Illuminae is one of those books that's been on my radar for bloomin' ages - ever since it came out, pretty much. I wanted to wait until my library got a copy though, because I'd heard that it's full of documents and graphics and that kind of layout doesn't always translate that well into Kindle format.
The book is in a kind of epistlatory format, but it's emails, IM chats, official documents and so on instead of letters. The format is really cool and it obviously took a lot of time and effort to put everything together, but it did feel like you were never really sure what was going on. the twists at the end (yeah, course there were twists) didn't help on this score (although they made me want to read the next book!). I think this book borrowed quite heavily from Firefly - it's kind of a back story for the Reavers.
So the story revolves around Kady and Ezra, two seventeen year olds on an illegal mining planet, who've just broken up. They're both moping around, licking their wounds, when BAM! Their planet gets attacked by a rivel mining corporation. The first dozen or so pages are non-stop action as everyone at the mining centre scrambles to get evacuated off their planet, which was ace. Things quietened down a bit after that, but there were a lot of horrific scenes and grisly action as Kady and Ezra try to find out what's going on aboard the ships they're now living on. (Spoiler Alert: it's not good).
If I'm being totally honest, I'd say this book was about 200 pages too long. The action could have been easily condensed into about 400 pages and it would have made for a more breathtaking ride. As it was, there were bursts of action but actually a lot of waffle in between. I didn't feel like the extra padding helped me to know the characters better, or added anything to the plot.
In all, I thought this book was good, but it's length let it down. I'm still planning on reading the follow-up book, though.