Obsidio Book Review

obsidioTitle: Obsidio
Series: Illuminae Files #3
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Illustrator: Marie Lu
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 13, 2018
Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction
Pages: 615
Format: Hardcover

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. Loved. This. Whole. Trilogy.

This whole book was a whirlwind of emotions: anxiety, fear, anger, happiness, sorrow, joy, you name it, I probably felt it. The only thing that could’ve made it better was it actually playing out like a movie in front of my eyes because Jay and Amie brought the visuals again (literally and literary [ha, see what I did there?]) and I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to a trilogy. And as this is the third book, there will probably be spoilers ahead.

Alright, so, where to even begin?

After the events of Gemina, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Obsidio when it came to the plot because how could it possibly live up to that? Well, it brought on another level of many questions and action that had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning.

We’re introduced to two new main characters: Asha and Rhys. They were once star-crossed lovers, so to speak, and so totally in love, but events caused them to be separated by time and space (literally), and one went to become a medical intern (Asha), while the other got shipped to military school and went to work for BeiTech (Rhys).

Now as this was the third book, there was a lot going on. I don’t know that I’m as attached to these to as I am to Nik and Hanna, but I still loved their characters. They were just trying to each do their jobs, to look humanity in the face and question it, and to really put to the test about morality and how the decisions you make can really affect everything around you.

Asha is Kady’s older cousin and a strong, brave woman. She’s pretty ordinary, but she has a fierce love for others and she isn’t about to put up with anyone’s bullshit when it comes to that love. I loved one of the lines in one of the surveillance footage chapters where it says how she doesn’t have anything special about her like Hanna and Kady do, which probably makes her the bravest of all – and, frankly, I have to agree. She’s not a martial arts or tactician like Hanna, or a computer whiz like Kady; she’s just a young woman trying to survive on a planet much too unforgiving with people even more unforgiving than that.

And then we have Rhys who’s a tech whiz from the spaceship Magellan with the perfect quiffed hair that seems to defy all laws of physics. The part about him that I loved the most is that he never stopped questioning the morality of what was happening on the planet Korenza IV. He never stopped asking why the BeiTech soldiers did what they did, why they killed for some stupid reasons, etc. I think that even though he was a trained military soldier, he was still so fresh and human compared to the other BeiTech soldiers that it pushed some other characters to really reflect on their own decisions.

When they managed to work together despite their past, they really managed to do so well. I liked their dynamic and how one was looking out for the other while also trying to look out for others.

And then we have everyone else that was important coming back full force and there was a lot of death, a lot of pain, but so much to look forward to.

Kady and AIDEN were two of my favorite aspects of this story, in particular. AIDEN is actually one of my favorite characters in any series, and he’s an AI system. A monster. And I can’t help but feel attached to him because despite all of that, he was still… human. It’s hard to explain, really, but his character was one of the best I’ve read. And Kady was fighting so hard and showing that she wasn’t going to back down for anything, even the few times that AIDEN showed how unstable he was and how weak he was becoming.

Nik, Hanna, Ezra, and Ella were all key players in this story, as well, but not as much as in previous books (obviously, because we had two new main characters). There were a few times that they brought a lot of humor to tense situations, which I found to be a nice buffer in all of the chaos.

Also, shout out to Dr. Isaac Grant for being the best dad ever and caring not just for his own daughter, but for all of our main heroes aboard. My heart. It weeps.

Okay, but the plot? ACTION. PACKED. Like I seriously felt like I didn’t have a break from someone being shot or yelled at or AIDEN being all “I am a monster,” or anything because holy crap, this plot moved fast. But like, it was a good kind of fast like the other two books. It encompassed so much in its 600+ pages that my brain is still wrapping around it. There was a lot of death and destruction, yes, but there were also moments of tenderness, of grief, of solitude and togetherness, of mutiny and anger. There was so much wrapped up into this plot that I felt so much a part of it.

