Series Review: The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff



CW’s: Violence, Murder, Gore

Hello fellow bookworms Remember when I said that I wasn’t going to read this Series? Well, somehow I ended up doing the exact opposite 😄 When I saw the first book at my library, I though “why not give it a try? If I don’t like it, I can just return the book” and then ended up surprised as I completely fell in love with the first book. I had originally wanted to read the Series purely because of the unique format that interested me, but the books had a lot more to offer and I’m glad that I gave them a chance! I promptly binged the entire Series, which is why this will be a Series Review for all three books! I’m actually massively behind on Reviews, so I will try out different formats for my Reviews, to help me catch on more quickly!

Trenn Kopie

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.” 

Favorite Character ⭐ Kady, AIDAN

Main Couple ⭐ Ezra & Kady

Illuminae is probably my favorite book in the Series, because it was the first one I read and that truly hooked me. I wasn’t even planning on reading it in the first place, but once I started I couldn’t stop and I literally read this one in one setting. From the train journey in the morning to late at night: I kept reading until I was done. Not only does the unique format make it so easy to say “just one page”, but the story itself is full of stakes and intrigue. Danger always lurks around the corner and our two main characters are trying to survive in the midst of the attack on their hometown, followed by a ship trying to kill all survivors. However, the corporation that attacked them is not the only thing causing trouble, as one of the ships has a very special artificial intelligence … AIDAN. It’s a bit scary how horrible and still relatable it can be – it was honestly one of my highlights from the Series as I love me some evil AI with a surprising sense of humor (and murder). The other highlight is the main character Kady herself, who is my favorite character overall in the Trilogy, as she is so strong and capable, I was in awe how she kept on fighting, never giving up, even when things go really bad. She is definitely someone to aspire to be like and I have to say that I loved her a lot more than Ezra, even though he was a nice character as well. Another thing to point out here is that the romance never took over the story and I really like when that happens!

“She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her.” 

What you can expect from Illuminae

⭐ A very unique format unlike everything I’ve seen before

⭐ A fast paced adventure story

⭐ A strong, enduring heroine who doesn’t give up

⭐ One evil artificial intelligence that you cannot help but love

⭐ A super low-key romance that doesn’t overtake the story

⭐ Lots of twists and turns that will leave you shocked

⭐ An explosive finale that will steal your breath

⭐ A story so addictive you won’t be able to put it down

⭐ Lots of hacking and technology

“You have me. Until the last star in the galaxy dies, you have me.” 

Trenn Kopie

“But faced with the choice of living one breath longer or crashing in right now, most folks would take the extra moment. That single extra breath. Even when your world stops spinning and gravity dies and the blood glitters in the air like a galaxy of warm red suns all around you. A lot can happen between breaths, after all.” 

Favorite Character ⭐ Nik, AIDAN

Main Couple ⭐ Nik & Hanna

I have to admit that I had a bit more trouble getting into Gemina, because the beginning was rather slow, BUT around the 20% mark things finally gor moving and didn’t stop until the end. Therefore, this sequel still lived up to the first book and managed to convince me. I especially like the each new book explores a bit of a different perspective on the Kerenza catastrophe. This time we are on Heimdall Waystation and the mess that ensures when terrorists enter it. I warmed up to the two new lead characters were quickly and I have to say that I loved their romance a lot more than the one in the first book. Nik and Hanna have an opposite attract romance and I love that she is no taking any shit from him. I also love that they are so different and the fact that Nik isn’t the cold-hearted criminal a lot of people believe him to be. Another highlight of the book is Nik’s Cousin Ella getting introduced, as she is very funny and headstrong – she’s the best and I loved the interactions between the three of them. We also see a lot of the old characters again, as they are connected to this story and of course will play their role. It’s great to see them all interact with each other, especially as a few of them have a connection to Heimdall in general! And then … there is our favorite villain again, who I love so much as a character, which is concerning on a lot of levels. Overall, Gemina pulls off a lot of great twists and new ideas that I thoroughly enjoyed.

“AIDAN: The concept of fortune is nonsensical, but Kady is insisting I wish you both good luck anyway.
AIDAN: So good luck, Hanna Donnelly.
AIDAN: The universe itself depends on you.
AIDAN: …No pressure.” 

