Review: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Title – Obsidio
Series – The Illuminae Files #3
Authors – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 615 pages
Publication Date – March 14th 2018 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN – 9781925266726
My Rating – ★★★★★/5

“Asha Grant came to Karenza to escape her past. Too bad he just caught up with her.”

Asha is one of the survivors from BeiTech’s attack on Karenza and now she’s part of the resistance. The last thing Asha thought she’d have to worry about was her ex-boyfriend. But Rhys Lindstrom just landed on Karenza, and he’s looking better than ever. Even though he’s in a BeiTech uniform…

Asha isn’t the only one who’s got problems. Her cousin, Kady and the other survivors are heading towards Karenza – and they don’t have enough oxygen to get there alive. BeiTech are hurrying to fix their damaged jump gate, which will mean killing anyone alive on Karenza before they leave.

I received a copy of Obsidio from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. This is the final book in The Illuminae Files. You can click the links for my reviews of Illuminae and GeminaDWbW7vcU0AUzyya

I loved the first two books in this trilogy. The story has been edge of your seat insane and I love how the story is told through surveillance videos, IM’s and illustrations. Obsidio was one of my most anticipated books this year and it deserved all the stars!

I was definitely expecting death in this one. I mean, why wouldn’t I after what AIDAN did in Illuminae and Gemina? And I didn’t want to get my hopes up that everyone that I liked would survive because I felt like I’d just be setting myself up for heartbreak. But that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I love Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik and Ella. It didn’t take me long to add Asha to that list but I wasn’t sure what to think of Rhys. Not just because he was in a BeiTech uniform but I was hoping he’d end up on the right side.

There were so many time while reading Obsidio that I thought people were dead. I can only remember one part where I knew some of the characters weren’t dead even though people thought they were. I’m not going to say who because I don’t want to spoil anything.

I loved the ending of Obsidio! The part where Kady, Ezra and Nik were talking about Leanne made me laugh out loud. And that final tribunal scene was hilarious! But I did enjoy the tribunal scenes in Illuminae and Gemina too.

Oh my god – the identity of the person doing the surveillance footage was revealed in this. How did I not see that coming? It’s so freaking obvious now! They were one of my favourite parts of all three books.

And then there’s AIDAN… What can I say about AIDAN? Well he didn’t disappoint. Even though he killed all those people I still missed AIDAN. Is that weird?

If you haven’t read The Illuminae Files you’re totally missing out! There’s zombies, disgusting giant worm things that always make me cringe when I read about them and a psychotic AI who kills people. Seriously, what’s not to love? This trilogy has made me actually laugh out loud in every books. I love the story, the characters, the sarcasm and Marie Lu’s illustrations. I gave every book five stars. I can’t wait to see what Kaufman and Kristoff come up with next!

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

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February Book Haul.

Watercolor flower wreath background for beautiful design

I thought it was about time that I shared my February book haul. I know it’s a little late but better late than never I guess. DXZPYvrVQAAJQfO

So last month I got a total of 20 books. I bought ten and received ten to review.

I’d read three before but wanted different copies and out of the rest I only managed to read one last month.

I cannot believe how much my reading has slowed down since last year. But I am watching more TV at night now instead of reading so that might be why? But I like having a break from reading sometimes. I think I burnt myself out last year and three reading slumps were what came of it. Anyway, onto my book haul.

So the first book I got last month was Almost Midnight. I bought a copy of this randomly. 1I wasn’t looking for it. I do have a copy of one of the short stories in this book, Kindred Spirits, but haven’t actually read it yet.

This edition is really pretty in person, it had glitter all over the book. I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading it. Maybe if I fall behind in my reading challenge.

I’ve read a few of Rainbow Rowell’s books and I think my favourite out of the ones I’ve read might be Landline? But Fangirl is still on my TBR. I have a copy of that, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

The next book I also bought for myself. I actually sent money to my cousin in England to pick me up a copy of this because I loved the Waterstones edition and couldn’t find it on2 Book Depository. Well, I think it’s a Waterstones edition?

