Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series Name: The Illuminae Files
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: March 13th, 2018
Pages: 615 (Paperback)
Publishers: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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 love the covers of these books. Especially the hardcovers! I finally saw the hardcovers in person too! I had seen them on youtube and in photos, but never in person. I purchased the hardcover of Obsidio & also got a signed copy of the paperback, so I now have both. So now I have to go buy Illuminae & Gemina in Hardcover too. But I love how different the hardcovers are! I have never seen a hardcover with a plastic dust jacket before! It’s awesome.
Absolutely amazing! This review will mostly be me gushing about this book as it was AMAZING! But, I do love the style of this book and the writing is fabulous. Obviously, this is an extremely unique book and when I first picked up Illuminae around 2 years ago I was worried it would be boring just reading documents & message conversations but these books are in no way shape or form boring! The format is executed brilliantly! It is easy to follow, you are never confused and this book is extremely gripping! I did not want to put it down once I started.
The plot is action PACKED! There is always something going on and there are tonnes of twists and turns! Basically, none of which were expected! I think the plot twists are even more unexpected because of the format of the book. You don’t see them coming and then next thing boom you read video footage of it, or characters are IMing while it is happening and freaking out. It’s just so well done!
The fucking characters are all perfection!! Now, if you haven’t read Illuminae & Gemina I would suggest not reading which characters I talk about as their presences will spoil events from Illuminae & Gemina as there are plenty of suspected deaths or near deaths in those first books.
Each book kinda has one main male & one main female, all of which are either ex’s or possible love interests. It didn’t take away from the story at all though and I actually enjoyed most of the romances, which is unusual as I am not a romance type person.
Firstly I’ll start with the girls! Kady Grant, Hannah Donnely & Asha Grant. These girls are special, determined, badass bitches but in the most realistic ways. They do freak out, there are times where the breakdown and think they can’t go on. But they still face their situations and grab them by the balls. Kady will always be my favourite and I think that is because she was the original one that was there right from the start but Hannah & Asha are very close behind her in terms of favourites. Kady is a kickass hacker (only bested maybe by the Little Spider, I’ll get to her soon!).
Hannah is a badass fighter who will beat your ass if you threaten part of her family. She is also extremely tactical and can devise plans in seconds. She is strong, but again shows weakness when things get too much. But when push comes to shove she get back up their and leads like a boss!
Asha is Kady’s cousin and she lost her mother during the other books. Even though she doesn’t really have an awesome skill that is their main feature like the other two girls she is still resourceful, strong and amazing. Asha feels like more of a ‘normal person’, she is just a pharmasist that was in the right place in the right time and survived that initial attack. Her bravery was shown in the fact that she lived through that attack, kept her head down and fought in the shadows.
Now outside of the main three females, we also have Ella Malikov, Nik’s cousin. I love the rep with her. She is a badass hacker, who happens to be in a wheelchair. She also gets hurt and is on oxygen for a large part of the book, so I liked seeing the portrayal of her having to deal with that and how the people around her reacted too. Besides all that, Ella is a sarcastic and a little rude, but totally hilarious character and I loved her so much.
We also have Captain Syra Boll. She was another realistic character. She was thrown into her position because of the events in previous books and she did the best she could. She always tried to do what was best for her team, she tried to always take the opinions of people who may know more than her within fields she isn’t trained, even if they were only a 17 year old and everyone else thought she was off her rocker to be taking advice from ‘kids’. She was a strong leading female figure in this book and I really liked her.
We also had Sergeant Yukiko Oshiro who in the beginning I didn’t like but she redeemed herself a bit in the end. She had been working planetside since the initial attack. She followed her orders and put on a face of indifference when orders were given that she didn’t fully agree with. She tried to teach Rhys to do the same, to just keep his head down, follow orders and there won’t be problems. Of course I didn’t like her though, she was Bei-Tech and was part of the team that killed so many people. So you automatically don’t like her. But yes, I did think she made up for it a little in the end.
Next I just want to do a quick mention of Captain Winifred McCall who makes the best prep speech I have ever read. Seriously, I will leave a quote below!
“There is a moment just after the die is cast and before it lands upon the gaming table in which the smallest breeze may change its course-the way it rolls where it comes to rest.
That is what we must do today. We must give our all to ensure that when the die does come to rest, it favors us. We are fighting today for all the loved ones we have lost, for all the loved ones far away we hope to see again and for those here with us, who know we are their only hope.”
