Seven teenagers chronicle what happened after a mega-corporation invades a small illegal mining operation, on a remote planet. The story is told through hacked documents, including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and video transcripts. Each book deals with a part of the story.
Illuminae (Book one)
Told mostly by Kady and Ezra who managed to escape the planet when it was invaded by Beitech, but end up on two different ships. Kady is a computer wiz kid and hacker. Ezra becomes a pilot. Between the two of them they are able to piece together what is really going on and what happened to their planet and the people who were infected by a mysterious illness that drives them insane.
Gemina (Book Two)
Takes place on Jump Station Heimdall and is told through three unlikely heroes. Hanna, the Captain’s daughter and Nik, the reluctant member of a crime syndicate. Also, adding some much needed levity is Ella, Nik’s cousin and another computer hacker. Beitech, needing to get rid of the survivors and keep them from reaching the authorities, decides to take over the Jump station and destroy the wormhole that it controls. It sends an elite team of ‘fixers’ who almost succeed in their mission. Hanna, Nic and Ella work with some others to fend them off and try to keep the wormhole working. Kady and Ezra and the ragtag fleet from the first book arrive to help.
Obsidio (Book Three)
We are taken back to the planet Kerenza, where it all began. Kady’s cousin Asha survived the invasion and has continued to survive under Beitech’s rule. She is part of an underground resistance group that is trying to undermine Beitech’s control of the mining operation. But her old boyfriend, the one she was getting away from when she moved to Kerenza, shows up as a member of Beitech’s soldiers. Meanwhile the other teens, are on their way back to the planet and are running out of options, resources and time.
I kind of wish that publishers would release a whole summary of a series. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Once a series was complete you could read the summary to see if it was something you think you might read, right? Anyways, I want you to take a look at this video that was released when the first book came out, it gives you an idea of the formatting of this book which is very unique.
I will say more about AIDAN and his role in the books in a minute, but I first want to talk about the unique formatting of this series. As I mentioned, it is told in a series of transcripts, emails, IMs, video transcripts and various other types of visuals such as photos, diagrams and drawings. If you have never opened one of these books but just looked at the length (all three average around 600 pages) and said no way, too long, I really encourage you to rethink that. They are really quick reads because of the formatting. This is not your usual dense text on every page. Written in a traditional format the books would probably be only 250 pages? Hard to say. I just know that I read each book in about 5-6 hours tops. The format is different, it works for this story and it makes for a very interesting read. I really liked the video transcripts the best, especially once I knew who was writing most of them. But the other stuff was cool too, and if you pay close attention some of the details will surprise you.
All of the teens were great characters. You would think that with the story being told mostly through emails, IMs and texts that you wouldn’t get to know them well or connect with them, but you do. The authors do a great job with letting you get to know all of them really well. There are lots of other characters involved as well, some really good adults who also help, but the kids drive the action. There is also romances between the characters, but that just makes them seem more real and doesn’t take away from the story.
So Aidan, is he a villain? If you have ever seen or read 2001 a Space Odyssey and you remember HAL, then you have a good feel for Aidan. I’m not going to say that I liked Aidan, but I think I understood him and why he did the things he did. (He isn’t really male, but I just feel that using the masculine fits.) He often quotes that “every story needs its monster” and he is definitely the monster in most of this story. But there are other monsters too. Each book has a separate monster that needs to be overcome by our heroes. I think the scariest ones, where the aliens in the second book, just thinking about them gives me the shivers. But Aidan is in a class all by himself.
While the whole series was fabulous and amazing and terrific reads, the final story brings it all together and that ending! Wow! I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are some heart-stopping, can’t stop reading until I know what happens moments. This particular story has ended but there are hints at the end that perhaps there will be more books in this world, which would be awesome!
If you are a science fiction fan, these are a must read. If you’re not a fan, try them, they just might convert you.