Review (Plus): Illuminae

Illuminae_9780553499117_0c7e5Interstellar Galactic War Year 2575: A plague, a war and two broken-up teenagers who have to resolve their differences to save the lives of those left aboard their ships. Now, I hate to admit this, but I am a Star Trek fan, hence my excitement when I started reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Instantly I found myself a part of the nasty breakup of Kady and Ezra Mason, and by turning a page discovered they were under attack by a nation who wanted their planet exterminated.

The two star-crossed lovers are forced to join the ranks of the government, helping where they are needed. As they develop their strengths in their assigned tasks, they discover the government is fraudulent without any one person taking responsibility for the demise of the nation. AIDEN, the Aritificial Intelligence, has gone rogue. Kady uses her computer knowledge to hack into the main frame, while Ezra uses his pilot status to help discover where the corruption is coming from. They must let the past remain in the past to allow them to work together to help discover the enemy. I believe the love is not abandoned, but their own personal loss makes it difficult to have a stable, trusting relationship. (It is so hard not to spoil this….)

This is the first book in a trilogy. It was an extremely quick read as it is a compilation of military notes, spaceship blueprints, IMs, emails, journal entries and technical read-outs. The pages offer a variety of text, drawings and perceptions. I hope the next two in the series continue with this variation.

In the Classroom:

This is a book  for the high school library shelves for any and all students. Due to the type of reading it will be a great read to recommend to your reluctant male reader. The relationship is not over the top, so they won’t be gagging on the romance. CCSS focuses on math and reading, but when doing further research I discovered the state of Georgia has created standards for both its science and social studies departments directly correlating to the literacy and reading standards. One of the elements to master in 9th grade sciences is the ability to write arguments focused on discipline-specific content (http://www.gpb.org/files/common-core/history-ss-standards-9-10.pdf). Since this book focuses on military control, it gives your students the opportunity to write an argumentative paper based on an element found within the text. If I were to home in on one particular argument it would be the use of AIDEN–can AI have an opinion? Can it be found guilty of committing a crime even though it is not human? Many questions can stem from the use of AI used within Illuminae.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Random House Children/Knopf Books for Young Readers | 9780553499117 | October 20, 2015)

America Grelinger

America Grelinger doesn’t mind if you call her Ms. America. It makes her head swell and she loves the title. America is a former English teacher and has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, now retired to raise two crazy little boys who think the funniest thing on the planet is to burp and toot… which is why she reads. Because it’s cheaper than counseling. Amy and her husband live with those two crazy little boys in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.