Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff spoiler-free review

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Rating: every star in the Universe

Spoilers for Illuminae and Gemina

✮ Favorite quote ✮

« Who’s laughing now, Babyface? »

✮ Summary ✮

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Ella, the Heimdall crew and the Hypatia crew are now aboard the same Vessel. They plan on traveling to Kerenza IV and use the Magellan, the mobile jump platform BeiTech used during the first attack, to get back to the Core. The Heimdall crew and the Hypatia crew disagree on how they should proceed and this leads to a lot of tension. Meanwhile, AIDAN makes new drastic decisions and Kady discovers that some citizens of Kerenza are still alive, including her cousin Asha, and under BeiTech occupation.
Asha is part of the Resistance on Kerenza and unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend, Rhys, she hasn’t seen in years and who is now part of the BeiTech crew.

✮ Writing ✮

I listened to the audiobook and I highly recommend it.
I was drawn into the story immediately and I felt like I was listening to an amazing action-packed movie. The emotions I felt were doubled because of this talented cast and all the sounds effects. I had chills during the entire book. I have also flipped through the book and it is truly a piece of art.

✮ Characters ✮

I didn’t fell head over heels in love with Asha and Rhys like I did with Kady and Ezra in Illuminae or Hanna and Nik in Gemina. This is probably because they didn’t have a lot of chapters and so it was hard to get attached to them. Their story is cute yet sad and the reunion between the two was bittersweet.

Hanna and Nik are still my favorites. They fell in love really quickly in Gemina and the issue was addressed in Obsidio. The authors did a really good job handling their relationship. Hanna is grieving and doubting her relationship with Nik but in the end, what is there to doubt when you already been through so much together?

Nik and Ezra are both funny in the previous books. But put them together and you end up with the hilarious duo ever. I cry laugh at least a dozen times because of their banter.
Jokes aside, they also make such a badass team. Ezra as an airwing leader and Nik as a gunner are really effective. During the final battle, I was cheering out loud for them.

Hanna, Kady and Ella’s friendship is a delight to read about. They complement each other so well and despite all the awful events they are dealing with, they never bicker, on the contrary, they are so supportive of each other.

AIDAN grew more and more human in this series but the changes are really visible in Obsidio. It is capable of remorse and love. It is scary but I am so fond of him now.

“Every story needs its monster.”

✮ Plot ✮

The first 200 pages were a bit slow because the new characters were introduced and a mastermind plan was set in motion. I didn’t mind at all because I love the characters so much that I would gladly read 1000 pages of only fluff as long as they are here.
When the pace picked up and the battle was raging I was out of my mind with stress. I had to pause the audiobook multiple times just to calm my poor heart. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff know how to write plot twists and keep you guessing. You think the plot is going in one direction when really it’s going the opposite way.

The last 170 pages were so intense I couldn’t breathe properly nor could I stop crying. I was so tempted to check the ending to see who would make it out alive because I honestly couldn’t stomach the tension. That proves that the final battle was really well written.

That parachute. I never thought I could cry so much over a parachute.

✮ Overall ✮

I have already listened to the last hour of the audiobook 6 times and I can’t get enough.
Obsidio is easily my favorite book of the year so far and it will probably be in my top 3 of 2018. This series took over my life and this finale was more than I could have hoped for.
I laughed a lot and cried so many times. I cried over the characters I love, over BeiTech soldiers deaths and over inanimate objects. It was messy but I love it when a book gives me so many feels.

“Live a life worth dying for.”

Until next time, x

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Favorite characters of all time

I am really passionate about a lot of characters but I managed to compile a list of 8 favorites for you. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what I love about them and you’ll see that most of them have similar personality traits.

Side note: I won’t be repeating myself and talking about my book boyfriends here because I already wrote a post about them. It goes without saying that they belong to that list as well.

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series

Hermione is the first character I remember loving with all my heart. She was my hero when I was a kid and I wanted more than anything else to be just like her. I think she is most Potterheads’ role model. I value intelligence above any other attribute in a person and Hermione is the smartest witch of her Age. Without her, the golden trio would never have succeeded in destroying Voldemort.

