Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Published by Allen & Unwin on March 13, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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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, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.
SO GUYS I HATED OBSIDIO, IT WAS THE WORST BOOK EVER. It gave me heart palpitations and I couldn’t breathe. It was so bad that at the end of the book, I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding and I became a YA character. Now I’m a changed person and I’ll never be the same #truestory
No but actually that’s why loved it hahaha.
If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you’ll know that the Illuminae Files is one of my favourite series of all time. I’ve reread both Illuminae and Gemina countless times, so it won’t come as a surprise that I binge read Obsidio as soon as I got my hands on it. I can say with certainty, that I’ve never read a book that has caused this much stress and anxiety. Refer to my initial review below:
And on that positive note, let me go into why I loved this book!
1. Curiosity and intense attachment
This is an absolute credit to these characters that we’ve grown with and gotten so attached to throughout the series. It’s a series that manages to develop each and every one of it’s characters that we somehow want to know everything we want to about them. Nik’s uncle from House of Knives? Tell me more! The mysterious person behind the surveillance footage? Tell me more! Random engineer Sam who hits on Hannah? Tell me more! For a series that features SO MANY characters between the chat logs, the surveillance footages, the intercom messages and even random flyers on the wall, that’s definitely saying something.
But those aren’t the people that you’re reading this review about – it’s our beloved Kady who survived a ship affected by a zombie-like Phobos virus, it’s Ezra, the fighter pilot who fought through everything to get to her, it’s AIDAN, the A.I. who is both creepy and kind of lovable (whaaattt) and Hanna, our beautiful kung fu queen and Nik, the guy from the wrong side of the tracksI loved seeing all of them interact with one another on the ship of the Mao, strategising and defeating all odds to get to Kerenza IV, the abandoned colony on a planet. As expected, Kady and Hanna are like BEST FRIENDS having both lost family who are close to them and Nik and Ezra are hilarious together.
Ezra: you can’t carry this entire ship on your shoulders, Kades.
Kady: I can with you beside me <3
I also loved Asha and Rhys and was surprised at how much I connected to them throughout the story, after all we’re starting completely new character arcs. And it’s the last book in the series so why should we care about them? As two people who clearly used to be in a relationship and went through a bad break up – Asha needs to rebuild a connection with Rhys and fast – as he’s working for BeiTech’s to oppress the people of Kerenza IV. Rhys and his comrades brought a whole new perspective to the book as we learn that they’re just blindly following orders – no questions tolerated.
2. Pain and suffering
Not gonna lie, I actually started crying sporadically throughout the book – even during its quieter moments, where the characters are reflecting on everything they’ve lost. Some of these conversations affected me deeply and made me question everything in life. I love each and every one of them and it’s just SO STRESSFUL seeing what they have to go through – and reflecting on what they’ve already gone through in this series. This is space survival and they’ve all lost people close to them, and they unite in their pain and suffering.
3. TEARS and lots of them
What made this book hurt is that we feel every single one of the deaths (and there are over 2000 of them) that occur. We’re no longer fighting a deadly virus, a crazed A.I. or a slug-like parasite threatening to invade. Instead, its the humans that we’re fighting against – both humans from the inside (who are meant to be on our side) and also the BeiTech invaders who have taken over Kerenza IV. It’s almost like colonisation – invaders oppressing the people living there to starvation and slavery simply because they operate an illegal colony. They no longer see the people living there with people – if the kill count is anything to go by – and it’s ACTUAL PEOPLE doing this which is even more disturbing. People from both sides are given a voice, and a perspective, which makes it even more heartbreaking.
I also get killed in Obsidio – how cool is that? It’s kind of weird seeing my name in a book but also kind of awesome.
4. Wonder and appreciation
I don’t have to tell you that this series is unique, one only needs to flick through it’s pages to see how it’s a collection of different formats pulled together to tell a story. Between the space ship sketches to the impactful and poetic thoughts of AIDAN and the cute drawings and everything else, we somehow get a full picture of how things go down. Each of these books are quite long at over 600 pages, but the format has actually grown on me so much I barely notice it anymore. I noticed that the storytelling is a lot smoother as well, it all seems to be easier to follow especially since the narrative in the surveillance footage reports reflects a third person narrative.
5. Anxiety and shortness of breath
As the book scales towards its epic conclusion, you just feel this impending countdown to doomsday with each and every one of it’s characters. It features an intense space battle featuring not one, not two but MULTIPLE spaceships in orbit and ohhh boy it is intense. As we’ve come to expect from the series, it really doesn’t skimp when it comes to endings and you just really want to see how it all goes down. With every page turn comes another shock, another twist and another death, that you’re both excited and also extremely anxious about what’s about to happen with every page turn.
And with that, I’ll leave you with a short video of me after finishing Obsidio:
While reading a book that may cause anxiety and panic attacks doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, let that be a testament to how much this book (and series for that matter) really affected me and how invested I was in the plot. I can say with certainty that no book has ever caused this amount of pain and grief that Obsidio did, but by the end, I was really glad I read this series (she said, while struggling to recover from the impending book hangover).
Rating: 5 out of 5 (surprise, surprise)
Check out my video review of Obsidio below!
Obsidio is now available from bookstores for RRP$22.99 and US$19.99.