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Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff [Spoiler Review]

**Note: This review is marked as a spoiler because this book is the third novel in the Illuminae Files series, and is the sequel to Gemina

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Synopsis: Asha Grant came to Kerenza to escape her past. Too bad he just caught up with her.

Asha survived BeiTech’s initial assault and has been working undercover with the hopelessly outmatched resistance ever since. That, and figuring out what to do with the secret she’s stashed in the crawlspace. The last thing she expected to worry about was her ex-boyfriend, but Rhys Lindstrom just landed planetside, and he’s looking finer than ever in his new BeiTech uniform. Is he her way out—or a guarantee she never gets off the frozen rock alive?

But Asha’s not the only one with problems. Her cousin Kady’s ragtag band of survivors are headed for Kerenza—without enough oxygen to last the journey. Oh, and there might be an insurrection brewing. But when have little things like that ever stopped the Illuminae Group?

Too bad time isn’t on their side. With BeiTech hurrying to repair their damaged jump gate, and a mass extermination planned for the Kerenza civilians, only a miracle could save them now. And everyone knows that miracles are just statistical probabilities…right?


Star Rating: 5/5


My Thoughts: I have to be honest, unlike the first two books in this series, I hardly remembered anything about Obsidio going into it. I think I might remember really not enjoying the reading experience as much as I did with the first two, and I might remember thinking that this was the weakest installment in the series. That being said, I think I remember incorrectly.

When I first read this book, I marked it as a five star read. About halfway through, I was pretty sure that was going to change. Having finished it, however, I’m sure now that it never can. In my opinion, this was a pretty epic conclusion to the series and I was immensely satisfied. How could I ever think a book that includes Ezra and Nik bantering and Isaac Grant being a father figure to Ella was anything less than five stars? I must have been out of my mind.

However, I do still think there are some weak spots in this book. The cast of characters in this series get larger and larger with each new installment, which can make it pretty hard to juggle and balance all of them. Though their story was very important to the ending of the series, I still feel as if Asha and Rhys are my least favorite characters, purely because I felt as if they got the short end of the stick a lot of the time. We needed to check in with the other characters and the narrative we had spent two books building up; the civilians of Kerenza and Asha and Rhys just didn’t get the page time I felt their story might have deserved.

At the end of the day, though, this is still one of the most amazing series I have ever read, and I am so glad I might the choice to immerse myself back in this world for a little while.

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In no particular order!

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Keep reading

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  • Star Rating

On the day that Kady Grant breaks up with her boyfriend, Ezra Mason, BeiTech launches an assault to wipe out the people of Kerenza IV. They barely escape, each taken aboard separate ships, but they’re far from safe. With the final BeiTech battleship closing in on them and the outbreak of a violent plague, Kady uses her hacking skills to find out what’s really happening with the ship that’s supposed to be protecting them.

Illuminae is one of the most uniquely constructed stories I’ve ever read. Instead of the traditional narrative structure, the story is told through a compilation of files and data, assembled for the reader to follow the progress of events. We have interview logs, IM chats, emails, written summaries of surveillance footage, data directly from the AI’s system, and even some cheeky flyers tagged with graffiti. This makes for a truly exceptional piece of storytelling that I simply couldn’t put down. I didn’t find myself struggling to follow along and I love that we as the reader slowly learn what is truly happening as we sift through all the files. I’m usually a person who loves to delve into details and descriptions, especially in sci-fi stories, but the way Illuminae is written doesn’t allow for real in-depth descriptions. Instead, everything is told to use by the characters and we have to rely on how they describe things. In doing so, we get several perspectives. We get both Kady and Ezra’s experience in their escape from Kerenza IV, the comedic description of surveillance footage, and my favorite, the AI known as AIDAN’s perspective.

Illuminae is not the first story to explore the repercussions of AI but I loved the way it was done in this novel. There are pages of absolutely beautiful lines that create a painting on the page. The words exchanged by the Cyclone pilots are arranged into a triangle formation, then they’re used to make their trajectory path, they shatter and collapse, etc. This book ceaselessly impressed me, always presenting something new that I wasn’t expecting, not only in visuals but in plot. I found it so difficult to put the book down and was quite often on the edge of my seat.

The plague that breaks out is so unsettling and disturbing and my heart was racing up until the end. Though it’s not an entirely unique sort of plague, as it does resemble a disease in another popular novel (which I will not say so as to avoid spoilers), it does have its own chilling characteristics. I especially got goosebumps when I caught a single line of dialogue that indicated that someone was infected. Subtle details make me as the reader feel like I truly understand just what this plague is and I love when authors let me figure things out.

I only have two real criticisms for this book. The first is that it was somewhat difficult to keep track of time in the story. This sounds weird because of the fact that pretty much every file has a date and time on it, but as I was reading, I would skim past that. There were times when I felt like weeks had passed between one event and the next, when in fact it was less than days. This may be due to the fact that we do have some long time skips, at one point jumping about five or six months. We continuously jump around different files and different characters so feeling grounded in the timeline was a bit tricky.

The second critique is the way that the CommTech Zhang was described. So many times, characters would talk about his body and his weight, always finding something to say about him that just felt so unnecessary. It’s such a shame that such an important character who does so much for the protagonist, and the refugees, is constantly degraded because he’s an overweight techy guy. No other character is treated like this, so it may have been an attempt at humor, but I really didn’t see the need for it.

Other than that, I found very little to really complain about. This novel is filled with so many twists and turns and doesn’t shy away from the brutality. There is a lot of death and a lot of heartbreak but it’s definitely worth the read. The last series I read by Amie Kaufman was her Starbound Trilogy with Meagan Spooner and those are some of my favorite books. I’m happy to say that she’s created another amazing sci-fi series, this time with Jay Kristoff, and I can’t recommend this enough.

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“Second Lieutenant
Ezra Mason
Moves through shells and burning plasma
Like a needle through silk. He sees the patterns before they form.
Knows the end before it begins.
Flowing across lightless black as action transcends thought.
He presses his triggers,
And like roses in his hands
Death
Blooms”

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Illuminae is one of the most uniquely constructed stories I’ve ever read. Instead of the traditional narrative structure, the story is told through a compilation of files and data, assembled for the reader to follow the progress of events. We have interview logs, IM chats, emails, written summaries of surveillance footage, data directly from the AI’s system, and even some cheeky flyers tagged with graffiti. This makes for a truly exceptional piece of storytelling that I simply couldn’t put down. I didn’t find myself struggling to follow along and I love that we as the reader slowly learn what is truly happening as we sift through all the files. I’m usually a person who loves to delve into details and descriptions, especially in sci-fi stories, but the way Illuminae is written doesn’t allow for real in-depth descriptions. Instead, everything is told to use by the characters and we have to rely on how they describe things. In doing so, we get several perspectives. We get both Kady and Ezra’s experience in their escape from Kerenza IV, the comedic description of surveillance footage, and my favorite, the AI known as AIDAN’s perspective.
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It’s been a while but this is a book I finished recently and I really enjoyed it!

Aurora Rising was awesome. I’m really not a fan of stories that revolve around space and intergalactic travel, but this one really hooked me. I loved the characters and the story reminded me a lot of Castle in the Sky. (Strange, I know) If you have not read this yet I would highly recommend it!

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