Anyway this is the first book in Philip Pullman’s new series. I have to confess that I’ve only read Northern Lights in the His Dark Materials trilogy but I really enjoyed it and I plan on continuing the trilogy at some point this year. Then I will pick up La Belle Sauvage.

This edition also has a daemon inside the cover. I think there were a few you could get but I can only remember three, the monkey, one that I think was Pan (??) and a cat. I got the cat. There are more photos of the book on my Instagram but I’m sure you could Google to see too.

I also finally got the Shadow and Bone trilogy last month. I’ve been wanting to read these 3for years but the library I used to go to didn’t have them and I never got around to getting myself a copy of them until now. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be reading them anytime soon. I’ve had books sitting unread on my shelves for years and yet I still buy more…

I do want to read at least the first book this year though. At least then I’ll know if I should get copies of the Six of Crows duology. I’ve been really tempted to just buy them now but I don’t even know if I’ll like this trilogy. Which is why I haven’t actually bought them even though the hardbacks are so pretty with their sprayed edges! I love these editions though and the box set even came with a map!

Another book I bought for myself. Well, this one is a graphic novel of a book. I loved 4Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy so when I saw this for only $3 I had to get it. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels. The last one I read was the Northern Lights edition. I don’t know if the other two books have graphic novels though…

I haven’t read this yet. I’m planning to read it if I fall behind on this years reading challenge on Goodreads because graphic novels are really fast reads. And I haven’t read this trilogy in years!

I also want to get this trilogy in hardback too because my copies are different sizes and it frustrates me. I like have a series be the same size.

The next book was sent to me from Walker Books Australia to review. I’ve heard really 5good things about Scythe and I cannot wait to read it. It’s actually on my March TBR but I don’t know when I’ll pick it up…

I can’t remember what this is about and I don’t want to assume things here because I’ll probably just be wrong so I’m not going to. Someone told me that it made her cry both times they read it. It takes a lot for a book. TV show or movie to make me cry. I think I cry more watching something than reading though but there have been books that have made me cry. I can’t remember what the last one was though. I just looked at my reading challenge on Goodreads and none of the books I’ve read this year have made me cry. So I guess I’ll see if this one does when I eventually pick it up.

The next two books were sent to my from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. Firstlife is the first book in a trilogy I think. I think it was something about you live your first life6 and then die and go on to the next one? Which is your actual life? Oh wow that is a crap summary but it’s been a while since I read the synopsis.

That ‘hot price’ on the cover really annoys me because I can’t take it off. Why do you do this to pretty books!!!

Anyway, Firstlife is on my March TBR too. I don’t have my TBR in an order of when I’ll read the books. I just pick up a book I’m in the mood for. I think I tried to have them in some kind of order once and it never worked. Looks like I’m a mood reader. Especially if it’s a contemporary. I have to be in the mood for one of them to read them.

HarperCollins NZ also sent me a copy of Zenith to review. I love sci-fi books but I haven’t 7been hearing good things about this and to be honest it’s kind of put me off a little bit. I mean, I’ll read it eventually because it’s a review book but I’m just not in the mood for it yet. I will say that my expectations have dropped though. I’m not going to go into it expecting to have the same opinion as everyone else but the things I’ve heard just aren’t making me excited to read it.

I do like the cover though and the story still sounds good. I kind of hope I like it but if it’s as bad as I’ve heard it is then I also don’t want to at the same time? I don’t know.

I bought the hardback edition of Illuminae last year when I saw it at a local store for $7. So obviously I had to have the other two in hardback. Gemina arrived last month and it is8 gorgeous! I love the Illuminae Files and can’t wait for my copy of Obsidio to arrive. It’s finally been shipped!!

I really want to re-read this trilogy but it’ll have to wait until later in the year or next year. I have too many review copies I need to read first.

