I'll admit it: I was really dubious about this book when I picked it up. Told through a series of memos, chat logs, and other miscellaneous devices, Illuminae looked like it had the potential to be a huge mess, or at the very least bogged down by its format. More often than not I find alternative formats gimmicky or distracting, and rarely do they add to the story being told. Illuminae is an exception. Not only did the format keep me turning pages well past my bedtime, but it also enhanced the storytelling rather than diminishing it.
The characters came to life through snippets of interviews, messages, and diary entries. And the story, which started off with a bang, propelled forward with an abundance of tension and action. I cared about these people, I wanted to know more about the mysteries being uncovered, and more than anything I wanted to know how, and if, they would make their escape and survive.
I'm not certain I want to say more about this book. Anything else I could say would give away part of the surprise, and I wouldn't want to diminish the joy of discovering this book for the first time. If a fast, fun, and at times creepy as hell and all around heart stopping, adventure in space sounds like your cup of tea then do yourself a favor and take a chance on this one. Don't let the size or format scare you away - this is science fiction worth missing sleep over.
Illuminae hits bookshelves October 20th.