book reviews, spoiler free

Obsido Review

As with the review for Gemina I will do my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible but there will more than likely be things like the mentioning of characters names etc that would be classed as spoilers for the first two books in this trilogy, Illuminae and Gemina. You have been warned, read at your own peril.

24909347Obsidio by  Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 13th 2018 by Rock the Boat 

“But imagine what life would be like if it only gave us what we asked for? Wouldn’t that be grand?”

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 needed a day or two break after finishing Gemina but dove right back into the Illuminae files trilogy with the last installment Obsidio. This being the final installment I had some concerns about how it would end and where it would leave my beloved characters. I was also worried about it not making an impact at all. The first two books had kept me on the edge of my seat with a very similar structure to each of the, both have quite big ‘fake outs’ as I would describe them and it worked well but I was one hundred percent I didn’t want that for this book. One of the biggest draws emotionally for me and final installments is that all bets are off, characters can die, things can go horribly wrong and so much more. It took me a lot longer to read this mostly because of that worry, a case of Schodingers Cat but with the ending of a book. If I don’t read the end then there are all these possibilities of things that could still happen but once I’ve actually read it then that’s the way the story ends no matter what. I was really worried I wouldn’t like it. Relatively good news though, Obsido may be my least favorite of the three if I was forced to choose but there are so many great moments and characters here.

Just like with Gemina I wasn’t overly keen on the new characters. Kady’s cousin Asha and her ex boyfriend Rhys. I warmed to them a little but nowhere near to the level of adoration I have for Kady, Ezra, Hana and Nik (also Ella and yes…even AIDAN) but this isn’t because they’re bad characters or badly written but more because they have to share narrative time with a lot of other stuff in this book. Kady and Ez were lucky and got pretty much a whole book to themselves, Nik and Hana got a good chunk of Gemina to themselves too but Asha and Rhys had to share so much more and as a result I don’t feel as much for them as the others. I often found myself wishing we were back on the Mao because that’s where everything felt more interesting.

Although I didn’t bond as well with the new characters, my love for some of the ‘older’ characters was solidified. The chemistry between the main four couples, Ella and even Issac grant are one of the best things about this book. I would happily read books and books of these guys, they make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me want to be better. We got a lot more insight into these characters and more, there are some absolutely great scenes that I’m so very glad we got and are some of my favorite in the series as well as some of my favorite lines. I cried a good couple of times and at one point I laughed so hard I choked on the biscuits I was nervously demolishing. I have so many feels about this book.

One important thing that I was glad was addressed in this book was a reminder of the fact that these characters are still just young themselves, Ella for example with all she’s been through is still only fifteen but they do no let their age dictate what they can and cannot do and this is the first time when there have been adults who really see them as nothing more than children and won’t even let them have a chance to prove them wrong. It makes my blood boil as I’ve been over looked so much in the past because I was young, because I was a girl/woman, because I didn’t have nice clothes or a fancy job so this resonates with me so much and really brought an extra dimension to it for me. My favorite part about this under lying theme though? When shit hits the fan they all day what they have always done and just got on with things. The adults in this series fall at the hurdles but these clever young people maneuver around them and help each other over them, no questions asked, no thanks given and without complaining. The way the world is today I’m starting to see more and more these kind of young people in our lives and how important it is that they are given voices and not over looked and I’m so pleased that was something that was touched on in this book.

This is a hard book to review while avoiding spoilers so I will most certainly be filming a spoiler filled book talk about all of these books in the super near future but I did want to say that I enjoyed the ending more than I though I would. It irked me a little in places as I closed the book but after a couple of days of reflection (which is why this review took a little longer to get out then the previous two) I realised that I did like the ending and that it felt right to end how it did which is the best I can say about a series I never wanted to end.

The acknowledgments were as grisly and awesome as always but it also announced that Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman would be working on another series together! The Andromeda Cycle coming out next year and according to Jay includes “hot space elves” and I am already so ready for this! Not to mention Lifel1k3 coming out in July also by Mr Kristoff. To finish off I gave this book an obvious five star rating, I toyed with a 4/5 but decided in the end it was more than deserving of the full five. If you haven’t check this trilogy out yet I highly recommend you do so, I’ve downloaded the audio books and know that I’ll be giving them a listen soon as I’m sure as hell not ready to fully let go of the Illuminae group just yet.

book reviews, spoiler free

Star Wars: Phasma – Review

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Star Wars: Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by: January LaVoy

Rating: XXXX

Published: September 1st 2017 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. (Also available in hardback and paperback, this review however is for the audio book but most points will also apply to the written text as well.)