What you can expect from Gemina

⭐ A very smart and determined girl who can kick your ass

⭐ A criminal boy, who is not as bad as they say

⭐ One very badass hacker girl with a lot of attitude

⭐ A very exciting, fascinating plot twist that I loved

⭐ Old favorite characters reappearing

⭐ Our favorite ‘villain‘ of this story

⭐ My favorite romance of the Series full of opposite attract

⭐ The same amazing, unique format with a bit of art this time

⭐ Some very disturbing things slithering around

“It’s not about what I say, right? It’s what I do that matters here.” 

Trenn Kopie

“But Asha Grant isn’t a hacker wizard like her cousin. She’s not a kung fu expert. She’s not particularly brilliant at anything. She’s a ***ing pharmacy intern, chum. Just a regular person like you.An ordinary person caught up in a really **** situation. So I think, out of every person in these files, that makes her the bravest.” 

Favorite Character ⭐ Ella, Asha, AIDAN

Main Couple ⭐ Asha & Rhys

There are always a lot of high expectations for a Series conclusion, especially when you love the Series and want it to end with everything tied up. I can gladly say that Obsidio really satisfied me as a great Series finale that gave me everything I wanted. We see a lot more different perspectives and the last book is definitely even more about all the characters we’ve seen coming together and working to win this fight once and for all. However, we also see new characters, as we return to the place where it all happens: Kerenza, where the remaining survivors are kept as prisoners and workers to abuse. It has been months since the occupation and in the midst of it Asha is trying to survive. What I loved about her is that she is more of an ordinary person: she is not a great strategist or super hacker, she is a pharmacy intern and not skilled in fighting. That made her very relatable, especially as she still has a kind heart. I have to say that I wasn’t really on board with the main ship, as I never really cared about Rhys and felt like a lot of their past issues were not addressed again. Their back story didn’t feel very connected to what happened in the book. However, I lobed how everything worked together in the end, it made for a very satisfying conclusion to the Series! I couldn’t be happier with the end and I kind of want even more books in this format, even though there sadly won’t be more of them, as the authors aren’t going to make a new series with this format.

“None of us are perfect. Not people, not corporations. But we have the opportunity to determine our fates day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, with the choices we make and the actions we take.” 

What you can expect from Obsidio

⭐ A stunning finale that totally lives up to the previous books

⭐ New lead heroine, who is like you and me and therefore even more relatable

⭐ The return of our favorite badass hacker girl

⭐ All the characters working together one last time

⭐ Like always, a very ruthless artificial intelligence that manages to steal your heart

⭐ Seeing the past couples together and what this adventure will mean for their future

⭐ A very complicated romance (not my favorite, but it was decent)

⭐ A fantastic ending that was really satisfying to me

“The die is cast. But today we will shake the table upon which it lands.” 

Talk Kopie

Have you read the Illuminae Files? What are your favorite books set in space?


19 thoughts on “Series Review: The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

  1. I’m glad you liked them! I only read the first two, really liked them, and I’m waiting for Obsidio to get translated in my country. AIDAN was one of my favorite characters too, I love evil AIs that are completely in denial about their AI-emotions (AImotions?)
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you end up liking the series. I’ve only read Illuminae and it blew me away!! I don’t know why I haven’t read Gemina yet, but I guess I’m gonna read them soon!! Great review Caro!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love how you formatted these reviews, Caro 😀 I’m so happy you ended up enjoying this series – I was so nervous to read it as well but I really liked both Illuminae and Gemina. I haven’t read the last book just yet, but I’m eager to do so, even if I am a bit nervous, too. I’m so glad you enjoyed that finale!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Caro!
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed this series! It’s one of my favourites in the YA sci-fi genre. Though I enjoyed all of the series, the first book was the one that blew me away the most- AIDAN is so awesome 🙂 By the way I am also a Hufflepuff and an INFJ! (I wonder if there is correlation between the Hogwarts houses and the MBTI results haha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely one of my favorite sci-fi books! And AIDAN really was something … I have to say that I liked the first book the most as well, it just has a special place in my heart 😄 Omg that’s soo cool!! 😍 It would be super interesting to see if there is a correlation, it’s definitely possible! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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