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Illuminae

The Illuminae Files, Book 1
Written by: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 50.94
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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

What the critics say

"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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!

At first I thought the sound effects weird but they made the book! It was awesome. It made listening to the book that much better. The writing was very well done. I thought it would be choppy since it was intercepted messages, emails, etc but it was so well put together.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very unique audiobook experience

I can honestly say I haven't ever listened to an audiobook quite like this..

First, the content itself: the story and characters are really interesting, but I wouldn't say groundbreaking (fairly typical sci-fi). It follows some familiar beats.. however, it is the character development that really makes this book. Over the course of the story the characters actually have tangible arcs! And it is exciting to see them grow.. particularly Kady and AIDAN. The climax is amazingly gratifying.. one of the best I can remember.

Now onto the performances - honestly I wasn't feeling it at first.. but as I got to 'know' characters it began to make sense.. the best performance by far is by Olivia Taylor Dudley as Kady Grant.. she is honestly a hidden treasure. Her voice is pleasant to listen to and you can really feel she totally immersed herself in the part. I cant say enough things.

A very close second in terms of performance is Lincoln Hoppe as AIDAN. He absolutely NAILED it.. with a very tough role! Balance between cold calculating computer and a confused true artificial intelligence. Damn close to a perfect performance.

Format: This I must stress above all else.. you may be uncomfortable or uneasy with the format and pace of this story. It is played back through a series of emails, text messages, briefing notes, and video narration. It is essentially a huge 'report' that is being played back for the reader (hence, the Illuminae Files). This may take some time to get used to compared to more traditional story telling but I strongly suggest you give it a chance! About 25% in I was totally immersed and was excited for the story to progress.. it works so well for this story.

As many other reviewers have noted.. this one is really one you can't miss if you are a fan of science fiction. At first I had a sinking feeling it was a young adult romance story and would be overly gushy.. nothing wrong with those, but not my preferred style. I was quickly proven wrong and even though the main protagonists are late teens it was no less enthralling.. it may have even contributed to my enjoyment of it!

TL;DR - incredible audiobook experience. Absolute must have.

Side note: Another bonus of the audiobook is the ambient sounds and 'music'. Some random audio effects include voice modulation to mimic speakers, random beeps and boops and a deep low thrumming imitates the sounds one might imagine on a space ship, and the noises of the antagonists.. oh yes so very effective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the full cast

The different perspectives and full cast narration had me hooked from the start. Great listen for teens or adults. #Audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A new favourite

I have listened to the whole series several times and I can't get over how good it is.
The story is fantastic - compelling characters, well constructed plot and, best of all, sympathetic villains!
The production side is incredible. It turns the audiobook into a radio drama. I hope this team does a lot more work together because this was captivating.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

this book is A bowl of chilli

occasionally corny or cliche, but the characters were great, story pulled me in close. The voice acting is among the best I've heard. definatelly would recommend!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible execution. Almost unreadable

Seriously, about a third of this book is wasted on reading out the time stamps on communication logs.
It's as if the authors are desperately trying to meet a word count, and are using every trick in the book to make it seem like there is something of substance under all the repetition and nonsense.
Is there a riveting sci-fi narrative buried in the mess of logs and text messages, or is it merely another mediocre teen romance? Who knows?
If you're going to tell a story, just come out and tell it. If you have to rely on a crappy gimmick, it might just be a bad story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

definitely worth it

This is an excellent story. Well-acted and very interesting. However, even though I know it is part of a trilogy, I was very happy and satisfied with just completing book one. The ending was not compelling enough to make me seek out the other books. Notwithstanding, I am sure it will be an enjoyable read for most.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

half way through haven't a clue what is going on

so boring not up my alley
not gripping me at all
don't waste your time and money

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • MD, United States
  • 2015-11-30

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.

69 of 72 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ddavis.97
  • Crown City, Ohio USA
  • 2015-11-25

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....😎

80 of 85 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caitie F
  • 2015-12-07

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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • irishred507
  • 2017-04-15

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.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonas Lee
  • Rapid City
  • 2015-10-28

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.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 2015-10-31

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 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AmazonCustomer
  • USA
  • 2016-10-11

A new favorite!

Where does Illuminae rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This will be on my top 10 for the year.

What did you like best about this story?

Unique narrative.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The special effects, the narrative, the tone, it was all perfect.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Clever, made me laugh.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eli
  • Manila
  • 2015-12-04

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!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jaqe
  • 2015-11-09

WOW

AMAZING story, FANTASTIC performance. Talk about emotional roller coaster. It is a bit difficult to adjust to the radio theatre type narration, but once you've got the hang of it,.you're golden. Can't wait for the next book.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • Keswick, ON, Canada
  • 2017-03-22

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Aluna
  • 2018-12-15

sympa

Ouvrage sympa, belle performance audio, belle intrigue : toutefois je n'ai pas accroché au mode de narration en mode "interview" et l'histoire ne m'a pas assez intéressée pour que je lise la suite...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Courson
  • 2017-01-19

brilliant

I loved this (audio)book, the way that it is written is so unique and clever. The readers did a fantastic job you can totally recognise the character by their voices and way of expressing themselves