“Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

illuminae

In the year 2575, Kady and Ezra are barely on speaking terms after breaking up. They are forced together when their planet is attacked and they must evacuate to a space fleet. The fleet is trying to outrun the enemy, but they’re losing ground, and no one in command will say what’s really going on. Kady turns to hacking to see if she can dig up the truth from the ship’s data, while Ezra is made a pilot and sent to defend the fleet. They both soon realize the situation is far more dangerous than anyone thought. A plague has broken out on a ship in the fleet and is spreading at an alarming rate, and the fleet’s artificial intelligence seems to be turning against them all. As things get worse, Kady and Ezra realize that working together may be the only way they can survive.

Illuminae is an adrenaline rush of a novel told through the fleet’s hacked documents, including reports, interviews, maps, private emails, and messages. It keeps you guessing from start to finish as pieces of the bigger picture are revealed one by one through the documents. Kady and Ezra are working to save the fleet – as well as their relationship. At first, their conversations start out awkward, as they haven’t spoken to each other in a while, but as they go on, they warm up to each other again, exchanging witty banter and stories from their past. Illuminae is an incredible sci-fi thriller that really makes you feel the fear, grief, and hope along with the characters, and ultimately leaves you needing to get your hands on the next book in the trilogy ASAP. If you liked the The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey with its mind-blowing twists and turns and characters struggling to balance love and survival, I would definitely recommend reading Illuminae.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

-Jillian D.

“Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future” by A. S. King

Glory Obrien

Glory and her BFF (but not-so-much anymore) Ellie, find a dead, dried up bat which they end up mixing in some of their warm beer one night. The next day, the girls can see the past and future of any person they look at. Glory’s past includes a mom who stuck her head in the gas oven and killed herself when Glory was only four. The girls’ parents used to be close friends who started out together to create the non-commercialized counterculture commune) that is now owned by Ellie’s mom.

Glory is close to graduating high school but totally disengaging from her fellow students as well as her future, throwing away anything sent to her from prospective colleges. She is a loner who hides behind a camera, observing life around her rather than living it. Is she suicidal, like her mom? Her dad doesn’t help much, but sits on the couch most of the day with his laptop, assisting people with computer issues. Glory inherited her mother’s talent with a camera and has started using her mom’s basement darkroom. She discovers her mom’s photo journals, plus a secret hidden journal. Glory slowly finds her way back to a more normal, healthy lifestyle—literally developing a better life along with her photographs. Some sections of the book are pretty dark as Glory is struggling with depression; her thoughts and experiences are rather bleak for most of the book. Her new ability to see the future and the past is mainly a device to help Glory find a reason to care about others and her future. What she sees is pretty frightening—a future where women are unable to work via government decree, a second civil war with girls being kidnapped and taken across the border into rebel territory and counter-rebels using secret tunnels to sabotage the rebel leader and assist women and their children to flee to treetop refuges.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

-Mary Burns