Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 13, 2018
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.
I’ve probably said this about all the other books in the Illuminae Files series, but I really liked the format of the story. It’s told in a series of instant message chat logs, video transcriptions, and emails. It’s funny — I wondered earlier in the series who was transcribing the videos, because sometimes the transcriber adds some humor or clearly has an opinion about the character in the video feed. Obsidio mentions how those transcriptions came to be. I didn’t pay enough attention to figure out who transcribed which videos, but I bet someone has figured it out.
I read a hardback version of Obsidio which was really different for me. For ILLUMINAE, think I had an eARC and then read an ebook version of GEMINA. I liked the hard cover version because some of the pages are meant to be seen in a two-page spread, which I haven’t figured out how to do on the Kindle app. So that would be my recommendation for this series, to read a physical copy rather than an ebook, where you’ll lose those two-page spreads or as an audiobook, where you would lose the illustrations that tell some of the story, too.
If there is a drawback to this book, it’s that we’re keeping tabs on so many characters in order to wrap up the whole series that we don’t really get to focus on some of the individual stories. I liked Asha and Rhys and found their story interesting, but not as compelling as Hanna and Nik or Kady and Ezra, and I think it’s because there wasn’t time in the story to focus on them as much.
On the whole, though, I found OBSIDIO funny– definitely had some laugh out loud moments– and thought-provoking. A really entertaining end to a super fun series. This is a series you need to read from the beginning, though, so start with ILLUMINAE if you’re new to the books.
Recommended for ages 12 up.
Asha has darker skin. Nik and his cousin Ella are from a mafia family. Ella is wheelchair bound.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
One thing that’s kind of clever about this series is that they black out all the uses of profanity. It’s like someone went through the transcripts with a sharpie and colored over them. There are lots of black marks where characters used curses, but I didn’t catch any that were exposed.
Kissing between boy and girl. Some innuendo. For instance, at one point I think a girl says she’s going to change clothes and the boy responds with a comment like, “down boy”. Things like that. Couples sometimes talk about plans to share bunks in their limited sleep hours. (Anything that happens between them happens off-scene.)
Some exploration of what it means to be alive and to love. AIDAN, a computer system, develops feelings and attachments.
A gas kills thousands of people. Conditions on the mining colony are pretty grim. Workers comply with BeiTech because they have family members imprisoned. Thousands of bodies lie in a mass grave. Soldiers are ordered to kill any unidentified person immediately. At one point, characters witness a young girl murdered by soldiers.
Nik smokes cigarettes.
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