Gemina and Obsidio Mini Reviews

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

obsidio by amy kaufman and jay kristoff book
Picture taken by me

Obsidio and Gemina are the last two books in the Illuminae Files series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. These books were both amazing, though not as great as the first Illuminae book in my opinion. I think what I really missed fromthe first book was the killer infected people. I found them absolutely terriffying. Also, AIDAN (the artificial intelligence in charge of the ships in the first book) was still super creepy in these last two books, but its abilities were diminished and he/it became a bit predictable.

Every story needs its hero. And its villain. And its monster.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina had the mind-sucking alien like creatures which were interesting. Here we were introduced to Hanna, the daughter of the man in charge of Jump Station Heimdall, and to Nik, her drug dealer. These two end up holding the fate of the whole universe in their hands after a wormhole malfunction. Hanna became one of my favorite characters, because she could be a badass and look good doing it at the same time. I also loved Nik’s little cousin Ella, she was hilarious.

Live a life worth dying for.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio was about bringing the whole story together. I liked seeing all the main characters working for the same team and fighting for their survival on the last book. We are also introduced to the last two characters: Asha and Rhys. What I really liked about Asha was that she was just a regular person, she didn’t have super computer abilities like Kady, or crazy fighting skills like Hanna, but she still managed to make a difference.

Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

These last two books were fast paced, but there was enough character development to make me fall in love with all the characters and become invested in their survival. The story dealt with the possibility that not everything is black or white, and the plot was full of gray areas. The “bad guys” thought they were doing the right thing. The “good guys” were forced to cross lines they would otherwise never cross before. I would recommend this whole series to everyone. Before Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman’s books I was never a big fan of space settings, but they made me change my mind.

Illuminae Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Illuminae book by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My Bookstagram

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

aidan

I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m struggling to put them all into coherent sentences. First, let’s start with the formatting. I struggled with it at first, but once I got used to it it read like any other book. I actually thought this book was an amazing work of art. It is comprised of emails, messages, descriptions of camera footage, audio recordings, pictures, and many other types of files.

You’re a speck of animated carbon and water with about seven centimeters of ballistics-grade ceramic between you and absolutely nothing. Ninety three billion light years of *ing nothing. No up. No down. No sky. No ground. Just endless dark shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species stacked end to end. You want to feel small? Spend sixty seconds in a Cyclone’s cockpit…look out at nothing and feel it looking back. Then you know exactly how much you add up to.”

Ezra

The story is mostly set in space, which was described really well in my opinion (see quote above). Other than describing the inside and outside of the ships in perfect poetic detail, there was not much more world building to be done. We also get some maps of the ships as a reference. The main characters were adequately described, but I could have done with a bit more detail. The dialogue was where this book excelled, which is a very good thing since it was mostly dialogue. Conversations were full of humor and sarcasm in the midst of chaos, and they read like an action packed movie. I could almost hear the characters catching their breath as they talked, whispering, and shouting or screaming. It was very well done.

Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”

aiden

The romance aspect of the book was great, and it did not take over the whole plot. I loved Kady and Ezra and I was rooting for them the whole time. They fought like a real couple, they compromised over their differences, and overall their relationship was very realistic. Emotions were described in such great detail that everything they could feel I also could. Their fear gave me chills, and their grief was so real it almost made me cry at times, but I don’t cry easily.

Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us.”

kady

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect and having no idea about what the plot really entailed, and I think that was the way to go. Many of the events caught me by surprise, and it was very refreshing to read something so different from the other stories I usually read. This book has definitely made me want more SCI-FI in my life, and I will be reading the second and third installments as soon as I can. I would recommend this series to everyone. Read it! I really don’t know why I waited so long.

The universe owes you nothing…it has already given you everything. After all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.”

aidan

Five Star Reads

We’re half-way through the year already, so I thought I would summarize all the five star reads I’ve had up to now. I’ve either been very generous this year with my ratings, or I’ve just been reading a lot of fantastic books. I’ve read a total of eleven five star books this year. For me these are books that I’ve absolutely loved and I would re-read them again. Also, these tend to become my auto-buy authors, and I will buy anything they write forever and ever.

