Lies About Books: Illuminae

As March goes out like a lamb (or possibly a lion), it is time once again to give a wholly unhelpful review of a book I enjoyed this month!

In the month of March, I had the pleasure of reading Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Illuminae is set in an alternate history version of our own world, one in which the lightbulb was invented not by Edison, but by da Vinci, hundreds of years earlier. The simple invention lights up a world which was still emerging from the dark ages, but its implications are more far-reaching than the painter-inventor ever imagined.

Told through a series of letters, fabricated articles, edicts, and fictional sketches from da Vinci’s own notebook, Illuminae weaves a compelling story of a world thrust too soon into its own future. As lights turn on across Europe, dark corners of the earth are suddenly illuminated in a way humanity soon comes to regret. Can da Vinci’s brilliance come to the rescue once again? Or will this alternate world burn brightly and go out?

Illuminae strikes the perfect balance between mysterious and enthralling, historical and imaginative. I recommend it to any fans of Leonardo da Vinci, epistolary novels, and space.


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