Obsidio Review

Obsidio is the last book in the Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve had nothing but love for the last two books, so Obsidio had a lot to live up to.

First off, this book is dark. It’s easily the darkest in the trilogy. The first two books have had their horrific moments – the planet wide attack and loss of ships in Illuminae to the brutal attacks by the kill squad in Gemina. The thing is these books also had moments of levity and humour. Obsidio on the other hand dives deeply into the horrors of war and doesn’t spare the reader by sugar coating anything. There were some seriously dark moments where I had to put the book down and go do something relaxing for an hour or so.

That being said, Obsidio manages to walk a very fine line. It never feels dark or disturbing for the sake of being dark or disturbing. Throughout this trilogy Kaufman and Kristoff have shown control over their narrative. Everything that happens in these books fit together like an elaborate puzzle. Every piece plays a part and no moment is wasted. Even though Obsidio feels like less happens in comparison to the previous novels, this novel earns these quiet moments. Obsidio has a different feel but it manages to tie up all its loose threads quite nicely.

I enjoyed the interactions between the Kady and Ezra, and the Hanna, Nik and Ella teams. It was fun to see their dynamics as they easily fell into friendship. The only downfall of this was that there was less time spent building up the characters and relationship between newcomers Asha and Rhys.

The set up for these two is one that I’m always a sucker for in my fiction. They’re a former couple who find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict on Kerenza. Like all the other books in this series it’s a nice change to have the main character’s relationships with one another pre-established. But unlike the other main characters in this series I didn’t feel like I got to know them as well or was given the chance to form a connection with them. I found I was much more interested in the character’s other relationships like Rhys’s and Oshiro or Asha and the resistance.

Then of course what would the Illuminae Files be without our favourite homicidal AI? ADIAN was my favourite part of this series. I loved his slow descent into human emotion and self awareness.

HAL and AIDAN would probably be frenemies, let’s be honest

There is a lot I can’t talk about because of spoilers for Obsidio and the rest of the series. But if you’re a scifi fan than you should read this trilogy. It’s fun, fast paced, and full of everything you could ever love in a scifi novel. Spaceships, creepy parasites and insane AIs to name a few. Obsidio is the perfect ending for this awesome trilogy. I’m sad to see it over but I’m excited to see what Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff do next. I hope they’re merciful.

Unrelated/Random Thoughts

  • AIDAN is the essay I wished I wrote during my undergrad. There is a lot to unpack here. i love every piece of his confused, murdery, self aware soul
  • Kady’s dad was a fun addition to the cast
  • I love how other authors appear as minor characters in this series
  • This book is the darkest of the trilogy. I expected it to be dark but damn. I still can’t get over it.
  • Obsidio makes me appreciate Gemina a lot more. Its sense of humour, contained nature… also the Mob.
Summary
Obsidio is a worthy ending to one of the greatest science fiction series I've ever read. If you've enjoyed the trilogy up to this point I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Good
  • AIDAN
  • The relationships between Illumiae and Gemina characters
  • Doesn't rely on absolute shades of black and white. Allows characters and their motivations to be complicated
  • Pays off everything that has been set up before.. in the best way possible.
  • Clever ways to use the epistolary layout: images, handwritten notes, word art.
  • The secondary narratives like that of the resistance fighters were intense and helped feed the tension in the rest of the novel
Bad
  • Less time spent with the two new leads
  • The ending feels abrupt
  • Sometumes the binding cuts off the word art (not the fault of anyone)
7.8
Good
Plot - 7
Characters - 8
Setting - 8
Writing Style - 9
Enjoyability - 7
Art - 8
Written by
Alexandra is always looking for the next book she can devour. She has a love hate relationship with teen fiction specifically when it comes to fantasy, post apocalyptic and failed shakespeare adaptations.

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