Fairest Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer
Picture from Goodreads

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

I loved the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and this was Queen Levana’s story. I haven’t read many stories from the villain’s point of view, and this was a very interesting read. In reality I just really missed this world and even a small mention of the main characters made me happy. I enjoyed finding out exactly what happened to Cinder and Snow when they were children at the hands of Queen Levana. I liked reading about the events that made her into the evil Queen. After reading this novella I had to go and reread the whole series of course. I’m planning to write a full review on the whole Lunar Chronicles soon.

The Space between time by Charlie laidlaw
Picture from Goodreads

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

This story was profoundly real. It delves into hard topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide, while also throwing some humor into the mix. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about the human condition and what it means to be alive. Read my full review here.

A very large expanse of the sea by tahereh mafi
Picture from Goodreads

A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi

I love Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and this stand alone totally unrelated book was amazing as well. The characters felt so real. It had a diary kind of feel to it that kept me glued to the pages wanting to find out what was next. You can read my full review here.

The red scrolls of magic by Cassandra clare, shadowhunters, the eldest curses
Picture from Goodreads

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare

I had been looking forward to The Red Scrolls of Magic for almost a year. One of my favorite characters from her other Shadowhunter books is Magnus Bane, and when I saw the book was mostly about him I was super excited. On the other hand, one of my least favorite characters is Alexander Lightwood, but this book was exactly what I needed in order to understand his personality more. You can read my full review here.

A curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer
Picture from Goodreads

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I found the plot to be fast paced and gripping, but without feeling too rushed. I’ve read a lot of fairy tale retellings, and this one was different enough to be entertaining yet it still kept many of the familiar concepts I associate with Beauty and the Beast. It included the beast (of course), a girl taken against her will, and an enchanted castle. I also thought the romance aspect of the story was very realistic, especially the fact that at a young age it’s hard to identify what love feels like. You can read the rest of my review here.

Sky in the deep by Adrienne young
Picture from Goodreads

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The women in this book are strong, and many of them are leaders. The men worship their women, and fight to protect their people. I liked that both sexes are seen as warriors and providers. I heard her next book The Girl the Sea Gave Back is in part about him. I recently got approved to read it on Netgalley and I cannot wait to get started. I loved everything about this book, and I will definitely be reading anything else she writes. Come read the rest of my review here.

shadow of the fox by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa

This was my first audio book. I never thought I would get into audio books but I really needed something productive to do while on the way to and from work, and I thought listening to an audio book was a great idea. I liked the fact that Yumeko and Tatsumi were voiced by a female and a male respectively. They each changed their voices when another character was involved, and I thought it was well done. I did have the e-book as well, and that was nice to have for any down time, and to check the correct spelling of names and places. It also had a handy glossary at the end. The story, the characters, and the scenery were described in great detail, and at the time I could not wait for the second book. You can read the rest of my review here.

soul of the sword by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa

**Some spoilers for Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series**

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing. Read the rest of my review here.

catwoman soulstealer by sarah j maas
Picture from Goodreads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Catwoman: Soulstealer was written by Sarah J. Maas, and the audio book was narrated by Julia Whelan. I read it in my down time, and listened to it on my work commute, as well as in the shower and while doing house-work. Honestly, I found myself looking for any possible excuse to listen to this book. This narrator was the best I’ve heard yet, she did all the male and female voices perfectly and even did their accents. Read my full review here.

the wicked king by holly black
Picture from Goodreads

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black

In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects. The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter. The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever. Read my full review here.

crooked kingdom by leigh bardugo
Picture from Goodreads

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I loved this band of misfits. This was a super fast paced book packed with action, even more so than the first book in the series. If you love stories with a good heist in them, then this is the book for you. It is told from six different points of views, but Leigh Bardugo does it seamlessly so that it never becomes an issue. Each character is unique and fleshed out, even if their names weren’t at the top of each chapter, you could still probably tell who was narrating every time. Come read my full review here.

What were some of your five star reads this year?

Call It What You Want

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a Contemporary/ YA novel involving two teenagers Rob and Meagan. Rob is living with the consequences of his dad’s actions, while Meagan is dealing with the repercussions of her own mistakes and those of her sister Sam.

