Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Knopf
Released on March 13, 2018
Well, all the gritty, desperate, struggle-for-survival excitement comes down to this third and final book of The Illuminae Files Young Adult Sci-Fi series. Each book has kept the thriller action in space taunt with tension and desperation so that I was at near distraction waiting for my pre-ordered book arrive.
Obsidio, as book three, is not a good place to start. This is a series that needs to be read in order for all the clues in the conspiracy and building series action to make sense.
Each book is presented as a case file documenting the extent of a travesty that various key players are trying to make known so that justice may be found for all the victims, dead and alive. The big picture is only fully revealed by this last book.
I went into Obsidio worried that it couldn’t live up to all the build up and promise of the first two books, but I soon learned to set that aside. Things have come full circle and its for all the marbles as all the key players find themselves engaged in an epic battle for survival and if not survival, the opportunity to tell the true story of what happened when Bei Tech military attacked a civilian illegal mining colony to gain control of the mining resources and began a war between two big monopolies with the civilians caught in the middle.
Like the others before it, this book pulls no punches with catastrophic events and devastation. It really does a good job of making one see what being in the middle of a war is really like particularly for non-combatants who must step up just to survive. This is a young adult in that the main figures who are the movers and shakers are teens, but I think it is a series that is actually suited to adult readers maybe moreso. There is a ruthless, dark and desperate quality to it.
But, like the first two books, a romance pair emerges. Granted, they are living on the edge of life and death so its not a prime focus, but a second chance romance is there and I enjoyed seeing them worth through mistrust, assumptions, and their continued connection in spite of it all.
Now, what takes this beyond a typical sci-fi space adventure is the epistolary format of the book. It’s told in security feeds, messages, memos, graphic art, and more. My only niggles is that at times the lighter shaded script was hard to read. The security feeds are told in an omniscient observer narrator who quips and comments on what he or she is observing. One might think this would make it hard to engage with the story, but in truth, I had no trouble getting emotionally involved and teared up or laughed out more than once. I found the notes Isaac left all those teen heroes on the eve of battle poignant, Nic’s crazy need to go around with a spacesuit and parachute with it was whimsical, Ella’s snark or Aidan (my bittersweet homicidal favorite AI)’s thoughts were also hits.
I have book hangover now and really don’t want to leave this series behind. It was stellar all around and I will definitely be going for a re-read at some point. For sci-fi lovers, this one is a must.
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