Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: An Epic Finale

I'm pretty sure that The Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the first ever series that I give all the installments a complete 5-star rating. Honoring my version of the best sci-fi books ever written, let us do a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

A few years ago, right after I had just finished Illuminae, I remember the time I needed to process the plot and the twists. It came out pretty strong, the so-called hangover, followed by the exciting thought of getting my hands on Gemina after that.

Gemina, it seemed, was harder to resist given that I had known how amazing its predecessor was. Shortly after buying the physical copy of the irresistible space opera, all was said and done. Looking for a friend to gush over it together, I gave both books to my mom to read.

Here comes the million-dollar question then: if I had loved the first two books so much, why would it take me this long to pick up the series finale? It wasn't an easy decision, so let me be frank: I own the translated version of Illuminae and Gemina, and while my mom's love for these babies is almost as big as mine, she was not used to reading in English. We found out that the local publisher had not yet translated the third installmentit was quite a letdown. However, with the hope that good news would soon be announced, I decided to patiently wait.

As it turned out, there was no good news to celebrate, thus it became clear to the expectant waiters that Obsidio would not be translated into Indonesian. With that said, when I was browsing through the shelves of the National Library of Indonesia last week, I was beyond ecstatic to discover what I had long been waiting for. English version of Obsidio, along with some other good collections, was there, shining in its glory, waiting for me to pick it up.

Disclaimer: Please beware of the Illuminae and Gemina spoilers in case you haven't read them yet (and I think you should remedy that soon!).

A few years ago, Asha Grant went to Kerenza IV to escape her past. Amongst all the things she wanted to forget, her ex-boyfriend Rhys Lindstrom was one of them. Cut to the present time, Asha is now among the few survivors of the initial BeiTech assault, making her a nurse instead of a pharmacy intern. So when all of a sudden Rhys appears in Kerenza as one of the BeiTech soldiers, the air of hostility she conjures is, of course, heavier than ever.

Meanwhile, Kady (Asha's cousin), Ezra, Hanna, and Nik have barely escaped the attacks on Heimdall station. Now crammed with about 3.000 refugees on a container ship called Mao with no jump station nearby, their only option is to go back to Kerenza and utilize Magellan, BeiTech's secret jump station.

"There's a billion different versions of you out there, in a trillion different universes.
And I still can't get over how lucky I am that, out of all those versions, you're the one that's mine."

Oh boy. I needed some time to process everything I had just read (again). Obsidio was an epic finale. A legend. An everything-you-could-hope-for closure. I don't think I could ever shut up about how it took my breath away.

For a starter, I loved how all the gangs were here, how each of the characters held different values and proceeded to develop various vital roles. While I was eager to discover their potential, I was glad that each of them was given a realistic limit. It reminded me that they were still teenagers trapped in a life-and-death situation. And through the chat transcripts, illustrations, video camera analyses, and other unique formats this book provided, we could easily point out how the characters were still growing up, and how hard it was for them to be seriously considered when they were younger than most of the refugees.

While the characters were amusing, genius, and all in all solid, the plot was a flabbergasting ride on an unstable outer spaceship. Some parts gave me the fright and my brain went "aaaaa" in an instant, while some parts, it seemed, consisted of the same formula as Illumae and Gemina, and so they lacked the element of surprises. It goes without saying that some twists could be predicted easily, but no matter what, I still enjoyed them regardless.

And now, a paragraph dedicated to our love-and-hate relationship with AIDAN. How could a chapter about Artificial Intelligence (AI) make me shed tears was beyond me, but at this point, we all knew that AIDAN was more than just an AI. AIDAN felt more like a friend that we needed even when we knew how dangerous they could be. AIDAN was so dramatic at times and I loved the whole idea of an AI being morally grey.

In conclusion, Malikov may have stolen my heart in this one, but let me say that I basically loved all the characters equally. If the story was a freaking prodigy, then Obsidio was THE ending. It perfectly closed the saga. I would definitely recommend this brilliant trilogy to everyone I know and don't.

Actual rating: 5