Now, onto the males! Again we have our three main male characters. Ezra Mason, Nik Malikov & Rhys Lindstrom. Out of these, I think Nik & Ezra tie for favourite for me and then Rhys is just behind. Ezra is a fighter pilot who is completely underestimated by most of the people aboard because he is a ‘kid’. They all suffer this agist (like racist, but with age, is that a thing??) view for older characters but Kady & Ezra the most. Ezra is also extremely caring to all he considers family.
Nik is not really underestimated but strongly judged. He and Ella come from criminal family, so no one trusts them. Mostly Nik though. Ella got away with it more as she was always in the background, in a room somewhere out of view working on her computer, so she was less noticed I guess, so she didn’t get the judgement as much. Whereas Nik was fairly well out front and centre and no one would give him a chance except those that actually got to know him. Now, as I said he comes from a criminal background, but he doesn’t really fit the mould most of you would be thinking of when ‘criminal’ is involved. He isn’t really thuggish or brutal. He is fairly kind and caring. He does go a little far sometimes, especially if someone insults or makes comments in relation to Hannah and his relationship with her. There were noses broken at one point. He never really fights without reason, but he does fight. But like I said, he is still extremely caring and also very careful at times (parachute, if you have read, you will understand!). I also love Nik’s banter with his cousin Ella. It is hilarious and even though there was less of it in this book, it was still great.
Rhys was probably the least fleshed out character out of all. He was obviously new to the story in this book but also I just didn’t feel like we had as much background with him as the others. Yes, he was Bei-Tech & Like with Oshiro, I wanted to hate him automatically, but it was obvious pretty early that he didn’t agree with what was going on. He was an engineer and soldier who hadn’t been on the field until the events in this book and had no idea what was actually going on. When he began to find out it really showed his humanity compared to some of the other trigger happy assholes. He questioned things that he didn’t agree with even if that meant he was reprimanded. He hesitated when being ordered to do things he didn’t agree with. He even tried to stand up against things to his superiors when shit really when bad. That is why the automatic hatred didn’t last too long. He was also intelligent, resourceful and extremely caring.
Now, for the none MC male characters. Firstly I want to talk about Isaac Grant. He is Kady’s father & Asha’s uncle and I absolutely loved him! He was an amazing father figure in this book. He was funny, loving and even in the middle of all this crap he was still trying to stick to what he believed. Even if that was simply his dislike for swearing. It was hilarious reading IMs where Kady, Ella or Hannah would swear and his instant reaction wasn’t to what they were talking about it was ‘watch your language, young lady’. He even tried it with some of the older members during group convos and it was funny watching him accept that he was being totally ignored. Then there was that one time when shit was so bad, but he was like ‘fine, …….’ and swore himself. It just made me laugh every time. Now the next little bit is spoilery to an event in Obsidio which I feel like you need to read yourself and let it break your heart through the story, so skip the next part that is in bold. Okay, so I just had to talk about this as it left me in tears and I am tearing up right now writing this! But as I said he was an amazing father figure, but it extended past his own daughter to both Hannah, Ella and I’m assuming Asha, but we didn’t actually see that part. Anyway, he was so loving and supportive to those girls and then after he found out that Ella had lost her father during all this he offered himself to her as a father figure if she needed him. He helped her when no one else had the time and then ended up adopting her in the end. Isaac Grant is an amazingly beautiful character and he is one of my favourite ever male side characters.
Now lastly, we need to address the “elephant in the room before it steps on someone”. AIDAN. I don’t really know what to say about it really. It is a psychotic and extremely creepy artificial intelligence that is learning to think like a human. He has a disturbing crush on Kady and likes to kill thousands of people. Yet I still can’t hate him really. He only kills thousands because he sees it as a sacrafice. Kill a thousand, to save three thousand. That is his logic and even though no one likes to admit it, he is kinda right, even if the execution is brutal and heat breaking. He saved them all on mulitple occasions so I can’t really hate him. Fuck, even I’m calling it a ‘him’ now. I’m just going to leave it at that for him.
Well that is it for the characters I think! I can’t think of anyone else I really want to talk about. I know that section is ridiculously long, but there are alot of amazing characters I just need to talk about!
Overall this book is amazing, this series is amazing and I love everything about it! I already want to reread it! The writing and format are sooo well done. The plot is action-packed and intense and the characters are superb. I do think I liked this book a little more than Illuminae and Gemina honestly. It was the perfect conclusion for this series and I couldn’t be happier and sadder about that!
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!