Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files (find my review for book one here)
What’s it about? Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
Hanna is the captain’s pampered daughter. Nik is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. While the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the Jump Station Heimdall, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right towards them carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia – and possibly the known universe – is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
What’s good about it? In a nutshell? It’s beautiful. BEAUTIFUL! The design of this book is absolutely gorgeous – the level of detail was superb. I loved that they brought more illustrations into this one. The little touches are what really make this book and from a design perspective it delivered 100%.
The station feels real. It feels like the authors had mapped out every area of the station completely before writing the book – it was fantastic. All the little details – so good.
There’s bravery too in some of the plot choices that has spilled over from Illuminae. If you’re not a fan of death and gore…this may not be the series for you. There’s death and lots of it.
Ella was my favourite. She is the sass master and I loved it. Plus she has some mad skills with a computer.
Hanna was great too (and not just because we share the same name…although I did love that) although I have to wonder where she found the time to sleep – between her self-defence training, drawing, history studies, chess games with her dad, a boyfriend and a full social calendar surely there was no time left in the day?
LOVED the fact that the characters actually had to sleep, and eat, and pee! No one ever needs the loo! It’s realistic touches like that that bring me all the joy (why yes, I am very, very strange).
What’s bad about it? There’s a plot point towards the end that…I kinda wish they hadn’t gone with it. I could see it coming and I was hoping I was wrong because it felt like a bit of a cop out. It wasn’t bad per se, but it mirrored the first book and I thought they could’ve been braver and stuck with the first outcome. However, that may just be me.
The verdict? This is a definite must-read. I loved Illuminae and this one didn’t disappoint. The format of these books is amazing and there’s so many little touches that just add to the realism (and the pain). One twist I suspected, then decided I was wrong so was genuinely surprised by it in the end. Another I could see coming and didn’t want it to happen. Maybe I’m just twisted like that but and it did make sense for it to happen the way it did (given how it all tied up).
It was exciting, it was mad, it was delightful and it broke my heart more than once. Go read it.
Unless you haven’t read Illuminae yet. In which case – READ THAT FIRST! Then this one. Even though there were bits I didn’t get on with, it’s still worth it, I promise.