“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.
“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”

She is hard-working and passionate. She doesn’t care about the opinion of others and she will fight for the things she believes in. She’s caring, loyal and brave.

 

Sevro au Barca from the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

I can’t really explain why I love Sevro so much but I do. He is one of the rudest characters ever and has a crude sense of humor that never fails to make me laugh.

“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket sized?”

Sevro can be really cruel towards his enemies. He is also downright disgusting sometimes, it is stated quite a few times in the books that he doesn’t have the best hygiene. But he just doesn’t care and I love it. He is cunning and in the first book in the series, he climbs his way to the top when no one really believed in him. He is loyal to the bone and would do anything for his friends/family.

 

Aelin Ashryver Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

Aelin is probably my number #1 out of all the amazing characters on this list. I know many people dislike her but for me, she’s just the best. Aelin is passionate about music and fashion, she loves books and good foods. But she is also the most dangerous assassin of her world and one of the most powerful fae alive. Lorcan clearly implied in Empire of Storms that she has near-unlimited magic. That’s quite scary and absolutely impressive. Both of these traits make her one of the most badass characters in Young Adult literature.

“She looked at them, at the three males who meant everything—more than everything. Then she smiled with every last shred of courage, of desperation, of hope for the glimmer of that glorious future. “Let’s go rattle the stars.”

Aelin might make rash decisions when the people she loves are threatened but this only proves how much she cares and how deeply she loves. She has already lost so many people that she will do anything to prevent any more deaths. She fights for what is right and will never tolerate slavery. Aelin is always planning and scheming. She is constantly a step ahead of everyone else (including the readers) and that makes her the perfect Queen.

 

Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

Manon is a beautiful and cold witch. These seven words should be enough for you to fall in love with her. She is first introduced as a heartless character but she gets more human along the way in the sense that she starts feeling human emotions such as compassion. She remains ruthless but she questions her beliefs and she takes a stand when it’s necessary.

“WITCH KILLER–THE HUMAN IS STILL INSIDE HIM”

She takes Elide, a human no one cares about, under her protection. She chose Abraxos as her Wyvern when everyone thought that he was the weakest. Despite her origin and her education, she finds herself capable of love.

I enjoy her relationship with the Thirteen so much but I also like her friendship with Aelin. Two forces of nature fighting alongside each other against all odds? Yes, please!

“But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”

 

Cassian from the Court of Thornes and Roses series by Sarah J Maas

Cassian is the most powerful Illyrian warrior alive. He is hot and funny. I laugh every time he makes a sexual joke. Cassian’s loyalty and selflessness are his most admirable attributes.  In A Court Of Mist And Fury, he gladly sacrifices the most important part of him in order to protect his best friend and even while suffering from the worst wound imaginable, he manages to crawl towards the woman he loves to try and protect her. In other words, he is almost perfect. But it’s the way he talks that made me fall in love with him. His words always find their way into my heart.

“I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you in the next world – the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”

I cried tears of joy and heartbreak because of him so many times while reading this series.

 

Emma Carstairs from the Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Emma is a badass character. She is a really skilled Shadowhunter and trains harder than everyone else. She is driven and impulsive. She often goes head first into danger without thinking things through or caring about her own safety.

She is sarcastic and on the surface, she might seem like she never takes anything seriously but when things get intense she’s here to fight and to protect the people she loves.

“That’s not the spirit of the law, Emma. Remember? The Law is hard, but it is the Law.”
“I thought it was ‘the Law is annoying, but it is also flexible.”

Her relationship with Julian is so beautiful and the most precious thing on earth.

 

 

Mia Corvere from the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff

Mia is a fierce character with a foul-mouth. She watched her father being executed when she was a kid and now she is seeking revenge. Her patience and desire to do things the right way are admirable. Instead of trying to kill the men responsible for her father death immediately, she decides to train for years and try to gain access to a prestigious school of assassins.

“You can keep the glory. I’m just here for the blood.”

She becomes a skilled assassin, who is willing to spill as much blood as necessary but she also shows compassion when it is necessary. She is not a cold-hearted killer and I like that about her. Plus she has a shadow cat named Mister Kindly as a pet. What’s not to like?