If you haven’t read Illuminae and Gemina then I cannot recommend them enough. They’re so unique and amazing and Gemina has beautiful illustrations by Marie Lu too. I gave both books five stars and I’ve already read them twice. I actually re-read them when I heard Obsidio’s publication date had been pushed back.

Walker Books Australia sent me an ARC of Small Spaces to review. This is a debut novel (I 9think) and comes out in April. It’s also a YA thriller and I love thrillers so I’m hoping to pick it up soon.

I can’t remember what this is about. I do remember requesting it and I think I read a synopsis but I’m not sure. I think I read it last year… My memory is crap though.

I think this is also from an Australian author too. I don’t read many ‘local’ authors. I mean, Australia isn’t really local, I’m in New Zealand, but it’s not like Australia is that far away. And I know a couple of New Zealand authors that fall under the LoveOZYA category so I guess we share…

Allen and Unwin New Zealand surprised me last month and sent me a copy of Obsidio to10 review. This is the only review book that I received last month that I read. There was no way I was waiting until closer to the review date to read it. That would drive me crazy. My review will be up when Obsidio is officially released in New Zealand but I will say that I gave it five stars too. This trilogy was amazing! But I’m not saying anything else here. You’ll just have to wait for my review.

The ANZ edition is so shiny though! I had to angle the book away from me because I kept showing up in the cover. I can’t wait to see what the hardback looks like in person. I don’t think it’s shiny though.

The next two books I got because I am buying The Selection Series in the hardback 11editions. Now I have the first three. When I first picked up The Selection and The Elite a few years ago I heard The CW were making it into a TV show and I wanted to read the book first. Well that never happened but I did fall in love with the story and America and Maxon.

I didn’t acutally think I would because it’s kind of like The Bachelor except with royalty and also sort of dystopian. The third book, The One, has a lot more action. Well, when I say action I really mean death. Which I did not see coming by the way. I know people don’t like The Heir and The Crown but I did. Eadlyn was annoying at first but as she grew up I found her less annoying. 12

I’m planning on buying The Heir, The Crown and Happily Ever After in hardback too. I’m not in any rush because I’ve read the series so I know what happens.

I was planning on re-reading them as I got them too but that hasn’t happened yet. Probaby because I need to catch up on my review books from last year and this year first. Taking a break over the holidays really put me behind and I haven’t caught up yet. I don’t even know if I will unless I stop requesting more books. Which I probably should. But there are so many good books coming out this year!

I bought a copy of The Librarian of Auschwitz from Book Depository when I saw it for 13$14. That’s not bad for a hardback in New Zealand. Anyway, this is based on a true story and has been translated into English. I haven’t read a book set in Auschwitz before so it’ll be different. I’ve read The Diary of a Young Girl a few times and Anne Frank Remembered, which was so sad but really good too.

My mother is reading this at them moment. Well, she’s been at 21 pages for the last two weeks so I can’t say she’s actually reading it. But she knows I won’t be picking it up any time soon so there’s no rush for her to finish it. I do want to read The Librarian of Auschwitz this year though.

Lighthouse Media New Zealand sent me a copy of Children of Blood and Bone to review. I’m actually reading this now and it’s so good! The release for New Zealand is the 13th I14 think so I have time to finish it and get my review up. I do recommend reading this though, it’s so good!!

I’ve also bought a copy of the Barnes and Noble special edition. I’m hoping it arrives in once piece. I’ve never bought anything from them before but I couldn’t pass up that edition! It’s so pretty. I also chose the cheapest shipping which means the longest. But I didn’t need it straight away because I have this to review.

But if you haven’t got a copy or weren’t planning on getting one then you definitely should! Or get it from a library! The magic and characters are amazing! And the cover is gorgeous.

HarperCollins New Zealand sent me a copy of The Queen’s Rising to review. This also has 15a pretty cover. And no I don’t remember what it’s about. But I’m assuming it’s about a queen.

