cover image Illuminae


Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Knopf, $18.99 (608p) ISBN 978-0-553-49911-7

Star-crossed lovers fight for survival in this visually stunning adventure, the first in a trilogy and told through myriad documents and archived information, including instant messages, email, interview transcripts, memos, and security footage. Following a devastating attack on their home planet, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, having just broken up, end up on different ships, part of a refugee fleet fleeing a cosmic dreadnought. Additionally, a virus is turning the survivors into bloodthirsty monsters, while one ship’s murderous AI takes extreme measures to protect the fleet. Though separated, Kady and Ezra rekindle their relationship while everything collapses around them. What starts off as a spacefaring action-romance evolves into a nerve-wracking horror story as the true scope of the situation becomes clear. Kaufman (the Starbound trilogy) and Kristoff (the Lotus War series) offer a stylistically mesmerizing tale, where story and art are interchangeable, and words act as pictures. The more experimental sections may require extra effort on readers’ parts, but the result is worth it. Ages 14–up. Agent: (for Kaufman) John Adams and Tracey Adams, Adams Literary; (for Kristoff) Matt Bialer and Lindsay Ribar, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)