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ILLUMINAE: The ILLUMINAE Files_01 is the first book in The Illuminae Files.

SynopsisEdit

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations (United Terran Authorities (UTA) and BeiTech) are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.[1]

PlotEdit

DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE SPOILERS READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

BeiTech invades Kerenza IV, killing most of the population. Ezra Mason, Kady Grant and her mother are among the few survivors, Ezra on the warship Alexander, Kady on the accompanying research vessel Hypatia and her mother on the supply ship Copernicus, trying to reach the Heimdall waypoint before the BeiTech warship Lincoln intercepts and destroys them. Whilst they try to do that, a deadly bio-chemical weapon that BeiTech released on Kerenza IV has spread from contaminated refugees to the crew of the Copernicus, who in turn brought it to the Alexander. When the Alexander's Artificial Intelligence Defense And Navigation system (AIDAN), goes rogue and destroys the Copernicus, killing Kady's mother and all of the other refugees there, Ezra and Kady have to work together with engineer Byron Zhang, who communicates cross-ships with Kady to not only beat the Lincoln to Heimdall, but also to disable AIDAN. The virus attacks and debilitates victims' nervous system. The more deadly strain of the virus, dubbed Phobos, doubles the effects, as demonstrated by the little girl in Bay 4 who stabs and penetrates the hazmat suit of James "Jimmy" McNulty, who later kills himself when he feels Phobos affecting him and whose last testament Kady finds when she boards the Alexander in an effort to help AIDAN delay the Lincoln from catching the fleeing Hypatia. The mutating virus, however, spreads further and the affected break out of Bay 4, the designated quarantine zone, and go on a killing spree; prompting the few remaining persons of command to make a desperate run for the launch bays to escape to the Hypatia with some 1000 civilian survivors. Slightly less that 250 of them make it to the Hypatia, and not all of those make it unscathed by Phobos, which weighs heavily on Kady, as she was the one navigating for most of the small groups that did not make it. Once on board, Captain Ann Chau of the Hypatia quarantines the fighter pilots and med-evacs similarly in different hangars. In protection of the rest of those on board the Hypatia, she "spaces" Mikael "Chatter" Carlin and his group of Cyclone pilots due to a few infected among their numbers. Ezra nearly misses being spaced in that group, he was med-evaced because of his arm that was broken, presumably in the mad dash for the launch bays. AIDAN, however, has tricked Kady into believing that he was dead in order to get her to carry out her mission of battling the Lincoln from the inside out. Together, she and AIDAN attack the Lincoln using the guns of another (supposedly defunct) BeiTech warship in orbit nearby as well as a virus that completely shuts down the Lincoln's systems. The Alexander has been so damaged that there is seemingly no escape for Kady, but AIDAN leads her begrudging, radiation-poisoned, to the last Cyclone left on the ship, and into the waiting bay of the Hypatia, where everyone watches the Alexander "die."

CharactersEdit

Appears:

  • Second Lieutenant Ezra Mason - After his home planet Kerenza IV got attacked by BeiTech Industries, he finds refuge on the Alexander, where he gets conscripted by the UTA and learns to pilot a Cyclone.
  • ✝️ General David Torrence/Dozer (UTN-951-787ad) - Commander of the Alexander
  • ✝️ Colonel Lia Myles - Executive Officer of the Alexander and Second In Command
  • ✝️ Colonel Eva Sanchez - Acting Chief of Technical Engineering
  • UTA Information Services Division of the Alexander
    • ✝️ Corporal Charles Dorian - A mid-level Communication Technician
    • ✝️ Private Stephanie LeFevre - Communication Technician; seems to have had a thing for Corporal Charles Dorian
  • UTA Marines' Sigma Squad
    • First Lieutenant Winifred McCall - Commanding Officer
    • ✝️ Sergeant James McNulty - Member; Ezra Mason's friend
    • ✝️ Corporal Sykes - Member
    • Private Henderson - Member
    • Gandolfini - Member
    • Montano - Member
    • Parker - Member
    • Kilpatrick - Member
    • Doherty - Member
  • Echo Cyclone Flight Group of the Alexander
    • ✝️ Major Eli Hawking/Prophet (UTN-912-842ad) - Commanding Officer
    • ✝️ First Lieutenant Zhenya Alvaranga/Dreadnought (UTN-945-817ad) - Member
    • ✝️ Second Lieutenant Mikael Carlin/Chatter - Member; later one of the refuge after the Phobos Virus outbreak aboard the Alexander
  • Senior Technical Engineering Specialists
    • Major Nico Lassinger
    • Major Lisa Barker
  • First Lieutenant L. Ribar - Works on the Alexander

Mentioned:

