I did it.
I finally finished it. The book, the series, it’s all done now.
And I am a MESS.
If you’re at all familiar with the Illuinae files, then you probably wither have already read them or have no interest in them. For anyone who is teetering on whether or not they should read them, do it. Do it now. What could you possibly have to lose? Another than maybe sleep because you will stay up all night just desperately wanting to know what happens next and what will be the fate of our heroes.
I started this journey almost four years ago, I had just graduated college and was in the throws of a serious depression and a job search (which only magnified the depression let me tell you). That year I had gotten more into BookTube, the reading corner of YouTube, and decided that I would participate in the Now Reading Rush then Booktube-athon. I had won an ARC of Illuminae from my job at Barnes and Noble and hadn’t read it yet, and having only heard good things, decided to take it on. It’s a chunky book but mixed media so it’ll go a little faster than normal, yeah? No biggie. The clock struck midnight and I opened the book.
What happened next was me staying up for six hours so that I could finish it all in one go. I became delirious, nodding off to sleep and dreaming that I finished the book (this happened multiple times), I would fly through the pages like a Karen looking for a poor retail worker to ruin their day. I was tapped into a primal force, an immense need: FINISH THE BOOK. And I did, and I was distraught. The only good thing was that Gemina was set to come out soon, but not nearly soon enough.
But then, a new player enters the field.
My friend Sarah had a connection and BOOM! Gemina in my hands, an arc with little to no art. I was fine with this. As long as I could know what happened next, I was fine. And then I right it and was decidedly NOT FINE thank you very much Ms. Kaufman and Mr. Kristoff. I decided it would be ok though, not much longer until the release of Obsidio, just another year. I could handle that.
It was not another year but two.
I want to say that I put off reading Obsidio for two years because I was being a petty brat who was like, “you want me to wait for two years? Fine. I’ll make you wait for two years.” But that is simultaneously giving too much credit and not enough. The simple answer is this: I was lazy and scared. I wanted all of my babies to be safe and I could not guarantee that with a certain murderous Artificial Intelligence hanging around, now could I?
(Also sidebar, I have genuinely one really random and bizarre fear and that is AI taking over the world and killing us all so this did actually tap into a very deep fear of mine. The only thing keeping pure panic at bay was the fact that it was never in a humanoid body, always a computer. Anyway….)
I’m happy to report that I have finished Obsidio after spacing it out over a few days so that I didn’t bulldoze through it and ruin the experience. That did not stop me from screaming, yelling, gesticulating wildly, theorizing at my cats, and, of course, crying. Because despite all of this being a science fiction novel, I cared about these characters so much. These authors breathed so much life and humanity into these people that I knew them, I knew every single one of them and so when they died or their loved ones died, I felt it.
The last fifty or so pages of this book has left me a shell of a person. I must now read a romcom and chug a gallon of water to completely reset my wiring and start anew. Will I ever reread this series? Oh probably. It’s one of the few that I own, I even have the second book signed from a pre-ordered box from 2016. Would I ever get a tattoo based on Illuminae? I don’t know. Never say never, chum.