Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

All I’ve ever heard about this book is how cool the format is, with all the mixed media and unusual-ness. Theory: Due to the format, no one sees how DULL the plot is. Seriously, this was a slog of a read. It used every science fiction cliche in the book. I was just waiting for the ‘We’re running out of oxygen!’ trope, but no dice. (There are still two books to go, so can someone else tell me if this happens? I’m sure as heck not continuing on with the series.)

Kady and Ezra were so 2-D. I’ve seen both of their characters before, in similar scenarios but executed so much better (see ‘Soldier Girls’ by Michael Grant). Oh, and Kady has pink hair, by the way. Just in case you didn’t get that she was a badass and could star in her own anime. *rolls eyes*

The romance was a limp slice of cheese. I couldn’t buy into it at all, as most of the romance happened before the novel began and what did they really connect to each other over? Just saying ‘I love you’ over and over again isn’t enough to convince me. And then we get the most contrived ‘sike, we got you’ ending that destroyed any speck of emotional resonance all for the sake of a sequel.

Let me run through some MORE of the worst moments:
1. Over 500 years into the future and people still use ‘:P’ instead of emojis? C’mon.
2. why why why would anything EVER be justified to the centre?? It’s hard to read and should be preserved for middle grade poetry ONLY.
3. The boys use the phrase ‘chum’ to refer to each other in the beginning and then this is quickly dropped and everyone acts like they didn’t just try and make chum a thing. It’s not a thing.
4. People are still amazed by keyboard art. Well, just wait until they realise if you type in 01134 into a calculator and turn it upside down it spells ‘hello’
5. The AI has a poetic voice? I think this just made the centre justification even worse and I know this is supposed to be quirky and different – wow, a none robotic AI – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t odd.
6. Kady’s humour was one note.
7. Ezra’s humour was one note.
8. I know they’d been in a relationship before but why is no one screaming ‘insta-love’?
9. Is it just me that finds white writing on a black background kind of difficult to read?
10. Unipedia pages? REALLY? This is the most obvious info dump I’ve ever seen! And it’s not even disguised!

This has just solidified that sci-fi is not for me. At least not like this.

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

1These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Published by: ?
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Authors | Amazon

With this review, I’m just going to dive right in with my feelings.

Normally, I’m down for a good love-hate relationship. Good example: Bea and Ben from Much Ado. Unfortunately, I could probably use Lilac and Tarver as my bad example. In the first chapter, I thought all was well. They were both instantly attracted to each other, and I was looking forward to a no-nonsense romance. The next chapter was just full of social prejudice and judgements based on class, I couldn’t handle it. Neither character could admit to liking one another because they either thought they weren’t good enough, or it would be unacceptable in their social circle. Gah, I just could NOT put up with it. If they’d communicated their internal issues, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Having to read half a book with sentences like ‘I wanted to slap her. I wanted to kiss her,’ and ‘I know what we could do in one bed’, made me feel extremely uncomfortable.
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