“That’s the problem with following all the rules—somebody else is eventually going to get ahead by breaking them, and then where will you be?”

One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.

Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armoured stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.

What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.

I wish I had found this book sooner. This was my first real foray into the world of Star Wars books and I wasn’t sure what to expect. For years and years I’d seen all the different books and comics mounting up about one of my favourite film franchises and I did read a good few of the comics when I was much younger but there seemed to be so many books I had no idea where to start. In April 2014 the expanded universe became non cannon and gave way to a new set of novels and comics which I kept meaning to get back to and last year while waiting impatiently for “The Last Jedi” to release I had a spare audible credit and after seeing it crop up on social media and in my local bookstore I decided to spend it on Phasma. I was not disappointed.

If you’ve ever heard a Star Wars Audio Book before you’ll know how immersive they can be, they feature sound affects and music along with the narration and I was shocked at how much difference those details really make. As soon as I listened to a sample of this and heard ships firing, doors opening and closing, droids beeping and the background noise aboard “The Absolution” I knew this Audio book experience would be a completely new one for me and I couldn’t get enough. I’ve since brought other Star Wars audio books, much preferring to listen to them because of these extra details, each month I get a new audible credit means I get a new Star Wars books at the moment.

The plot in Phasma is two fold, we have the present plot of Vi Mordai, the captured rebellion spy being interrogated and the story she tells of Phasma’s past. I was worried switching between these two plots would be annoying but somehow it works and the interrogation frames Phasma’s story well as they weave together quite organically,  although I’m not sure either story could completely hold it’s own (Phasma’s story comes fairly close) they support each other and makes the plot feel whole as the plots merge together in a way that is only partially satisfying. I wasn’t sure how I wanted this to end but it was only partially the way it did, something felt missing but as it was a precursor novel to “The Last Jedi” I feel I should have expected that. (Don’t get me started on Phasma’s story in TLJ though…) On the whole though I enjoyed both plot lines and the separate feels each had to them.

Before this book was released the way the story would be told was a cause for debate, would this just be a current story about Phasma or would we really get inside that Chrome helmet at last and see her inner workings. What we ended up with was a mixed result but that kind of works. I was expecting to get a back story from her point of view and we’d find out that she was misunderstood or there was a part of her to feel for but neither parts of this book are told from Phasma’s point of view and that just makes her feel more formidable and somehow even more of a mystery despite learning how she got to be where she is today. I’m surprisingly okay with this as it is kind of refreshing to find a villainous character today who is pretty much completely villainous. We do however find some possible redemption of a First Order character here with Cardinal, the high ranking storm trooper interrogating Vi and the trainer and mentor of the young children set to become storm troopers themselves.

The setting of Phasma’s story is her planet of origin, Parnassos and I feel like the planet was almost a character all of it’s own with a threatening presence to match Phasma herself and so many stories to tell about it’s past shown to us by the different trials our characters go through along the way giving the whole planet a very dangerous feel. As for our more humanoid characters I enjoyed meeting our current General (Armitage) Hux’s father Brendol and I’m honestly not sure if he’s better or worse than his son because they’re both such weasels. Other’s from Phasma’s clan join her journey across this deadly planet and a few of them are slightly memorable, Siv being the most developed as the story is from her point of view. Siv is a very likeable character, she does what she needs to do for her people and is brave and compassionate if not the most original character.

I think if I had just read this book I might have only given it XXX as it is an enjoyable book but nothing completely blew me away and I have a hard time imagining liking it as much without the added atmospheric sound effects etc. Nether the less I’m glad I read it and it’s certainly opened me up to reading (and listening to) more of the Star Wars books which can only be a good thing.

You can buy Star Wars: Phasma in print here with free shipping, or here on, (you can listen to a sample too!) If you’ve never signed up before your first audio book is free! You can also add it to your goodreads here. 

Don’t forget I’ll be posting Star Wars content all week! Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Bloodline by Claudia Gray.