What I Learn about Illuminae

What I Learn about Illuminae


Here is another book (series) that is driving everyone crazy. So many spout how it is so original and amazing. The characters, especially the AI—AIDAN—is so unique and interesting. However, again, I’m not amused.

The flaws—though there are many—mainly lies in two areas which seem to be the major distinctions of YA: horrible, hackneyed dialog and the overplayed computerized personality of the AI.


Everywhere throughout this book, you can find useless, repetitive dialog. This is especially true in scenes where the two main characters keep dishing out their love for each other in quirky, snarky ways. Most of the time, it’s just banter, which makes it feel like filler, which makes me feel like I’m wasting my time. If I wanted to see horribly useless words traded back and forth in ever less and less creative ways, I’d sit on a subway and keep my ears open to the couple next to me. They might even be more interesting. This low level snark even seeps into their friends and the action dialog, and I don’t want a lollipop for it.

Secondly, AIDAN is annoying. He (or it) keeps acting so astounded by the humans’ humanity that he is to protect, while somehow becoming aware himself. Both ideas make no sense, as is easily seen in the horrible literalness with which he takes each overly scripted phrase from his human companions. Frankly, it feels like a three year old programmed him. After all, this is supposed to be much further into the future, yet they design their AI systems to have no flexibility in understanding. Even Siri has an edit system to adjust her understanding of not only phrases but also accents to better suit and fit the user. AIDAN is the 1980’s cellphone compared to today’s smartphones. He already feels used and ridiculous.


So what did I learn? I learned that YA Sci-fi pretty much falls under the heading of a lot of other YA: unimaginative crap that many can’t wait to gobble up.

P.S. I’m obviously not going to read the rest of this horribly unintelligent series.

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