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AuthorAmie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
GenreScience fiction, Young Adult fiction, Fiction
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date
October 20, 2015
AwardsPrime Minister's Literary Award, ABIA, Aurealis Award, Inky Award
Followed byGemina 

Illuminae is a 2015 young adult[1] space opera epistolary novel written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the first novel of the series The Illuminae Files.[2][3] The story is told through a series of classified documents, censored emails, interviews, and others.[4] Illuminae is set in 2575 and is the story of teenage colonist Kady Grant and her fighter pilot boyfriend Ezra Mason.[5]

The series was acquired by Random House in a preempt in 2013.[6] The first book in the series was published in late October 2015. It debuted at #5 on the New York Times Best Seller List Young Adult Hardcover list,[7] and eventually reached the #2 spot.[8] Illuminae was nominated for the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award,[9] won the 2015 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction novel,[10] the 2016 Gold Inky Award for best teen fiction,[11] and the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award Book of the Year for Older Children.[12]

The sequel, Gemina, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list[13] and won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction novel.[14]

The third book in the series, Obsidio, debuted at #6 on the New York Times children's series list,[15] as the #1 young adult bestseller in Australia,[16] and as a USA Today bestseller.[17]


It was the year 2575 when Kady's entire universe was upended. BeiTech Industries, rival corporation to the hermium mining company Wallace Ulyanov Consortium, invaded Kady's home planet Kerenza for its natural resources. She and several thousand colonist fought their way onto one of the evacuating ships, Alexander and Hypatia, with BeiTech's warship, Lincoln in deadly pursuit.

However, that is not the end of their problems. A contagious and deadly virus has broken out...and it's mutating. The fleet's AI, was damaged during the escape and it's making its own alarming decisions. And the one's in charge are being elusive about the truth. But Kady refuses to sit quietly when the lives of so many are on the line. As she hacks her way through transcripts, messages and other data, it's clear that there is only one person that she can trust who can help her bring the truth to light: Ezra Mason, her ex-boyfriend, who she broke up with right before the invasion.[18]

Film Adaptation[edit]

In November 2015, Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, and Warner Bros bought the rights to Illuminae.[19][20] Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner are set to produce.[21]


  1. ^ Feldman, Lucy (2015-12-08). "Best Books of 2015: Best of the Best-of Lists". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  2. ^ Bell, Crystal (2015-09-21). "This Sci-Fi Space Adventure Will Be Your New YA Obsession". MTV News. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  3. ^ "Holiday romances are headed our way". USA TODAY. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  4. ^ "Bustle". Bustle. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  5. ^ Morris, Linda (2015-11-21). "Brad Pitt to turn Australian young adult thriller Illuminae into major Hollywood film". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  6. ^ "Literary Giant". November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - November 8, 2015 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  8. ^ "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - November 29, 2015 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  9. ^
  10. ^ 2015 Aurealis winners
  11. ^ Inky Awards winners
  12. ^ ABIA awards (dead-url)
  13. ^ New York Times bestsellers
  14. ^ "Announcing the winners of the 2016 Aurealis Awards!". Aurealis Awards. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  15. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - April 1, 2018 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  16. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "In the past 20 days I have: - Visited 14 cities - Boarded 13 aircraft - Flown around 50,000kms - Signed countless books - Met thousands of…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  17. ^ "Obsidio". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  18. ^ "Illuminae". Amie Kaufman. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (2015-11-20). "Brad Pitt, Warner Bros. Developing Sci-Fi Movie 'Illuminae'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  20. ^ "Brad Pitt, Warner Bros Team to Adapt Sci-Fi YA Novel 'Illuminae' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  21. ^ "Brad Pitt, Warner Bros. Developing Sci-Fi Movie 'Illuminae'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-15.