Obsidio by Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff (Book Review)

Publisher: Knopf Books
Page Count
: 615

I may not always be up to date with all the latest book releases, but I really was looking forward to the finale to the Illuminae Files. I previously reviewed Illuminae (review here) and Gemina (review here) on the blog and even though I really struggle with talking about sequels, I could not pass up the chance to rave a little about this one. While there won’t be any spoilers for Obsidio, I do think it’s better if you have read the previous books in the series before continuing on.

I should probably start by saying that I was not one of the many people who hyped Illuminae. I enjoyed reading it, but it was really only during Gemina that I came fully on board with this series. Obviously the format is a lot of fun and the characters definitely grow on you over time, which makes Obsidio such an enjoyable conclusion to it all. Whereas the previous books mostly focused on one couple during the story and only lent cameo roles to the others, Obsidio truly brings it all together. In my opinion, it took away the spotlight from Asha and Rhys a little bit, but not enough to really make me mind since I was already invested in what the other characters were up to.

What I enjoyed most about reading Obsidio was the fact that you really get answers for all your questions. It adds another layer of depth to the characters (AIDAN is still my fave and I won’t back down on that – I have a soft spot for AIs), provides a lot of action, gives you the necessary conclusion, but still doesn’t close the door on this universe forever. It really was a wild roller coaster to read this book and I devoured it in one day, but sometimes I almost wished the stakes were higher or that the consequences were more devastating and lasting. That’s not to say that you won’t have a wide array of emotions coming your way while reading, but that tiny evil voice in the back of my mind just maybe expected even more cruelty (at least targeted towards the main characters). But if I ignore that tiny detail, and that’s really all it is, then it ended absolutely beautifully. I love when my series end as if they were tied up with a neat little bow, making sure I won’t have to worry about the people in it, even if I will always love reading more about their lives.

I realise this is a super short review, but books like this are always best experienced first hand. Just get ready for some hard hitting moral questions and a final adventure that really does the Illuminae Files justice.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A very satisfying conclusion to the Illuminae Files!

Have you read Obsidio or other books in the series? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts?

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (Book Review)

Publisher: MCD Fsg Original
Page Count
: 200

Once again, I have turned to Twitter to help me make a decision and once again the result was a tie (Why do you keep doing this to me?). So, I have made the decision to review the first book, Annihilation, of the Southern Reach trilogy and that I will do another post for the movie and the remaining books. I still haven’t watched it yet, just because I have heard that there are some parts of the other books in it, even if it is supposed to only be about the first one and I don’t want to be spoiled. But for those of you who wanted a big post about everything concerning this series, you will still get it when I am done reading and watching.

I went into this book with fairly low expectations, which probably helped me incredibly in getting completely sucked into the world. I can see how the writing might not be for everyone, as it is very factual and without many embellishments. I would even go so far as to call it cold and distant, but considering the setting we were in, I kind of appreciated that scientific detachment. In a way, it added a layer of realism to it more than a flowery language ever could.

You never find out the names of any of the people involved, our MC is simply called the biologist. She wants you to think that she is objective when she details what happened in Area X, but it is very clear that she had an agenda of her own when she got there. Some part of me never quite liked the biologist, but at the same time I could relate to her on so many levels. I understood her need for solitude and I share the same ability of completely getting lost in my work. And I might not be identical to her when it comes to friends and family, but I still sort of got her behaviour.

Despite everything this book is, I didn’t expect to also find a heartbreaking love story in it, but all the bits about the biologist and her husband gave me exactly that. I am not saying those parts were my favourite … but they kind of were. It was so much about letting people in, knowing them in ways no one else does and about how everyone needs something different from a relationship.

“I loved him, but I didn’t need him, and I thought that was the way it was supposed to be.”

Should you ever pick up this book, I hope you don’t expect to find answers in it. It is an enigma until the very end. It probably leaves you with more questions than you started out, but there is beauty in its mystery. I am very much looking forward to what the next books have in store for me, but I also have a feeling that we, as the readers, will never get that full picture of everything. Still, it is so very imaginative and chilling! I know I probably should have been scared (seen as this is a sort of Horror SciFi book? And I hate horror?) but I was weirdly fascinated instead. I am also very curious to see how that all translated to the screen, even though I already know that they changed quite a bit (and made it look scarier from what I could tell from the trailer).

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A promising start to the trilogy.

Did you read the book? Did you watch the movie? Let’s talk!

Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Book Review)

gold‘I’m still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.’
Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind’s last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.
In
Red Rising, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It’s a journey that will take him further than he’s ever been before – but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Page Count: 442

I would recommend that you don’t read this review if you haven’t read the first part in the trilogy, Red Rising, yet (You can read my review of it here!). I will try my best not to spoil anything in terms of content for Golden Son, but I am going to mention characters from the previous book and that might give something away.

I guess the short version of this review is that I feel like I just got stabbed in the back and in the heart at the same time, but that’s not much of a review, is it? But where do I even begin?

I wasn’t exactly sure where the story would continue after Red Rising, but we pick up years later with Darrow almost finishing his time at the Academy and it makes sense. It doesn’t feel like the years in between are missing at all, yet you do notice that the world of the Golds has changed Darrow. After the first book, you know what kind of life he has to lead: constantly scared of betrayal, keeping everyone at arms-length while needing their support and talent … it’s a lonely life. And this change I mentioned, the decisions he has to make, are more complicated now with even more severe consequences. But this book isn’t as much about Darrow’s rise as a hero as it was in Red Rising, instead it is about politics and media, about loyalties and betrayals and finally also truth. There are so many twists and turns, basically nothing ever goes as planned and friendships are tested to their breaking point. The final betrayal stung the most to me, even though for once I saw it coming. Still not over the cliffhanger though …

In my opinion, Golden Son was sometimes a little bit more difficult to follow, because of the complex nature of the universe it is set in. There are family names and bloods feuds to be remembered and maneuvers to be planned – it gets tricky, but it pays off in every possible way! I especially enjoyed the use of media and how it can manipulate the public into believing certain things. We saw a few glimpses of that in Red Rising, but it slowly gets amplified in this sequel. I hope to see even more of it in Morning Star, a book I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on even though I am seriously scared what it has in store. (Publishing Date for Morning Star is February 9th, 2016!!!)

In the end, I just love how these books make me feel! My whole body tenses up, my heart gets broken, adrenaline rushes through my veins, I am on the verge of tears and even though I should know better I still put my silly faith in the characters I like. Darrow’s world is a complex one, a world that may seem far away from ours, yet it mirrors so many aspects of our society. The change of the hierarchy of Colors he wants to achieve demands answers to questions I don’t know how to respond to, but it gets me thinking. It makes me want to find a solution and that is what makes this book so good!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! If this series gets any better, I will suffer from a heart attack!!!

5stars

Are you a fan of the Red Rising series? Have you read Golden Son? Are your feels as crushed as mine?

A Thousand Pieces of You Book Review

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is the first installment in the Firebird Trilogy. Even though I’ve already read it at the beginning of this year, I haven’t written a review yet, so here we go! Please beware of Spoilers!

A Thousand Pieces of You is about a girl called Margeruite (or just Meg), whose parents have invented something extraordinary that’s called a Firebird. The device allows you to travel to parallel worlds, but before the final test of the device, Meg’s father gets murdered by his assistant Paul and she is hell-bent on revenging his death. To do so, she and Theo have to follow Paul into the unknown parallel universes that are out there.

I really enjoyed reading A Thousand Pieces of You, but it was a bit different from what I expected. I thought it would be an action-packed read with several jumps from one universe to the next, but that wasn’t really the case. Meg is pretty quick to doubt Paul’s hand in her father’s murder and in fact we only visit 4 parallel worlds. That doesn’t mean it’s really a bad thing, just that it was an unexpected change in pace. However, there were some exciting twists and surprises and maybe it was necessary to spend so much time in one world in order to really show the Paul-Meg-connection. I have to give it to Claudia Gray though for striking a great balance with creating the different worlds.  There’s a futuristic, a very imperial-like and more familiar worlds and she managed to make them believable, reasonable yet still with that element that only comes with experiencing something new.

The love triangle worked quite well for me too, although I felt a little frustrated with Paul’s hesitation after the happenings in Russia. Nonetheless, I love his connection with Meg and how it resonated in every universe they went to. I mean that’s the real kind of love – the one that survives through time and space! No matter how charming he is, Theo never stood a chance against that.

Last but not least, I fell in love with the cover right away! I’m such a sucker for pretty covers and A Thousand Pieces of You has definitely one of the most stunning ones out there! Luckily, they continued with this style and the sequel, Ten Thousand Skies Above, looks just as beautiful. I cannot wait for its release this fall (I believe it to be around November 3)!

Fazit: very romantic read that portrays a real connection/not a revenge-story

So, would you be interested in reading this book as well?

P.S.: I found this song (Your Soul by RHODES) and thought it fitted the story perfectly. Therefore, I suggested it to Claudia Gray on Twitter and she replied that she loved it and added it to her book soundtrack! No idea if she really did that, but wouldn’t that be cool?