Book Talk: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Book Talk: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffObsidio by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Published by Knopf BFYR on March 13, 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Pages: 615
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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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.

Before I read Obsidio, I went back and reread Illuminae and Gemina, both of which still fucking rock btws. In fact, allowing myself to choose something I was actually in the mood for and which was an easy read helped me get my reading mojo back and now I’m going full steam again. Kaufman and Kristoff put together such a solid series with The Illuminae Files, combining their individual strengths into something well-plotted, powerfully-characterized, snarky, and really enjoyable to read.

Obsidio closes out the series with the Mao trying to make it to Kerenza IV before the Magellan can restore its mobile jump gate and alert BeiTech. The trial frames the story, as the last bits of evidence are presented. Kaufman and Kristoff wrap everything up neatly in a way that’s believable, and Obsidio keeps this series incredibly strong and is a good series ender.

That said, it is the weakest in the series for me. Given the fact that the trial is under way, certain things are implicitly known about the way the book will resolve, which for me removed the element of breathless anticipation and concern. With the first two, even on a reread, I couldn’t help falling into nerves and concern, but I didn’t feel that in Obsidio.

The pacing also suffers a bit because there are so many plot threads running simultaneously now that the cast has grown so much, so it feels a bit more frenetic, and there’s not enough emotional build in one place before you move on. The new characters introduced in this book, Asha and Rhys, have a lot of potential, but that didn’t fully come to fruition for me. I barely feel like I know either of them, because they had so few scenes separately or together.

Now, I realize how judgmental all this sounds, but keep in mind that I’m more critical because I’m comparing this book to the other books in the series which are consistent five-star books that are pretty close to perfection. I do think this is a great book, but it isn’t quite as phenomenal as the others. Mostly I think the issue is the length: it’s too short. To be fully successful for me, Obsidio probably needed another couple hundred pages, all of which needed to be set on Kerenza IV. I needed more time with Asha and with Rhys too, to see what there lives were like and learn more about their personalities.

As ever, the book is intricately plotted and, despite the framework making some elements predictable, Kaufman and Kristoff do manage to inject twists and clever turns. I particularly love the very end; it’s the perfect note to leave the story with. There’s so much creativity and inventiveness in The Illuminae Files. The writing’s excellent. I love the constant quick pace and the wittiness of literally the whole cast. Also, the books themselves are incredibly beautifully designed.

So much work went into this series, and it all pays off so well in the end. Yes, I wanted just a bit more from the ending, but I’m still incredibly happy and grateful to have gotten this ending. And who knows, I might end up loving this one the most when I reread someday. That happens sometimes when my own expectations mess with my perception.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

One response to “Book Talk: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

  1. I’m so glad to know that you think it’s a (mostly) satisfying ending!! I read Gemina last month and lost my mind so I can’t wait to dive into Obsidio soon. The series is just… I don’t know how they even put it together. It’s amazing. That’s a shame about the new characters but I’ve definitely experienced that in other series so hopefully I can concentrate on the characters I do love and getting some answers finally!
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