Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff



TW: death, PTSD, and war

I’m done. I finished it. I finished this series, one that I was stubborn about reading because I’m not a YA fan. But, in about three weeks, I finished this whole series.

First, the characters. Asha Grant was great because she was normal. She wasn’t like Kady or Ella, who were epic hackers. She wasn’t like Hanna, an epic fighter. She was normal. She was an everyday person put in a shitty situation and trying to find a way to survive. I could get behind that. I really could. While she wasn’t my favorite, I appreciated there being someone who was normaler than the rest of the lot.

But Rhys. Rhys Lindstrom. He was a lot like Ezra and Nik. Not a bad thing since I liked them, but I had hoped for a bit more from the series. All the characters were really alike to me. Rhys was interesting since he was from BeiTech, though. That made him interesting since he’s supposed to be our enemy.

Too bad the romance (I wasn’t surprised) between Asha and Rhys fell flat and dull and I was tired. I was tired of relationships in the series. I think that if it had been a queer relationship I would have been down for it, but it was straight and it just didn’t work for me since it was like everyone else. Every book had a romance, a romance that was inherently unneeded for the plot.

So, the plot. It was there and it felt stretched thin at times because it was covering so many different areas. That meant I didn’t get a lot of time with Asha and Rhys because the book was busy covering the lot on the Mao. This impacted the characters since I never felt like I got to meet and know the new ones while I had 600+ pages with the others.

And then the ending. Didn’t go out with a bang, did it? I expected (based on the screaming and crying gifs in other reviews) to find my soul destroyed and in a bleeding, sobbing corner.

I wasn’t.

I teared up twice and got emotional a few times.

What I said in my review of Gemina stands. You gotta have balls and kill some people that you don’t want to kill off to make it a bit better. While the plot didn’t suffer from the same issues as the second book, it still wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

So, some parting words. A very solid series that suffers from a lot of the same issues that other series do. I’d recommend this series with the caveat that it’s not perfect and I had wanted more emotional impact/attachment.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff



TW: death (lots of it again) and PTSD

What to say about this book?

Obviously, I liked it. But I didn’t think it was as good as Illuminae, despite everyone telling me that it would be as good as that and even better. It just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, honestly.

The characters were good. I liked the new introductions of Hanna, Nik, and Ella. They were complex and interesting and good shoulders to carry the plot on. Especially Hanna. Give me a BA woman who also embraces her femininity while kicking everyone’s ass any day. Same with Ella.

However, I thought they were far too much like Kady and Ezra. The romance between Hanna and Nik was nearly a carbon copy of Kady and Ezra’s, yet without the spark that made it believable. Hanna and Ella were also just like Kady. Nik had a lot of the same threads of Ezra. It was all just too familiar to me, which means I got a bit bored by it.

Then, the plot. I loved the invasion theme because it worked so well for the book. But then we got into other areas that just, well, didn’t hold my attention.

Spoilers for those who haven’t read this book!

Wormholes have bored me since Moffat started overusing them to solve plot holes that he created. It just wasn’t interesting to me. I’m so used to wormholes and time travel and shit like that to solve problems with plot that I didn’t want to pay attention anymore.

Then, and more spoilers, if you’re going to kill people, let them stay dead. Seriously. You killed them. Don’t bring them back. Bringing back Nik and Ella didn’t exactly float my boat because — after years of watching Supernatural and Doctor Who — I find it a mark of a weak writer to just bring back characters you just killed off.

Spoilers over!

So, that’s my take on Gemina. It was good but not great and it was far too much like Illuminae for me to get completely involved in what the characters were doing and feeling. I wanted something more different from the first book and I got a book that had the same characters with different names.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff



TW: death (lots of it), PTSD, war, and psychosis

After DNFing this in 2016 because it literally bored me within 100 pages and I couldn’t care about anyone/anything, I decided to pick it up again. I actually have the whole series at my house because the library had all of them available. So, I thought, why not?

And, this time, I wound up enjoying it. Really enjoying it.

The hardest thing about this book is the length. It’s 600 pages. That’s long. And, it takes 200-300 pages to get the story going. Everything else before that is setting the stage. I didn’t actually care about the main characters until that 200-300 page point. The plot interested me, but I didn’t care for the characters.

Now, I did like them in the end. They reminded me of two other characters from something else, so I loved their dynamic. Her calling him an idiot, him being all lovey with her. Their arguments about stupid things. It was great fun. And, along the way, I got attached to them and what would happen to them.

The way the story was told has its pros and cons. While I loved how unique it was, I also think it kept me from getting attached to Kady and Ezra. Yet, I also think that if it was told traditionally, I would have pulled out my hair with frustration because I don’t need to get all of that teen angst thrown at me.

Kady was great. I loved how determined she was and that she was reckless while also keeping herself in check at times. She was a smart girl who took on the world. Ezra was also great. The exact opposite of Kady. He’s more emotional and with that comes emotional recklessness. But, he was great because he knew how to keep control of himself. They felt like teenagers without it killing me, which is a huge kudos to the authors right there.

The most interesting part, to me, was when the virus came in. I can’t exactly get into it because it happened so late in the book, but it was fascinating and I count that as when I got interested in the book as a whole. Before that, I could have put it down and not felt like I was missing anything. After that, I knew I had to continue to see what was going to happen.

All in all, it’s a good book. There are things I didn’t like about it, especially how long it took me to really get invested in it, but I can overlook those and happily move onto book two.