 

Dalinar Kholin from the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar is probably the most interesting character on this list. He has the reputation to be a blood-thirsty and ruthless warrior. He earned the title of the Blackthorn during his youth, but when you dive into this series you are introduced to a character who seeks to avoid violence at all cost. It takes three books to finally understand how he changed so radically and Sanderson did an amazing job at making the transition believable. You see Dalinar grieving, struggling with PTSD and hating himself and it makes him a very relatable character.

“A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us. 
But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fail, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination.” 

I admire his resilience, his desire to do better and to always find a peaceful solution. He is an amazingly righteous leader.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff spoiler-free review

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Rating: 5/5 stars

Minor spoiler for Illuminae, book 1 in the series.

✮ Favorite quote ✮

« Her eyes shining with the light of it.
Beneath, between, beyond.
Along the endless circle.
Down the ceaseless spiral.
And waiting for her on the other side?
Just like he promised. »

✮ Summary ✮

This book takes place on jump station Heimdall at approximately the same time as the events in Illuminae. We follow a different set of characters as the station is attacked by a BeiTech military team. BeiTech wants to destroy evidence of their involvement in the Kerenza attack and kill any remaining witnesses.

✮ Writing ✮

Ladies and Gentleman I present to you the most gripping book ever. Just like in Illuminae, the story is told through emails, video surveillance footages, diary entries, log chats… and it’s still a mind-blowing experience. The diary entries are also full of beautiful drawings (courtesy of Marie Lu).

✮ Characters ✮

I really love Kady and Ezra in Illuminae and at first, I was hesitant because they are not the main characters in this one. But I shouldn’t have worried as I love our new characters even more.

Hanna Donnelly is the daughter of the station commander. Her dad taught her how to fight and trained her in military strategies. She’s such a badass character, she fights for what is right and she’s really intelligent. You really don’t want to mess with her.

Nik Malikov is a member of the House of Knives cartel and a drug dealer. He is smitten with Hanna, one of his customers. Everything about him from his last name to the angle tattooed on his throat is sexy. (Did I mention his abs?) I am totally in love with him and I sincerely hope to learn more about him in the last book.

Ella Malikova is Nik’s cousin. She’s an electronics prodigy and she’s hilarious. The usernames she gives to Nik in the log chats made me laugh so hard.

Hanna and AIDAN also make an appearance near the end of the book.

✮ Plot ✮

Like the first book in the series, this one is a page-turner. We follow our 3 main characters as they hide from the BeiTech military team and fight back as hard as they can. There a lot of stressful moments and quite a few twists that will make you gasp. One of the scenes actually tore out my heart, crushed it and made me cry like a baby.

✮ Overall ✮

I adore Gemina even more than Illuminae if that’s even possible. This series is just amazing.

Until next time, x

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff spoiler-free review

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Rating: 5/5 stars

First read: September 2016 – physical book
Second read: March 2018 – audiobook

✮ Favorite quotes ✮

« You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. You have me. »

✮ Summary ✮

Kady, our main character, lives on Kerenza IV and has just broken up with her boyfriend Ezra when the planet is attacked by BeiTech industry. A few military and exploration ships stationed near Kerenza respond to the calls for help, successfully destroy part of BeiTech fleet and take refugees on board. The last remaining BeiTech vessel takes it upon itself to chase and destroy them in order to keep the attack on Kerenza secret.

✮ Writing ✮

Whether you chose to physically read this book or to listen to the audiobook, the experience will be mind-blowing.
This book has the most unique format I have ever seen (and its cover is just stunning). It is written through files transcripts, surveillance video footages, emails, journal entries, log chats… and therefore it’s a really quick and interesting read.
The full-cast audiobook makes you feel like your listening to a movie. There are sounds effects and music and over 20 actors. It’s amazing. I highly recommend it.

✮ Characters ✮

Kady is a remarkable character. She is a computer hacker extraordinaire, she is brave, sassy and has pink hair (I would have loved her just for that). She is dealing with so much throughout this book and I was cheering for her the entire time.
Ezra is hilarious and lovable. He’s needy and I love that about him. His interactions with Kady were my favorite parts of the book.
Aidan is an AI and a psychopath that justify its horrific actions by claiming they are for the greater good. Aidan is an antihero that you will certainly feel conflicted about because even knowing what it did you can’t help but get attached to it.

