Thursday, April 12, 2018

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik are back with new seemingly insurmountable problems including fitting thousands of people into one way over capacity ship, the Mao, with few resources. They plan to return to Kerenza, but who knows what's happening there after the Beitech invasion seven months ago. Their friends and family may not even be alive anymore. The reality isn't that bad, but the remaining civilians are either enslaved to mine fuel for Beitech or imprisoned and threatened to help the miners work faster. Kady's cousin Asha survived and joined the resistance because she sees that they will all die when the mining is done. Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend Rhys is working for Beitech and threatens her work unless she can manipulate or convince him to help her save lives. All of them have mounting problems and a corrupt, genocidal corporation to face.

Obsidio has a lot of expectations because of how good the first two books were and fulfills them all. All three books are very different, but each has relatable characters, crazy plot twists, and awesome action sequences. Obsidio has the largest cast of them all and the plot follows each of them fairly evenly, making sure we know what's going on with old favorites and meeting and getting to know the new ones. Nik, Ezra, Kady, and Hanna are all trying to process what has happened to them and how to fix these new problems. All have loved ones die and get small moments to mourn them in the middle of all of this. These moments are so realistic when wanting to see or talk to them, feeling the loss, and recognizing the new normal. In such an action packed series, these moments bring in emotions and human experience on a smaller scale. With the new characters, Asha has made a lot of mistakes and tries as hard as she can to atone. She doesn't have any crazy abilities, but she tries her best to do what's right even with such harsh opposition. Rhys goes through a huge transformation when he finally see what Asha is truly fighting against. I grew to like these characters just as much as all the others.

The minor characters also play an important role in this book. People are fighting for control on the Mao for the greater good. When crisis after crisis happens and people die under the current rule, others see weakness in the young people who have gotten them as far as they have and opportunity to overthrow to make everything better. In reality, it only serves to divide what should be unified and causes even more deaths in the long run. Their hearts are in the right place, but their actions are terrible. On the enemy side, those like Rhys are seen, people that have no love for Beitech but joined the military, those with larger dreams, and those that are following orders to survive and justifying the atrocities they commit to cope. Hard deaths are felt on all sides and even when the good guys win, good people still die because the enemy isn't monolithicly evil. On the other hand, the chain of command in Beitech is filled with corruption. Complaints about sexual assaults or unlawful deaths are thrown out and never seen by anyone higher than the planetside commanding officer and only lead to the whistleblower being punished.

Obsidio is such a good book. I read it in two days, which is saying a lot with my current schedule. It has many hard hitting moments that made me cry, exciting moments that had me on the edge of my chair, and humorous scenes to give some relief from the emotion and tension. The book is so expertly crafted with transcriptions of video, maps, digital messages, and numerous other media. I have no real criticism of this book because even with so many plot lines and characters, everything is clear and well plotted to cover each setting and character. I love how even minor characters are made important in a book where it would be easy to fade minor characters into the background. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are working on a new series in the same universe that I can't wait to read. I will read anything this duo comes out with.

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

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