Parents' Guide to

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files, Book 1

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Pulse-quickening space thriller is fantastic but intense.

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Loved it, but does contain some mature themes

I read this book after my daughter (almost 12) read it in record time and immediately asked for book two. It’s a fast paced and thought provoking sci-fi told from a collection of documents, email conversations, security footage reports and the mad ramblings of an AI system who controls one of the space ships. If I had known exactly what was in the book I probably would have waited a couple more years before buying it for my daughter (she picked it herself off the shelf at Kmart). So for other parents of younger readers it contains the following: - lots of sexual innuendos and lewd comments in the form of email chats (which may well go over the heads of younger readers) - extreme violence, although it’s not particularly descriptive or graphic - nuclear warfare, including thousands of innocent people being blown up - the use of a bio weapon (a man made virus) which turns people into murdering psychopaths That said, I enjoyed reading it myself and agreed to buy book two for my daughter because she really loved it. The lead characters are strong and likeable and the story poses some interesting questions about what life might be like with the development of AI
age 12+

The best book ever

i read this book a year ago and it is still by far the best book i've ever read. if you're thinking of reading it, read it. I think if you don't read this book once in your life there is no point living. Kady and Ezra have great stories and it all makes sense in the end.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (16 ):

Mix some Battlestar Galactica with a sprinkling of The Walking Dead and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and you'd get this very flavorful if incredibly intense space thriller. Cowritten by Australian best-selling authors and friends Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, it features wonderful protagonists Kady and Ezra, who are believably adolescent, driven to survive, and attached to each other under unthinkably horrific circumstances. Ezra, a former star "gee-ball" player (think basketball), is imposing and quick-witted but much more trusting in authority, unless Kady is involved. Kady, on the other hand, might be physically tiny, but she's by far the fiercer of the two, willing to question what she's told and literally hack the system to uncover ugly truths about the attack, the virus, and AIDAN, the unreliable AI that will remind adult readers of 2001's HAL.

Although some readers may be tempted to skip over the various illustrations and schematic documents, don't. There's detailed information on every page, and it's worth reading (and rereading once you're done). Expect to be a bit confused at times, but don't worry -- Kaufman and Kristoff sort everything out, and your mind just might be proverbially blown in the process. The first in a projected trilogy, Illuminae is difficult to put down but occasionally difficult to read -- especially when the infected let loose and go on a bloody rampage. The authors are fairly merciless about sacrificing characters for the good of the story, but that's the only heads up you'll get. Ideal for fans of catastrophe stories and intense journeys, Illuminae is sure to appeal equally to reluctant readers and voracious ones who want the next big series.

Book Details

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