I think that’s one of the main reasons I loved this trilogy so much. It really brings you into the story – and not just because the formatting of the book is awesome and very visually stimulating, but also for its characters and the lives they’re trying to lead.

Overall, this book was a great conclusion. I didn’t know how it was going to end. There were twists and turns, places where I gasped, where I wanted to cry, where I was shocked, laughed out loud, angry. It brought out a whole well of emotions, and I’m beyond happy I read it.

As for the trilogy itself, it’s become one of my all-time favorites. From page one of book one it’s had me hooked. I can honestly say that this series is one I would recommend to anyone, especially if they’re look for a visual stimulating, high stakes, whirlwind of an adventure.

If you haven’t read this trilogy yet, what are you doing?

I rated this book 5/5 stars, and this trilogy 5/5 stars.

Beat the Backlist Challenge

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Hey peeps! So I’m here today with a challenge that my friend Austine from Novel Knight is hosting next year: the Beat the Backlist reading challenge! This challenge is a fun way to read those books on your shelves that have been sitting there for way too long. You know, books that aren’t new releases. A lot of people (myself included) focus a lot on newer releases, but this is a fun, engaging way to read those books that you really want to read but may have fallen to the wayside since.

Here’s the guidelines and stuff if you want to participate:

  • Date: January 1 through December 31, 2017
  • Rules: Books must be released prior to 2017!

That’s it! It’s as simple as that. If you use Twitter you can post updates with #beatthebacklist

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Austine is also have a mini-challenge that I am definitely joining in and that is the Win the House Cup mini-challenge! This mini-challenge is OPTIONAL. It’s just a fun way to see which House reads more!

I’ll be going for Hufflepuff as I am a Hufflepuff and I’m super excited to join in this challenge! Not gonna lie: this mini-challenge was the extra push I needed to join the backlist challenge. (I mean, I was going to join anyway, but this was just added incentive.)

You can read about how to earn points for your house here!


So if you want to join, go check out the sign up post! But now I’m going to talk about the books that I’m hoping to read next year toward this challenge.

Overall Goal: 20 books

Books for the Challenge

  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Cress
  • Winter
  • Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Clockwork Princess
  • City of Lost Souls
  • City of Heavenly Fire
  • Lady Midnight
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
  • Frozen Tides
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Hero of Ages
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
  • Unhinged
  • Ensnared
  • Untamed
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Literally any book I’ve started before, put down, forgot about, and haven’t finished. Which is a lot.

Okay, so this list is 23 books long, but uh… I could keep going. Seriously. I have so many books that are on my backlist that I really, REALLY do want to get to! So I’m going to use this challenge as a way to do so. The list above is also not set in stone. I’m going to read whatever I want next year (as I do every year), so this list is more like a guideline than a rulebook. *insert Pirates of the Caribbean quote here*

I hope some of you will want to join me and others in this challenge! It seems really fun, and since it’s a year long it’s a pretty relaxing one.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What do you think of this challenge? Will you be joining in? What are some books that haven’t been released recently that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t yet?

Criticism vs. Cruelty

This topic pops up every now and again around the book community about the difference between being critical of an author’s work, and being cruel about it.

When writing a review, everyone wants your 100% honest opinion – and that is so important because you shouldn’t let anything persuade you into doing anything less than that; but there are some people who take that phrase and make it into a game of who can criticize the best, and often that can turn into cruelty.

I always try to look on the more positive side of things in my reviews, stating only some things that bugged me in the nicest way possible while also giving my 100% honest opinion. In those moments I have a choice to say, “I liked this, but didn’t like this because…” And I think that some people forget the “because” part.

I’ve seen reviews where someone said, “This sucked,” and didn’t even explain why it sucked, what part did, why they’re giving their reason for it, just… that’s it. Of course, sometimes that phrase comes out much harsher and it just looks like that person is bashing the author rather than criticizing the work.