This isn’t on my TBR for March but I think if I get time I might squeeze it on? But I’ll have to see what happens. So far I’ve only read The City of Brass, which was good, and I’m 3/4 way through Children of Blood and Bone. They are both big books though and my copy of Children of Blood and Bone has tiny text. Hopefully I’ll finish it in the next couple of days. And then I’ll figure out what I want to read next. I have six books to choose from. I also still need to post my March TBR…

So the last books I received in February were the 10th anniversary editions of the Chaos Walking Trilogy. These editions are beautiful and even have black sprayed edges. I’m 16hoping to read The Knife of Never Letting Go soon. I don’t have it on my TBR but hopefully my reading picks up again soon. I don’t know why it’s slowed down so much.

What books did you get in February?

– Aimee.

February Wrap Up.

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I didn’t read much in February. My reading has definitely slowed down in the last six months. I wish I knew why so I could fix it…

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Anyway, onto my wrap up.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – ★★★★/5
Nexus by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti – ★★★★/5
Still Me by Jojo Moyes – ★★★★/5
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen – ★★★★/5
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – ★★★★★/5
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – ★★★/5
Truthers by Geoffrey Girard – ★★★/5

Like I said, I didn’t read a lot last month. My favourite was definitely Obsidio! I’d give The Illuminae Files all the stars! I have given all three books five stars.

I also really enjoyed Still Me and Reign the Earth. I couldn’t give either of them five starts but I think four stars are still pretty good.

I’ll be posting my reviews of all these books soon.

How many books did you read in February?

Aimee.

Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner.

Title – Unearthed
Series – Unearthed #1
Authors – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 344 pages
Publication Date – December 1st 2017 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN – 9781760292157
My Rating – ★★★★★/5

“When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.”

For Jules, the discovery of an ancient alien race offers an opportunity for study. As long as scavengers like Amelia don’t steal everything first. Despite their very different reasons for being smuggled onto an alien planet, they both need to discover the secrets hidden inside the temples. Jules and Mia needing to team up against other scavengers. But they’re both keeping secrets that could make trusting each other impossible…

I received a copy of Unearthed from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. I loved Kaufman and Spooner’s Starbound trilogy and when I heard they were writing another book together I was so excited to read it. DTS9KQJVMAE06EW

I’d heard that this was kind of like Indiana Jones in space and I think that sums up this book pretty well. I love Indy and sci-fi books so there was no way I wasn’t going to read this.

I liked Mia and Jules as characters. There were some things they did that annoyed me but overall I did like them. And there was a lot of action in this book. Like all the puzzles they had to solve, the other scavengers they were trying to get away from and then all the twists too. This book was just so good!

Unearthed had me hooked from the beginning and I was really curious about the Undying (the ancient alien race) and why they left all these clues in their broadcast and temple. But I’m going to be honest… I did not see the ending coming. I did figure part of it out while Mia and Jules were in the hallway, looking around the corner. I’m trying not to give anything away for people who haven’t read it but also trying to tell people who have when I figured it out without giving anything away. But I did get it just before it was revealed.

But that ending! Oh my god! Especially the very last line. I had to read it twice to make sure I’d read it right. I need the sequel as soon as possible! Or like, right now!

I loved Unearthed and would definitely recommend it to fans of Kaufman and Spooner’s Starbound trilogy or sci-fi fans.

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Janruary Wrap Up.

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It feels like forever since I’ve done a monthly wrap up of books I read. I can’t remember if I did one for November but I did take a break in December. But it’s a new year and I’m finally back to reading a blogging. Well, I’ve been back for a month but I’ve only been posting reviews – I have a lot to catch up on.

Anyway, let’s just get into the books I read in January.

Catch Me When You Fell by Eileen Merriman – ★★★★/5
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling – ★★★★★/5
Everless by Sara Hollan – ★★★★/5
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – ★★★★/5
On the Free by Coert Voorhees – ★★★/5
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – ★★★/5
Artemis by Andy Weir – ★★★★/5
Harry Potter: A History of Magic by The British Library – ★★★★★/5

I only read eight books last month but it’s better than nothing.

