Audiobook Review: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

2 Comments on Audiobook Review: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I’m so happy that I get to rave about Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff today with my lovely fiance Jason! You see, Jason doesn’t usually read. . .


I know! But on our recent trip to Vermont (it was amazing by the way!)

At Sterling Forest Gorge







Ben & Jerry Factory







Burlington Paint & Sip





I convinced him that listening to an audiobook would be a good way to spend our 6.5 hours car ride. Now we both have never listened to an audiobook before, so there were no expectations going into this. The problem was finding an audiobook we would both like, and with the limited selection at our public library, I honestly thought we may never find anything. That is until I came across Illuminae.

Illuminae is written in a series of hacked documents that follow what happens after a war is started and a plague breaks out upon one of the rescue ships. It takes all of the effort of Kady and Ezra to make it safely onto the fleet only to have to face the truth.

Here are our thoughts on

Illuminae Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff audiobook review

Title: Illuminae

Author(s): Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Goodreads SynopsisThis 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 megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Purchase Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Book Depository

Things We Like:

  • Voice Narration

So with an audiobook narrators obviously have to tell the story to you. Our worry with an audiobook would be that the narrators would be boring, but they were just the opposite! There are many characters in this book and everyone had a personality thanks to their narrator. We both think this is what makes this book stand out, especially compared to reading it.

  • Sound Effects

The sounds effects in this audiobook were amazing! Each section has unique sound effects making it easy to know which sections they are for. It is as if we were listening to a movie the entire time. Plus it is so amazing to hear a space battle while driving down a long boring road.

  • Characters

Every character in this book made a connection with both of us. Everyone from the main characters Ezra and Kady to the captains to the video transcription guy felt so real. Our favorite character has to have been Kady. She’s smart and witty and down to earth even when everything is going downhill. I (Jenn) really like Ezra’s wittiness, but also caring side as well. 


AIDAN is the artificial intelligence that runs the Alexander, the battle carrier of the fleet. Even though it isn’t human and has no emotions, AIDAN made us start feeling like we care about it. We think it’s the fact this character is not human that makes it so intriguing.

  • Physical Book

Although we listened to the book, we also took a look at the book at Barnes and Noble and it looks amazing! The documents are all set up with official seals and there are designs of the spaceships. Plus, the parts where AIDAN is thinking all have crazy designs that are mesmerizing to look at.

Things We Don’t Like:


While AIDAN is a very memorable character, it has to be the most annoying character as well. AIDAN is a central part of the plot and keeps making us ask “why is AIDAN doing this?” It made the journey for the fleet complicated and stressful for the characters with everything else that was going on.

  • Physical Book

As awesome as the book looks, it’s actually because of the how the book is designed that we ended up getting the audiobook. Looking at it originally, the book seemed disorganized and hard to read. It’s not until now when we look at the book that we can follow along easier. Some of those AIDAN parts are difficult to follow, even with their cool designs.

Overall, the Illuminae audiobook was nothing short of amazing! It’s cleverly written style, voices, and sound effects created a wonderful book to listen to. We did feel that AIDAN was a pretty irritating character that created conflict in the book. However, it is nothing compared to the rest of the amazing storyline of this book. Looking forward to our next road trip to listen to Gemina! We give Illuminae. . .

5 star rating

5 stars!!

Have you listened to this audiobook? What do you think about the book layout? Let us know in the comments below!

Check me out on my social media accounts. The links are in the sidebar! (Would link you to Jason, but he’s off the social media grid)

Co-writing sign-off Jason and Jenn


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