want to leave." (Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy)

"Ambitious, heartbreaking, and out-of-this-world awesome." (Kirkus Reviews)

Featured Article: 20 Best YA Audiobooks


Young adult audiobooks offer some of the most affecting, original stories that, despite the genre’s name, make an excellent choice for listeners of all ages. Unforgettably poignant coming-of-age stories, hopeful tales of youth resistance, and brave teens reckoning with questions that stump even the wisest adults are at the heart of this varied and exceptional genre. Our list includes selections ranging from historical fiction to sci-fi, romance to historical sci-fi with a romantic twist, and features diverse characters and ensembles that will make it impossible to press pause.

What listeners say about Illuminae

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Romantic Space Opera

This book is so unique that it is almost impossible to explain it. Told through interviews, emails, instant messages, translated video footage and an AI (Artificial Intelligence) named AIDAN it felt more like a congressional investigation than a YA novel. But don’t be turned off by that explanation. It’s so much more – there is romance, mystery, action, government conspiracies, sci-fi fantasy, etc. It was a unique and wonderful space opera and I loved every minute of this listen. It’s one of the most original books out there today. I bought the print version as well for all the diagrams and pictures that can’t be experienced through audio. This is the rare book that both print and audio come together so perfectly.

81 people found this helpful

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AWESOME!

What made the experience of listening to Illuminae the most enjoyable?

The four readers really added to the realization of the story

What other book might you compare Illuminae to and why?

The Pentagon Papers because the book is written like declassified government documents. I've never read a book written like this. It's a pretty cool format!

Any additional comments?

In other reviews, people are commenting that the audio version has been edited and the profanity beeped out. This is not the case. I read the book in ARC. It's is written like a released confidential government report. The swear words are blacked out in the text which is why they are beeped out in the audio. In my opinion, this doesn't ruin the story at all. If a story requires swearing to keep the reader's attention, it's probably not a very good story to begin with. Just saying....😎

86 people found this helpful

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Might be a good story but not through audio

They tried, they really tried. Adding a cast of voice actors to bring the characters to life was a great idea, and their performances were good. I wish the audio versions of the Game of Thrones books did this. But, the constant date stamps and, name, stamps? Was constantly distracting.

I stopped listening to this book three times because of the interruptions then returning to try an fish it. I couldn’t do it, I gave up on chapter 44 (out of 100+ chapters). Maybe I’ll pick up a print copy.

12 people found this helpful

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Duped by good reviews!!

First of all, the audio is NOT censored by Audible or anyone else, it was written that way. Anyone who thinks so obviously wasn't paying attention because only 2 minutes into the book, the creepy muffled/distorted voice tells us that all the files that make up the story were instructed to have the profanity censored by the UTA (I think that's the government in the book). So you can blame the authors for that one because even the book blacks out the profanity.

I feel very deceived because when I read the reviews the first 25 or so reviews that are displayed are 5 star absolutely rave reviews! Then when you get past all those, the real truth comes out (which I didn't see before I bought the book).

The format was hard to follow and confusing. At least if you were reading the book, rather than listening to it, you would have been able to skim past all of the unnecessary info that is repeated constantly, such as timestamps, dates, and locations, etc.

The writing was very juvenile at best and the characters were irritating. I only made it through 17 chapters (out of 173) and I decided to return it to get my credit back because it was so awful. I saw that other reviewers said that it gets better by the last quarter of the book, but I couldn't even stand one chapter more so I don't know how I could make it through that much more before it actually got interesting, if it even ever did.

The full cast was neat and it did feel like a radio show, but it was just very hard to follow the way it was written.

60 people found this helpful

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Best book of the year has the best audio as well

This is by far the best book I have read in 2015 and the audio production is incredible as well.

The full cast adds so much to it and the sound effects build the tension.

The writing in this book is incredible as are the characterizations and the plot. It is smart, funny, and absolutely thrilling.

This is a great choice for anyone who likes adventure, space, love, or humor. It has it all.

14 people found this helpful

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Mind + Illuminae = Blown

If you could sum up Illuminae in three words, what would they be?

Cataclysmic
Imaginitive
Awesomeness

Who was your favorite character and why?

I honestly felt the most for AIDAN. I was equally scared of what he might do and remorsing his life playing out

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when AIDAN and Grant were sharing a moment at the end after the Lincoln arrived and the Infected were trying still to desperately get at her.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Survive the black to show the light

Any additional comments?

This is a re-read for sure. Normally I buy audio books because I think I might take too long to read, but in this case, I'll be looking for a physical copy.

19 people found this helpful

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good story but

good storyline but the format was cumbersome and hard to follow
I would have enjoyed it more if it was more dialog

8 people found this helpful

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Illuminae

Really enjoyed this book. This production is beautifully executed and very immersive. The many voices make the characters come alive - almost like watching a good movie!

13 people found this helpful

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This book + audiobook is just mind blowing!

I bought the book and the audiobook. Oh, my god, I don't regret sending for both. It was such an amazingly immersive experience. The book is marvelous. Beautiful! Amazing performance, the audio book is too! Illuminae is beyond galaxy, space and time!

11 people found this helpful

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Great Book, Best Ensemble Narrator Recording

I bought two highly rated books on sale. One of the titles drew me in for a first look but unfortunately the main premise was so contrived and unrealistic I couldn't get past the first hour. Who knew the book entitled "Illuminae" was going to rock my world.

Normally I am happy with a single narrator who can cleverly alter their voice. That would not have worked here. This piece was made for an ensemble recording as we get several perspectives from various people and an artificial intelligence via email, interview transcriptions, memos, and recorded security footage.

The added sound effects and occasional piece of music combined with excellent writing made this such an enjoyable ride, I actually carefully controlled my time with the book occasionally stopping and waiting a day to just soak in the moments and not have this great adventure over too quickly. Of course, I've also been known to hoover down the whole bowl of chocolates in one sitting, so starting this at a different time, I might be confessing to a binge listen right now.

An illegal mining colony is brutally attacked by a conglomerate who feel that if they wipe out all the colonists, they won't be held accountable. They are banking on the company doing the illegal mining not wanting to be exposed. Our high school heroine makes it onto a United Terran Authority battle cruiser that happened to be in the area. This damaged ship and a couple of science vessels need to run for it and tell the verse (universe) about this brutal attack. Unfortunately an undamaged conglomerate battleship is chasing them and is destined to catch up.

The wrinkles in this mix are a deadly weaponized virus carried onto one of the ships by the exposed colonists and a damaged Artificial Intelligence responsible for saving lives that decides to destroy the one ship containing the virus for the greater good. All this unfolds with a teenage love story at the center.

The multiple perspectives you get from various players and from people looking at the archived footage makes this a much richer story. If you have never experienced a top notch ensemble narrated piece - get this audio-book. It is certainly a different type of listening experience than most of the single narrated ones that have been the staple for the majority of spoken books.

8 people found this helpful