RogerBW's Blog

Obsidio, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 11 September 2021

2018 YA science fiction, last of its trilogy. When Kerenza IV was invaded, some of the inhabitants escaped; a few survived on the surface. Now the escapees' only option is to come back, but the invaders are still there…

Though this is, as before, very much a story about people rather than big plots. Yes, there are evil corporates on their battleship in orbit; but the evil corporates we meet are the grunt troopers trying to keep order on the planet, unenthusiastic soldiers (and you've seen Aliens so you know what space soldiers are like) having to come to terms with the amount of straightforward murdering they've already done and what they'll have to do in future. (It seems almost excessive to complain that sergeants are addressed as "sir" and don't object to it; the authors clearly don't care about that kind of detail. But I'd have thought they'd have copied their sources more accurately.)

There are new characters, but the principals from earlier volumes are very visible here, and while a reader starting with this book wouldn't be lost they'd miss the history and emotional resonance from earlier. Knowing AIDAN's history, for example, will make people's objections to its actions seem a bit more reasonable and less prejudiced.

There's lots of dying, but important people tend to survive. There's lots of relationship drama, but the way in which it's put aside for later (after all, there's a war to fight) not only makes sense but encourages me to think well of the characters. The same sort of fake-out is used twice, which while plausible I found slightly disappointing.

This is still told in found documents; there's less of the wild format variation of the earlier books, though my Kobo still struggled at times. There are a few sketched comics, and a notice board with a hidden message on it, and other plausible-seeming records.

It is more of the thing as before: not terribly original plots and not much science in this science fiction, but it concludes these people's stories in a satisfying way.

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Previous in series: Gemina | Series: The Illuminae Files

  1. Posted by John P at 03:10pm on 11 September 2021

    Have you tried Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton? It's not one of his huge space opera epics, just a single volume.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 10:42am on 12 September 2021

    I have. It is the only Hamilton I have read. I did not get on with it, I'm afraid.

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