By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
For months, civilian and military adults and scrappy teens have been fighting for their lives and those of several thousand others, both the survivors of the Beitech attack still down on the planet Kerenza IV and others now crammed into a repurposed spaceship. They’ve seen devastating loss of life and valuable property, and now they’re down to their last fight: a last-ditch battle to get to and gain control of the Magellan, BeiTech’s mobile jump station, which is the only way they can get back through a wormhole to civilization.
BeiTech is ramping up its game to get the last of the valuable hermium it needs from the Kerenza mines to power Magellan’s jump platform, and it’s preparing to slaughter the rest of the Kerenza survivors, innocent mine workers and their families, before it leaves the system behind and tries to pretend the attack never happened. But our heroes from the previous Illuminae books, Kady and Ezra and Hanna and Nik and others, as well as some new plucky young people down on Kerenza, are going to fight to the very end to stop that scenario from happening. Kady’s cousin, Asha, for example, is on the planet trying to survive and protect others, including a little girl whose mom is up on the ship with Kady. Things get complicated when one of the BeiTech soldiers, a guy named Rhys who’s just a techie for the company up in orbit and has no idea what’s really happened down on Kerenza, ends up being shipped down to the surface. The former couple run into each other, and Kady is so not pleased to see Rhys on the side of the enemy.
The teens not only fight to survive and protect many innocents, but they gather information in a group of files that can be used to prove in court how evil BeiTech is. But they have to survive and get through the wormhole for any of that to happen.
This conclusion to the Illuminae series is just as entertaining and gripping, with splashes of humor and romance woven throughout. As in the other two books, it’s told through memos, audio and video transcriptions and various other communications. I read the whole series on my iPad on the Kindle app, which made it vastly easier than reading the bulky print books.
Rated: Moderate. The official who requested the “dossier” asked for bad language to get censored, so almost any profanity is blacked out in the book. Sexual content includes a few kisses and some brief references to some randy behavior by soldiers (this latter is less than in the other two books). There is also implication that one teen couple is having sex in their bunks together. Violence and gore are pretty high. This is the last fight and there are lots of deaths in plenty of ways. It’s almost a high rating, considering that the language is blacked out but still easy to be filled in in your head, and the body count is so high.