OBSIDIO by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Updated: Jul 28
Aaaaaaand the final book in the Illuminae Files series ended with a BANG! Definitely a five-star read, once again! While this one took me over a month to finish (thanks to all the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic) that does not mean I was anything but obsessed. I refused to start another book while I was reading this one for that reason. If I was going to manage to find the time and the energy to read, I was going to be reading Obsidio.
I wish I had been able to focus more so I could have finished this series sooner. Because it was incredible. Kaufman and Kristoff have managed to create a series that had three books (four if you count the novella, Memento) that were all five stars. I've never read a series where I enjoyed all the books equally. All of them were so, so different, but so, so good. I am so happy I took the chance to read this sci-fi series when I was so wary of the genre. This series will stick with me for a long time.
This book, just like the others, is told in documents. I've pretty much already covered the format of this in my other reviews of the Illuminae Files series books, so I won't spend a bunch of time here.
When I asked about this series on a reading Facebook group, Illuminae was described as "dystopian zombies in space," Gemina was described as "the movie 'Home Alone' in space," and Obsidio was described as "the stereotypical must-defeat-the-evil-corporation in space." I have to say, those descriptions are pretty dang accurate, but Obsidio is anything but stereotypical. This was a whirlwind ride that, despite me taking so long to finish it, had me hooked from the very beginning.
This book is the finale (duh) of all the things that began with the BeiTech invasion on Kerenza IV. It has half a focus on the survivors of the Hypatia, Alexander, and Jumpstation Heimdall while the other half focuses on the survivors still on Kerenza IV. The survivors on Kerenza don't only include colonists, they also include BeiTech forces that have been stranded there after the battle. BeiTech and Kerenzians in one place? I'm sure nothing bad could possibly happen! (The sarcasm is strong in this one).
Asha: Asha Grant, the cousin of Kady Grant, is normal. She is just a normal girl thrown into a horrible situation on Kerenza IV. She is not a computer whiz like her cousin or a tactical genius like Hanna. She's just... Asha. And, while that made her harder to connect to in some ways (because come on, you want your characters to be special somehow right?) it was also a kind of breath of fresh air. Asha was just like you or me. She was just trying to survive as best she could. And, as it states one point in the book, doesn't the fact that she's 'nothing special' make her actions in the book braver than anyone elses?
Rhys: Rhys Lindstrom is actually a BeiTech specialist. That's right - he's one of the enemies. However, he is a bit naive and had no idea of the terrible things that were going down on Kerenza IV until he was actually shipped off his spaceship and onto the planet itself. There, he not only came face to face with wartime atrocities but he also reconnects with his lost love, Asha Grant, whom he has never stopped loving.
Returners: While Asha and Rhys are technically the new main characters and couple of this book, we actually spend a lot of time with the previous two books' notable characters as well. Yeah, that's right! Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Ella, and, more importantly, AIDAN are back! I have to admit, I was more fond of the parts of Obsidio where the focus was back on these six characters, rather than on Asha and Rhys. It's not that I didn't like them, I just liked the first two books' characters better. Asha and Rhys just fell a little flat for me, I guess. Again, that's not to say I didn't like them. They were good characters. Just not great ones, like their predecessors.
I'm going to admit it, here for all to see: I honestly don't remember the pacing of this book. I think part of that is because it took so long for me to finish it (I started it in March!) but I also think part of it is because the pace of this was just between normal and fast. There were very few slow parts in this book, and most of those parts happen with Asha and Rhys (probably another reason I wasn't overly fond of their sections).
While the "main" characters of this book fell a little from the mark for me in this book, the rest of the book more than made up for it! I mean, obviously. I gave it five stars, just like the first two books and the novella. Now I can't wait to read Aurora Rising, another book by these two amazing authors! Also, this book came out with some AH-mazing quotes. Some of my favorites are below.
"It is entirely possible to be alone in a crowded room."
"...evil is simply a point of view. The villain is always the hero in his own story."
"I know their stories. I know where [here] and how [me] those stories end."
"I am not good. Nor am I evil. I am no hero. Nor am I villain."