✮ Plot ✮

Three vessels escape Kerenza, however, one of them is very quickly destroyed. A virus called Phobos emerges on the fleet and turns people into zombies. And let me tell you, they really are creepy (if you listen to the audiobook there is one scene where they start yelling « LITTLE BIRDY » at Kady and the actors did such a really great job that I had goosebumps).
Kady and Ezra who are on different ships have to not only try to outrun the remaining BeiTech vessel chasing them but also avoid getting infected or being eaten alive by the infected. All of that while trying to get back together.
This book is captivating and stressful and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I personally felt so much for the characters while reading it. I even cried a couple times because the scenes were horrific and sad.

✮ Overall ✮

One of my favorite books of all time. If you haven’t read this book please trust the hype and read it. You won’t regret it.

Until next time, x

The Diviners by Libba Bray spoiler-free review

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4/5 stars

First, let me just say, this book creeps me out.
I know that I am a chicken but I was scared to the point I had trouble sleeping and I had to take my shower with my eyes wide open. A lot of people recommended the audiobook but I am glad that I didn’t listen to it. I am pretty sure it would have spooked me to death.

✮ Favorite quote ✮

Some mornings, she’d wake and vow, Today, I will get it right. I won’t be such an awful mess of a girl. I won’t lose my temper or make unkind remarks. I won’t go too far with a joke and feel the room go quiet with disapproval. I’ll be good and kind and sensible and patient. The sort everyone loves. But by evening, her good intentions would have unraveled.

✮ Summary ✮

Evie, our main protagonist, is being sent to New York City to live with her uncle as a punishment for her unacceptable behavior in Ohio. You see, Evie has a gift. She can tell someone secrets just by touching one of their belongings.
Her uncle runs a Museum of the Occults and as soon as Evie arrives in New York, he is asked to help the Police solve a series of murders. Evie gets wrapped-up in the investigation and soon realize that her gift might come in handy.

✮ Writing ✮

This is a pretty hefty book but I flew through it. I was engrossed in the story from start to finish. Libba Bray successfully created a creepy and immersive atmosphere.
The slang was a bit too much at times and I had to search the meaning of quite a few words. Thankfully I got used to it in the end.

✮ Setting ✮

The story takes place in the 1920s during the Prohibition. It was my first time reading about that time period and I really enjoyed it. The history elements were very well researched. It was interesting to learn more about the Flappers, the Speakeasies, the importance of religion at that time, the discrimination and so on.

✮ Characters ✮

There are a plethora of characters in this book but each has its distinguishable voice.
Evie is quite a selfish character. She might seem vain at first and she definitely does a lot of things for the sake of attention. But the more you learn about her the more you can see that this is just a facade, deep down she’s broken and she just wants to be loved and acknowledged.
Sam is a pickpocket with an unusual ability to hide from the people around him. He’s sarcastic and charming.
Mabel Rose is Evie’s best friend. She’s quiet and follows Evie everywhere. She didn’t have an important role in this book but hopefully, she will in the next one!
Will, Evie’s uncle is mysterious and it’s obvious that at this point, he is not sharing everything that he knows.
Jericho is Will’s assistant. He’s unreadable at first and he has a secret that will probably play an important part in the rest of the series.
Theta is a Ziegfeld girl with a dark past, she lives in the same building as Evie, Will, Jericho, and Mabel. It is implied that she has a powerful and dangerous gift. She becomes the connection between the previous characters and Memphis.
Henry is like a brother to Theta, he saved her from the street and now they live together and perform at the same place. His relationship with Tetha was one of the highlights of this book and there is still so much we don’t know about him!
Memphis is a black teenager that shows us the not so glamorous side of New York. He as a really interesting gift and I am curious about his relationship with Theta.
I can’t talk much about Naughty John, the evil character without spoiling anything and even then, I just don’t want to think about him (did I mention I was scared while reading the book?)

At times I was frustrated because I wanted all the protagonists to work together in the investigation and to acknowledge each other powers but they didn’t. I hope their lives will entwine in the second book.