What did you read in January?

Aimee.

 

Review: Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks.

Title – Begin, End, Begin: A LoveOzYA Anthology
Authors – Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson & Danielle Binks
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 336 pages
Publication Date – April 24th 2017 by HarperCollins Australia
ISBN – 9781460752319
My Rating – ★★★/5

“The YA event of the year. Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all.

With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.”

I received a copy of Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. 3

There are a lot of authors who have written stories for this book that I’ve never read before I picked up this book. So I was excited to get a copy of this so that I could read more Australian authors. I had read books by Amie Kaufman, Lili Wilkinson and Melissa Keil.

I don’t review or read a lot of books with short stories because I don’t find them the easiest books to review. Especially when they have more than one author. There’s a reason I only gave this book three stars and I’ll get to that later in my review. I’m not going to talk about every short story but I will talk about the ones that stood out for me.

I loved Amie Kaufman’s One Small Step, which is the first shot story in the book. This is the first story I’ve read where Kaufman wasn’t co-authored by Meagan Spooner or Jay Kristoff. And I am so happy that I loved her writing when it’s just her. This was sci-fi story with some romance as well. I don’t want to say too much about the story but it had an interracial (I hope that’s the right word?) love interest and a lesbian main character. And it was my favourite story out of all of them. I wish it was longer actually.

I also liked First Casualty by Michael Pryor. This was another sci-fi story and it had aliens too who were rescued by the two characters in the story and then really mistreated because they were different and other. If I remember correctly. I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I read this.

I did like one or two more stories but those are the only two that still stand out and I can remember most of the storyline. Looking back at the table of contents now there are two more that I remember clearly and the rest have completely slipped my mid. But that always happens to me with short stories. I find I don’t have enough time to connect to the story or characters before it’s all over. Which is why I can’t give this more than three stars – I only liked two or three stories out of how many? Ten. Wow that’s bad.

I have seen a few reviews on Goodreads mentioning that they were excited to read some of the stories in this book because they knew the characters. That may be another reason I didn’t connect with those stories – they’d mostly been told in other books that I’ve never heard of. But there’s only one way to find out and that by looking up the books.

But I did like reading more Australian authors and I think this is a great way to sample their work without having to read a whole book. I do wish there was something like this for New Zealand YA authors too because I can only think of one off the top of my head.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

July Wrap Up.

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I’m going to be doing things a little differently with my wrap up this month. I normally add my TBR for the next month after I’ve given a list of what I read but as it’s still July I haven’t gotten much of a TBR yet, except for my ARC August TBR. So I’ll just mention that at the end for anyone who hasn’t read my ARC August TBR post.

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I read 10 books in July, two of them were re-reads. I had a bit of a reading slump and just couldn’t get out of it. Anyway, onto the ratings.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – ★★★/5
Begin, End, Begin – A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks – ★★★/5
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – ★★★/5
The Huntress: Sea by Sarah Driver – ★★★/5
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel – ★★★★/5
The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham – ★★★★/5
Countless by Karen Gregory – ★★★★/5
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando – ★★★/5

Obviously I love Illuminae and Gemina and they were still good the second time. I also really enjoyed Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, The Moonlight Dreamers and Countless. The rest were just okay. I loved some of the stories in the LoveOzYA Anthology but most of them were just okay so I couldn’t give that more than three stars.

So, now for my ARC August TBR. I have made a post about this so if you’ve already read that then you can skip this part.

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These are the five books I plan on reading for ARC August. Well they were when I made the TBR post. But I found another ARC that I should have already read by now that I’m going to read as well. That’s The Student by Iain Ryan. It’s set in Australia.

If you want to read the full ARC August TBR post then click the link 🙂

I’ll be posting my full August TBR soon. When I’ve figured out what else I want to read.

What books did you read in July?

Aimee.