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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 18, 2018

Series:  Illuminae Files #3

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza--but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys--an old flame from Asha's past--reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.


I was so excited for this book, I repeatedly had to tell myself to calm down and breathe. I love everything about it. From the space adventure to the near-death escapades and the creative art mediums to the real-as-life characters, this is an amazing series and satisfyingly wraps up in this final volume. Our favorite characters from the last novels join newcomers Asha, Kady's cousin, and Rhys, once Asha's boyfriend, who are battling for their lives on opposing sides on Kerenza while the rest are in a battle for survival in space making their way to the mining planet.

Marie Lu's art has changed as Kady and the group are rendered in manga-like cartoon form in a few sketches. More than before, this story is split between the courtroom trial of Leanne Frobisher and BeiTech, Kady/Ezra/Nik/Hanna, and the action on Kerenza. You might think it would be hard to keep so many characters and storylines straight but Kristoff and Kaufman do it almost effortlessly. Our beloved Machiavellian AI is back as AIDAN and it seems to be evolving. It now experiences emotion and shows itself capable of deceit.

Some key changes have happened along the way from Gemina, and we pick the story up right after Nik, Hanna, and Ella have their close brush with an alternate dimension and the Heimdall waypoint is destroyed. The two groups struggle to come together, and the Hypatia is overloaded with refugees. As they decide to return to Kerenza to intercept BeiTech's Mobile Jump Platform Magellan and from there hopefully return to earth they face a seemingly insurmountable task as they must manage to overwhelm the last of BeiTech's dreadnoughts the Churchill. The two groups of the Hypatia and the Jump Station Heimdall face some conflict in leadership which brings up the age-old challenge of adult vs. teenagers as many don't think Kady/Ezra/Nik/Hanna (shortened to KENH, because this is exhausting to type) have any authority despite the fact that some of the choices they've made have saved everyone's lives.

Meanwhile, on Kerenza, Asha encounters her former separated boyfriend Rhys but bad news--he's on the side of BeiTech. For the first time we see the viewpoint of a BeiTech grunt and the orders they've given to the soldiers; in other words, we see the enemy become human. As each of them struggle with their situation, they become unlikely allies as each tries to understand the other, inviting more of a Romeo/Juliet comparison.

This is probably the part of the book that I was most frustrated with. The breakneck speed of the plot and circumstances really didn't allow as much time as before to really get to know Asha and Rhys since they're already fighting for their lives. It's certainly understandable why, but I just missed having as much of a connection to their part of the story as with the KENH part. It's simply for this reason alone that I didn't LOVE this book as much as I LOVED Illuminae and Gemina. I've no idea how they would've made it any better than it was, but because it was just so fast, I wanted there to be more "meat" or emotional connection with all of the characters, especially with the new ones. And like most series, I wanted more at the end. Maybe seeing more of the celebration and all interacting together, alive and safe, finally? Not sure. Maybe reading about the weddings? Absolutely, I would like to read about this group of teens (and a few adults) doing something more. However, the ending with AIDAN? Ahhhh-mazing. Blown away. How you inspire so much love for an electronic entity I don't know, but Kristoff and Kaufman have definitely given me feels for this Machiavellian machine monster.

Tell me your thoughts if you have them!

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

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