Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?
Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.
With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.
The thing about these books is that I always find myself thinking: “I’m only going to read a little bit more”, but then **** starts to go down and before I know it, it’s past midnight and I’m sobbing as I read the last couple of pages.
This third instalment was no different.
Although I feel like I need to mention that this was probably my least favourite of the trilogy, I still enjoyed it immensely. The main problem was that I didn’t connect with the new group of characters. I kept forgetting their names and roles. Since they make up half of the story, this was a bit of a problem.
This book is a lot less nail-bitingly tense than the previous books. The pace is slower. It’s mostly setting the scene for the last quarter of the book. Don’t get me wrong, there are still chapters where my heart just about stopped but most of the action is in the last 200 pages (of a 600-page book).
This being said, I still thought it was a great book. I had so much fun while reading it (if you can call, reading about people dying, fun..) and honestly, I wouldn’t have read for five hours straight if I wasn’t enjoying what I was reading. The concept remains solid, the choice to present a story as a case file has always been a brilliant move for this series. After two books, you’re so used to it, you can just dive back in.
Of course, we also follow the characters we’ve met in the first two books. Kady and Ezra, Hanna and Nik, Ella, AIDAN,… This is the last leg of their adventure. They’re trying to find a way out of the corner of the universe where they now find themselves stranded. You know everything will be decided in a fight. You know people will die. Knowing this doesn’t prepare you… not really.
The best character in these books? AIDAN without a doubt. I still remember being sceptical as I picked up Illuminae. Everyone had been raving about the AI and I was cautious because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I should have known, I never stood a chance. I adore AIDAN. He’s not a hero. He’s not a villain. He just is… and always will be.. AIDAN. Yes, I cried because Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are so good at playing with your emotions. AIDAN, he’s my favourite… my god, I do love him.
And so we’ve come to the end of this trilogy. The story has been told. All the doors that were once opened, have been closed. It’s over… and I really will miss it, them, this world, this concept. I’ve had so much fun but maybe it’s for the best. My poor heart. It couldn’t take much more…