Seriously. If Unputdownable and Awesome met and had a book baby, it would be ‘Illuminae‘ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. If you’re wondering whether to read it, just take this as a fist-pumpingly enthusiastic, big-brass-band in the background YES!
And go away now and read.
However if, like me, you now want to dissect the story structure and see what made it mind-blowing, then read on my friend.
I think the key areas where ‘Illuminae’ shines are:
- Story structure cranking the tension.
- Plotty plot plot + plot + more plot
- Challenging narrative structure
- Characters you bleed for.
And that’s not even mentioning how often it made me laugh out loud.
I cried too. My emotional control is about equal to that of a caterpillar, so this isn’t all that unusual, but there is understated beauty in the way ‘Illuminae’ is written.
The hype is everywhere. There’s not a YA bestseller list that doesn’t seem to have at least two books with the name Sarah J. Maas next to them. I had to investigate.
And I like to start at the beginning, look at the book that began the phenomenon.
So. Then. ‘Throne of Glass’ it was.
I picked it up with two parts excitement, one part expectation, and a dusting of cynic.
Hoping for a great read.
And, phew, I got it. This is a fab book. So fab, I didn’t want to just attribute its awesomeness to world-building or characters or clever writing. Because there was something else. Something more.
Ever increasing levels of evil and excitement. Heavy-eyelids, can’t-stop-reading, catch-up-on-sleep-some-other-day kind of something more.
So after I’d read it once, I didn’t just reread it – I plotted out the entire book. What did I find?
- Exponential increase in gruesome deaths
- Story and character arcs
- Kick-ass third act.
If you don’t like spoilers, stop now… otherwise…