✮ Plot ✮

The investigation of the gruesome murders was gripping but I was expecting some kind of big plot twist that never came.
Each character has its own storyline and they were all interesting and kept me guessing throughout the book. Libba Bray is withholding information and I wanna know more!

✮ Overall ✮

I am not used to this genre but I really enjoy the book. You can tell that it’s a good one when it makes you feel so many emotions.
The story is far from over and I can’t wait to dive into the next one.

Until next time, x

Goodreads book tag

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What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

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The Diviners by Libba Bray which I gave 4,5/5 stars to.

What are you currently reading?

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I am listening to the audiobook of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in anticipation of Obsidio which comes out today.  This full-cast audiobook is out of this world. You need to listen to it.

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

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Lair of dreams, the second book in the Diviners series. I am probably going to wait until October to read this book because this series is creeping me out.

What book do you plan to read next?

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Girls burn brighter which I am not super excited about but the ARC has been sitting on my shelf for months so it has to happen.

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And I am also going to re-read Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (and I’m so pumped).

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes, I do. My rating scale is:

1 star: hated it
2 stars: meh
3 stars: okay
4 stars: good
5 stars: mind-blowing

I wish GR would allow us half star ratings.

Are you doing a 2018 Reading Challenge?

You bet I do! I initially set my goal at 80 books because I was anticipating a busy year but now that I have a lot of time on my hands,  I changed it to 100 books. We’re only in the middle of March and I have already read 44 books which mean I am 25 books ahead of schedule. Yay!

Do you have a wishlist?

I have a “to-buy” list but my wishlist is mostly my TBR shelf.

What book do you plan to buy next?

Quite a few actually:

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.

I am a quote fanatic so its hard to narrow them down but here are a few:

“The fear of loss…it can destroy you as much as the loss itself.” – Sarah J. Maas, Empire of Storms

“To the stars who listen-and the dreams that are answered.” – Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

“Remember that you are a wold. And you cannot be caged.” – Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin

“Accept the pain, but don’t accept that you deserved it.” – Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.” – Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight

“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.” – Robin Roe, A List of Cages

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.” Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Illuminae

Who are your favorite authors?

Sarah J. Maas, Cassandra Clare, Jay Kristoff, Brandon Sanderson

Have you joined any groups?

Only one named Queen Maas’ Assassins but I’m not really active in it.

Until next time, x

Chainbreaker by Tara Sim spoiler-free review

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Rating: 3,5/5 stars

Warning: minor spoiler for Timekeeper (book 1 in the series)

✮ Summary ✮

This is the second installment in the Timekeeper trilogy. Danny is now leaving in Enfield with Colton. The threat he received a few months back is still fresh on his mind when he’s asked to fly to India to investigate on fallen clock towers. Little does he know how dangerous this trip will be for him.

✮ Writing ✮

The writing style is eloquent and gripping. But I have one huge issue with this book: it is written from a third person limited point of view. This results in an annoying lack of depths to the characters. I can’t really care about them when they are so flat. They have so much potential especially Colton who’s a clock spirit. I would enjoy this books a lot more if it were written from an omniscient point of view.

✮ Characters ✮

I enjoy the development of the friendship between Daphné and Danny. I wish we could have gotten more about their relationship in this book.
The relationship between Danny and Colton has so much potential as well but it really needs more substance.
Colton is truly the highlight of this book. I am so happy that he got dedicated chapters. He took matters into his own hands and lived quite the adventure in this book. Plus, his ignorance of human ways is adorable.

✮ Plot ✮

The steampunk aspect of the story is less prominent in this book than it was in the first one. I love the Indian setting. I am not very well-versed in Indian culture so I really enjoy the few glimpses I got throughout this book. I also enjoyed the Greek Mythology element in the story.
The whole terrorist attacks intrigue is interesting and while reading the book I never knew who to trust or not. I was kept guessing, true, but at the same time the storyline didn’t feel really cohesive and I was often wondering where the author intended her story to go. There are still a lot of question that needs to be answered. Hopefully, everything will wrap-up nicely in the third book.

✮ Overall ✮

This is a good book but I wasn’t satisfied while reading it. Like I said many times in this short review, I kept wishing for more. Even the cliffhanger, in the end, left me unimpressed.

Until next time, x