  • ✝️ Mallory Yzerman - Former Chief of Technical Engineering, who died in the attack on Kerenza IV
  • UTA military
    • ✝️ Sergeant Kyra Tan - Sergeant
    • ✝️ Captain Andrew Cole - Captain
  • ✝️ Major Cayla Alton/Sting (UTN-924-776ad) - Member of the Delta Cyclone Flight Group
  • Cyclone pilots not surviving Lincoln's first attack
    • ✝️ First Lieutenant Sumiko Watanabe/Tsurugi
    • ✝️ Captain Benjamin Szymkow/Money
  • Cyclone pilots finding refuge on the Hypatia after the Phobos Virus outbreak aboard the Alexander
    • ✝️ Andrew Bambroon/Buzz
    • ✝️ Peter Wolverton/Ladiesman
    • ✝️ Nic Crowhurst/Guvnor
    • ✝️ Marion Cole/Badger
    • ✝️ Kathleen Kennedy/KitKat
    • ✝️ McCormick Templeman/Sharkgirl
    • ✝️ Kacey Smith/Greyhound
    • ✝️ Justin Shearer/Griefer
    • ✝️ Julie Holmes/Mighty
    • ✝️ Jim Parker/Surly
    • ✝️ Steve Tuck/Warlord
    • ✝️ Keri Bas/Zephre
    • ✝️ Kristen Simmons/KayKay
    • ✝️ Marc Schaper/Logan
    • ✝️ Keet Stachura/Mom
    • ✝️ Andrew Glouftis/Dreadpirate
    • ✝️ Sam Leibowitz/Sigil
  • Matt - A conscript on the Alexander, who is acquainted with Peyak
  • Martina Hernandez - A refugee that gave birth to her daughter on the Alexander
  • Christopher Hernandez - Martina Hernandez' husband
  • Unnamed daughter - Martina Hernandez' and Christopher Hernandez' unnamed daughter

Appears:

  • Kady Grant - After the attack on Kerenza IV, Kady ends up on board of the Hypatia.
  • ✝️ Byron Zhang - A Technical Engineer, Research Officer and Civilian Contractor working on the Hypatia. He is an information-liberty activist, who teaches Kady how to code properly and hack into computer networks.
  • ✝️ Ann Chau - Captain of the Hypatia
  • Syra Boll - Executive Officer of the Hypatia and Chief Navigator; later becomes the Acting Captain of the Hypatia
  • ✝️ Consuela Nestor - Technical Engineer working on the Hypatia
  • Ronan Wells - Second Navigator of the Hypatia
  • Bronwen Evans - Second Class Security Officer
  • Sam Ryan - First Class Security Officer
  • James Wu - Head of the Security Section

Mentioned:

  • Kate Irving - Second In Command in the Maintenance Division of the Hypatia
  • Corporal Anton Boklov - Works in the UTA Information Services Division
  • Xi Wei Lu - Network Engineer on the Hypatia
  • Benjamin Fraser Brown - Senior Network Engineer on the Hypatia
  • Peyak - Works on the Hypatia
  • Martha - A refugee from Kerenza IV, who used to work in GeoSpec Analysis before the attack
  • ✝️ Tony - Martha's husband, who died when their car crashed on the way to the evacuation shuttles
  • ✝️ Julie - Martha's daughter, who died at the age of six during the evacuation of her school
  • ✝️ Lela - Martha's daughter, who died at the age of two when their car crashed on the way to the evacuation shuttles
  • Katya - Martha's eight-year-old daughter; her current whereabouts are unknown, as well as whether she survived or not
  • Thanh - Refugee on board of the Hypatia

Appears:

Mentioned:

  • Sergeant Randall Blythe - Officer on the Copernicus
  • Corporal Adler - Officer on the Copernicus
  • Mark Morton (KR985cop) - A 31-years-old refugee from Kerenza who murdered four people, his wife and three children, with a screwdriver and pipe wrench while under the influence of the Phobos Virus.
  • Maryanne Morton (KR986cop) - Mark Morton's 29-years-old wife, whom he murdered
  • Stephanie Morton (KR987cop) - Mark Morton's 12-years-old daughter, whom he murdered
  • Olive Morton (KR988cop) - Mark Morton's 8-years-old son, whom he murdered
  • Julian Morton (KR989cop) - Mark Morton's 4-year-old son, whom he murdered

Other CoversEdit

TriviaEdit

  • ILLUMINAE was sold to Random House based on a 130 page sample, which included rough designs of the pages designed by Jay Kristoff, who studied graphic design and used to work as an art director.[2]
  • "Illuminae" means "the radiant ones" or "those who shed light" in Latin. Jay Kristoff came up with the title during a Tool concert, not knowning that it was a real Latin word until a year later.[2]
  • Ezra's AAR on page 42 was the first scene written for the novel, and was originally intended to be the opening of the book, until the authors decided to discard this idea.[2]
  • The binary at the edges of Kady's journal pages reads "Death by Giant Slug to the reader of this journal" when translated.[2]
  • Leigh Bardugo is listed amongst the casualty list of the Copernicus; it is a name of an actual author. This easter egg however causes a slight continuity error, for it appears again in GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files 02, as another eventual casualty.

ReferencesEdit

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