Tying up all the strings like a Cherry putting on his ATLAS – ‘Obsidio’

Obsidio.jpgOk, people. Hands up who totally loves The Illuminae Files?

<Earth shudders on its axis as billions of hands are raised>

It’s no secret I really dig this series. I love the way it’s written. I love the way you have to work to read it. I love the way it makes you question good and bad and ethics and whether we all should have a murderous AI watching our backs.

I jumped at the opportunity to read ‘Obsidio’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff as soon as it turned up shiny (literally) bright and new at my library.

I was not disappointed 🙂

Questions are answered. Body counts are added to. There are laughs. There is panic.

There is AIDAN…


Right. So, what are a few aspects I loved?

  • That dash of you-can-do-this-too
  • The distinct VOICES

You got this, buddy

One of the things I enjoyed the most about ‘Obsidio’ was the character of Asha Grant. I don’t even need to explain, because this quote does it for me:

It’s kinda weird, chum. Reviewing all these files, I’ve gotten a little used to watching girls who are stupid good at what they do. Kady Grant, cutting her way through doors of impossible code like a straight razor; Hanna Donnelly, using those three black belts of hers on BeiTech audit team members to full and bloody effect.

But Asha Grant isn’t a hacker wizard like her cousin. She’s not a kung fu expert. She’s not particularly brilliant at anything. She’s a ***ing pharmacy intern, chum. Just a regular person like you. An ordinary person caught up in a really **** situation. So I think, out of every person in these files, that makes her the bravest.

p. 408

That’s exactly what I’m talking about… put so eloquently by Analyst 7213-0089-DN. Which gets me thinking about…

Voice! So integral!

Call me lazy, but I can use the same quote to talk about this one.

As a writer, I’ve accumulated hundreds of bits of advice – some better than others – about how I should write. There are lists all over the net about words and phrases you should cull from your writing. Find and replace! Search and destroy!

‘A little’ is right up there.

But when you’re writing first person, the narrator is speaking. That’s their voice. That’s what makes the story distinct and compelling. And if they say ‘a little’, then let them say it.

I love the different voices in ‘Obsidio’ – hey, in the entire Illuminae Files! They come across as individual and authentic. They make the story what it is.


If you’ve missed my reviews of the first two books in The Illuminae Files (including my deconstruction of ‘Illuminae’ that is somehow still pulling views even now… I must have done something right!), then here they are:

– Deconstructing the awesome ‘Illuminae’ with a bloodied pair of pinking sheers and a sharpened spoon

– A sequel that lived up to my ultra-excited expectations – ‘Gemina’

Read them all! And remember, keep your friends close and your AIDANs even closer… 🙂

One thought on “Tying up all the strings like a Cherry putting on his ATLAS – ‘Obsidio’

  1. Pingback: AWW2018 roundup and 2019 launch! | hm waugh – writer

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