People love finding the weak link that makes them feel superior.”

Sam

I usually try to avoid Contemporary, because good Contemporary fiction always ends up making me cry. But Kemmerer wrote this one so I just had to read it. Kemmerer paints such a vivid picture of what it’s like to a be a High Schooler that it brought back all my horrible High School memories. I hated High School. Emotions are so real in this story, and by real I mean not described in flowery detail, but in basic and deeply relatable terms.

My life has collapsed to the point where a ninety-nine-cent cup of coffee with a stranger is meaningful”

Rob

Another thing I liked about this story was Kemmerer’s inclusion of other books I love, like An Ember in the Ashes and Harry Potter. Call It What You Want is the only book that has ever made me add another book to my “to be read” list. She kept mentioning all these books I love, so when she mentioned Winner’s Curse I had to add it.

One choice doesn’t determine your whole future.”

Sam

I appreciate authors who can branch out into other genres and still write amazing stories. I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely by her, which was Fantasy/ YA, and Call It What You Want definitely lived up to all my expectations as well. I would recommend this book to all Contemporary/ YA fans. This book delves into hard topics such as suicide, underage drinking, and abortion, amongst others. Overall, the main lesson I took from this story was that everyone is fighting their own battles and not everything is black and white. Real people live in the gray areas.

Sometimes when we’re trying to protect the people closest to us, doing the right thing doesn’t always look so clear.”

Maegan’s dad

This book released today June 25th. I hope you guys have time to check it out.

Many thanks to Bloomsburry and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This Savage Song

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Picture from Goodreads

Author: V.E. Schwab

Published: July 5, 2016

Series: Monsters of Verity, #1

Synopsis:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

That’s life…it doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human, living hurts.”

August

This was a very unique world in which music played a big part. Monsters called Sunai could steal a person’s soul by singing or playing music. Music was also used as an escape by both the main characters; though I found myself identifying more with August’s taste in classical music, rather than Kate’s loud rock music.

The characters were very well fleshed out. I thought Kate was a strong female character who was willing to do anything to seek her father’s approval. August was sweet and likeable, but also did not let Kate push him around. I also liked the fact that there was no “instalove” in this story, and that their relationship did not take over the whole plot.

The plot was very action packed from the beginning. The characters were plunged from one predicament to the other with barely any breathing room in between. The only reason I took one star was because the ending was too perfect for me, and there was very little explanation as to what happened. But you will just have to read for yourself.

Overall, I would recommend this book to all fans of YA/Fantasy, and to anyone interested in dystopian novels and how people react at the end of the world.

Five Books I DNF

I don’t know why, but in the past few months I have either read spectacular five star books, or really bad ones I cannot bring myself to finish. I hope the five star trend continues, but the bad books need to stop. Hopefully now that I have more like-minded reader friends on Goodreads I won’t stray into bad books as often.

Picture from Goodreads

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

I found this book so boring. The story had a lot of potential but it really just fell flat. What a shame, because look at that gorgeous cover.

Picture from Goodreads

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

This one that I’ve put on my “Second chance” shelf on Goodreads, I might try to read it one day. What really bothered me about it was the language they were using for the time period, and honestly it was a bit predictable for a mystery. But I have heard the other books in the series are good.

Picture from Goodreads

Envy by J.R. Ward

I enjoyed the first two books in this series. But the slang got a bit annoying in this one and I had to stop reading it. Frankly I was no longer as invested in the series as I was before and did not see a point in continuing.

Picture from Goodreads

The Darkest Star (Origin, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I could not stand the main female character Evie. She was annoying, while also trying to give off this tough attitude but then not standing up for herself when she needed to. She let this guy Luke walk all over her. It could have also been the narrator’s voice in the audio book. Either way, I have learned my lesson and I will sample audio books before I check them out of the Library app, and obviously before I buy them.

Picture from Goodreads

Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

I loved Taylor’s other books, but I could not get into this one. I am not sure if I have trouble with goblins being the villains, but this book was too weird for me. I am now staying away from goblin books, since I also DNF Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Maybe it’s Harry Potter syndrome, but I just can’t look at goblins as villains, to me they’re just creepy.

What are some books you absolutely could not finish?