When you criticize a book, you’re talking about the good and the bad in a way that’s both helpful to those wanting to know whether or not the book is worth reading, and whether or not the book has more cons than pros, and so forth.

Of course, you don’t have to be a boring presentation that you did in your high school class to get those points across. You can be silly, sarcastic, use swears (constructively), use gifs, etc. I think part of what makes doing reviews so great is that you can have such a variety of styles and ways to express what you felt about the book compared to how someone else felt.

But when you’re writing your review, you really need to sit back and think, “is this constructive, or is this just mean?” Nine times out of ten, you’re probably fine. But read through your post over again just to make sure you’ve explained your reasonings behind any negative criticisms.

You know it’s sometimes easier to just say something like, “I hated that the author wrote the characters this way. If I had any say in it, I would have wrote them this way instead.” That’s just not right because 1) it’s not your work, and 2) everyone writes differently so everyone is going to see things differently.

But if you don’t agree with how a character acts, you might say instead, “I felt that this character changed dramatically throughout the novel because…” Explaining why you think something versus just stating and being a grump about it are two very different things.

But like I also said: everyone has different writing styles and voices their opinions in different ways. Just when it comes down to it, don’t be cruel in your reviews – be constructive.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How do you view criticism vs cruelty? Do you find that most reviewers are doing a good job at being constructive rather than mean? If you’ve seen a mean or hateful review, what made it that way?

Beautiful Covers: Pink

Hey peeps, welcome to another Beautiful Covers! I’m working my way through the rainbow, so check out the rest of the colors when they come out over the next several weeks!

Today’s color is: pink!

Pink is my favorite color, and because of that I am simply just drawn to covers with pink on them. But they have to be the right shade of pink, not that gaudy, awful purple-pink that people think is pink but is really just a bright violet-fuscia color. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about.

I actually don’t own a lot of books with pink on the cover as the primary color, which makes me sad! But I do have enough to make this list, so here are five of my favorite pink covers:

1 . Fushigi Yuugi: vol 1 Priestess by Yuu Watase

fushigiyuugi1

As this is my favorite manga series of all time, I couldn’t not include this in my list. There are so many beautiful covers, and even a few that have a lot of pink in them, but I love this first volume cover. It shows the main character, Tamahome and Miaka, and it kind of shows a glimpse into what goes on in the story. It’s beautiful and I absolutely love the art style.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (collector’s edition from Target)

fangirlpink

Fangirl was one of my favorite reads of 2014, and so I was so excited when the collector’s editions came out and one of them was pink! I had to have the pink one. Had to. So I got it and I love it and it’s beautiful simplicity. I love Levi and Cath on the cover and how the typography is simple, but clean. It’s just a beautiful cover, in my opinion, because of the simpleness.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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I can finally say that I’ve read this book! And by the way, the covers for this trilogy companion series are beautiful! Look at that cover! The Eiffel Tower! The typography! The pink sunset kind of thing going on! This is simply beautiful, plus it has a nice texture. Love it.

4. Chobits vol. 6 by CLAMP

chobits6

Was I not serious when I said last week with the yellow covers that these covers of Chobits are gorgeous? LOOK AT HER DRESS. THE CURTAIN. THE EVERYTHING. I love this cover, as I do all the covers for this series, but as pink is my favorite color I’m going to have to say that this one is probably my favorite.

5. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

thisshatteredworld

Okay, this entire trilogy is beyond gorgeous, and though most of this one is orange I’m still counting it as pink because there are various shades of it, not just in that one corner. LOOK AT THEM FLOATING MAJESTICLY. Look at the stars and the way the nebula makes them stand out. The typography is sleek and crisp. The models do a wonderful job portraying the characters they’re supposed to look like in the story. Just… yes. I’m melting.

So there you have it for this week’s Beautiful Covers! I’m loving this series because it not only lets me share such amazing covers, but it also lets me stare at them for as long as I want while I’m writing the post, hahaha!

What are some of your favorite pink covers? What do you think of my selection? Let me know!