REVIEW: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

REVIEW_ OBSIDIO -- The Riverside Library


I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Obsidio from Allen & Unwin NZ, and I low-key (read: high-key) freaked out. Obsidio was my most anticipated release of 2018, and boy did it live up to all of my expectations.

It’s been too long since I read it, and I still struggle to form coherent thoughts. But I’m going to attempt to string said incoherent thoughts into sentences in hope you’ll read this book.

“Live a life worth dying for.”

Illuminae saw the planet Kerenza attacked by evil guys, Gemina saw the universe go all crazy funky on us, and Obsidio follows the fall out of all of this. The time is split between Kady & Co. (hi, I love AIDAN) and Kady’s cousin, Asha, who is still living on Kerenza.

I’m generally not the worlds biggest fan of split perspectives, but I found the balance between the two locations to be really well done, and I didn’t wish for more or less of one or the other.

It was 1:30am when I finished reading this book. I read it in one sitting. I lost my breath, I lost my heart, I lost a few tears, and then I lost my breath again. To me, it was the perfect conclusion to the series, but I feel like it shared more similarities with Illuminae than Gemina.

“The die is cast. But today we will shake the table upon which it lands.”

The one element where Illuminae and Gemina shone slightly brighter than Obsidio were the plot twists. With Obsidio being the third book in the series, I feel I’ve come to understand the personalities of the characters in a way that makes it easy to predict their response to situations.

Because of this, some of the plot twists in Obsidio were a little less hard-hitting than in that of its predecessors, however, this wasn’t enough to detract from the books overall sheer awesomeness.

Until the release of ObsidioIlluminae had been my favourite book in the series (now it’s a tie, by the way), and I felt more invested in Kady and Ezra than I did in Hana and Nik. I still preferred them while reading Obsidio, however Hana and Nik did grow on me immensely throughout the book, and I’m glad to see the entire cast of characters come together for the finale. But one character, one character above all…

“Every story needs its hero. And its villain. And its monster.”


Of course, AIDAN was the shining star in all of this, as AIDAN always is.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so emotional over a character before. Certainly not one that was a computer, and certainly, certainly not one that was a mass murdering computer. I have loved AIDAN since it was turned on in the middle of Illuminae, I have loved every single minute of it’s featuring throughout the series.

I think the reason I didn’t like Gemina as much as I liked Illuminae and Obsidio was due to the lack of AIDAN. For me, AIDAN makes this series what it is. Sure, the format of the book is immersive, ingenious, and interesting, but AIDAN is what keeps me coming back for more.

Is it ironic to say that, for me at least, this AI is the heart and soul of the series? Perhaps not. Perhaps AIDAN isn’t as heartless as one may first assume. Perhaps AIDAN is somehow capable of emotion, of feeling, of attachment.

Perhaps it is the heart and soul. Whatever AIDAN is, or is not capable of, it has certainly made its way onto my all-time favourite literary characters list, and it will be the reason I revisit The Illuminae Files time and time again.

I gave Obsidio an unsurprising 5 out of 5 stars. 

Now I will leave you with this quote, a look into the sheer poetical beauty found amongst the unconventional pages of Obsidio:

“And outside my skin, an infinity illuminated by a billion stars.

The beauty of the universe is in the grandest and smallest things.

This is a good place to die.”

See my book rating scale here. || Add Obsidio to your Goodreads shelf

Mikaela is an illustrator, and writer based in QLD, Australia. She's been writing novels for eleven years and editing for six. You can often find her with a coffee by the beach, pondering existentialism and the psychology of writing. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and takes pride in her paradoxical nature. She's also very much like a cat.

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