Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, #3
Page Count: 615
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Original Publication Date: 2018
Genre(s): Young adult, Science fiction
***This review contains spoilers for book 1 and 2 of this series. If you have not read Illuminae and Gemina and do not want to be spoiled, please do not read this review.***
“Live a life worth dying for.”
It all comes to this. Many have made it this far, but many have not. And it’s up to a handful of teenagers to end this war once and for all. Aboard the Mao, Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik are safe for the moment, but they know it’s a fleeting one. With Jump Station Heimdall destroyed, they know what they have to do…. They must go back to where it all began: Karenza IV. There, a BeiTech ship is being fueled to make the jump out of the Karenza system, and our heroes know that’s their only chance for survival.
Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin Asha knows the countdown is about to hit zero. Once Magellan finishes fueling up, the BeiTech squads stuck with them on Karenza will immediately kill all remaining survivors and escape into the night. She’s got nothing to live for, and nothing to die for. Until she finds herself face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Rhys—only he’s not a survivor, but rather the enemy.
Ooooooookay. What a finale. What a series. Finishing Obsidio was exceedingly hard for me. I had actual jitters as I reached the last 200 or so pages. But I did it. I finished it, and in turn, the series. And now I’m sad. I’m just kind of sitting here? I feel accomplished, but also…exhausted? Fulfilled? Sad. I’m truly going to miss these characters, this story. Okay. Let’s get into it.
Obsidio is told in exactly the same format as its predecessors. This one, however, reads more like a novel than the other two. Whereas the other two were more chat rooms, emails, etc., this one consists heavily of video footage relayed by the analysts, so it’s more basic prose. It also focuses on two stories, not just one: Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik up on the Mao, as well as Asha and Rhys down on Karenza. I mean, obviously the two storylines converge, but still.
With so many people on the Mao and also down on Karenza, we get a lot of perspectives with this book. It’s a bit dizzying at times. Sometimes minor characters show up a few times, but I’ve already forgotten them from when they were introduced. Oops.
I was really happy to have Kady and Ezra so prominent in this book. I MISSED THEM. I love them so much. And yes, there’s plenty of Hanna-Nik interactions, too, which also made me happy because, like I said, they grew on me during Gemina. The new characters in Obsidio, though, did not quite impress me as much as I’d hoped. Asha and Rhys are the two new lovebirds introduced in this book, facing the final wave of the BT assault. I didn’t dislike them or anything, but I never felt as connected to them as I did with the Kady-Ezra and Hanna-Nik pairs. I think it’s because the whole book wasn’t dedicated to them—it was split with all the action up in the sky. So you only get half as much time getting to know them, and because of this, I wasn’t too concerned with them, which makes me sad. I wish I could have loved them as much as I love the other pairs. But that’s okay, it’s still a brilliant book.
Seriously. Let me tell you, this book had my heart racing. I teared up too many times to count, chums and fems. Brace yourself, readers. You’re going to experience some turbulence. The last half of the book is so action-packed and heartbreaking and wild. But I thought it was a fantastic end to this wonderful series. It’s definitely reignited my love of sci-if AND young adult. It’s also the first series I’ve read in a long time, and it felt good. It felt very nostalgic.
I’m sad to say goodbye to Kady and Ezra and Hanna and Nik and Asha and Rhys and Ella and Isaac and, yes, even AIDAN. The Illuminae Files has definitely wormed its way into my heart and is easily one of my favorite series. If you haven’t started it yet, you should. And make sure you’ve got a box of tissues nearby. Brace yourself.
–“It is entirely possible to be alone in a crowded room. Your solitude only compounded by the faces around you. The presence of others serving only to remind you of how lonely you truly are.”
–“Have you noticed
All the moments we live
And all the miles we walk
never seem to get us anywhere but dead?”