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Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

When I was a kid, I had a lot of anxieties I did not know how to deal with. Those anxieties would come out at night when I was sleeping and give me nightmares. The nightmares were frightening and vivid.

For instance, I had a talking doll when I was about 7. I don't remember her name, but before you ask, no, her name was not Tina, but it should have been. Creepy. Anyway, I used to have this recurring nightmare about my doll that she was about 200 feet tall and on display at the World's Fair. Me and my family were there for the exhibition, but she became animated and broke her bindings much like King Kong and took to stomping about the fair grounds. My family and I ran for the hills and holed ourselves up in a cave. But she was coming for us and I could her the boom, boom, boom of her steps as she headed towards us.

Many of the nightmares were recurring, by the way.

Anyway, another recurring nightmare I had was of alien invaders. They would come floating down to earth, slowly, on a beam of light. The aliens actually looked like they would in Scooby Doo. You all know the episode. The glowing alien in the space suit with the eerie background music and the maniacal laugh, skull looking face through the visor. That's what my aliens looked like, the alien from Scooby Doo.

If the aliens in my dream looked like Daemon Black, though, it would have been an entirely different kind of dream.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: May 8, 2012 | Series: A Lux Novel (Book 1)
When seventeen-year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she’d pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up…until he opened his mouth. Daemon Black is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. It’s hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot guy next door? Well, he’s an alien. Turns out that Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities and Katy is caught in the crosshairs. Daemon’s touch has lit her up like the Vegas Strip and the only way she’s getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until her alien mojo fades. That is if she doesn’t kill him first.

My Review:
One of the books I wanted to pick up from the BEA was Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout, which I was not able to obtain. It is on my wish list, though, but I figured before I pre-ordered the hard cover, I would read samples of some of her other books to see if I liked her writing style. So, I downloaded a sample of Obsidian to start. I was hooked.

Katy has moved to a new state because after her father died, her mother needed a fresh new start. And where else better to get a new start than the boondocks of West Virginia. John Denver wrote about West Virginia making it seem like the place to be on those country roads, but I'm fairly certain he was just driving through. I just can't figure out why, if her mother needed a new, fresh start, they didn't go somewhere slightly more populated, but that's just me I guess.

Anyway, the neighbors next door have kids her age and at her mother's urging, she goes over to introduce herself and ask directions to the nearest store for gardening supplies. She is greeted by a solid, well-defined chest and an attitude that could flay the fur off of kittens. Meet Daemon Black.

Daemon is a jerk most of the time, but he is also a walking contradiction. While he seems to truly dislike Katy, he is not always a complete and utter ass. Katy meets Daemon's sister Dee at the store and Dee comes over to help Katy with her gardening project. They become friends, which Daemon seems to find particularly offensive. Katy, not able to stand for Daemon's crap, gives it right back to him. Sparks fly and it seems like something is going to explode.

Dee has to leave town and she takes Daemon's car keys which she will return only if he will be nice to Katy in her absence. Only because he wants to get his car keys back, Daemon invites Katy to go swimming with him at the lake. She agrees only so he will leave her alone, but as they spend time together, she finds that he is not always so obnoxious. He can actually be nice at times and he completely dotes on his sister.

He runs hot and cold, though, which Katy just cannot deal with, so she tries to stay away from him, but it seems like she just can't get away. And not only that, things are starting to happen.

When she is attacked at night coming out of the library, it is Daemon who comes to her rescue, but who was her attacker and what did he want. He kept asking her where are they, but she had no idea what he was talking about. After that, even more strange things start to happen until Katy discovers why these occurrences seem to happen around Daemon and why he comes off like such a jerk.

While I really enjoyed the book, enough to have picked up and finished the sequel, Onyx, there was one thing that put me off a bit. Katy is a book blogger. That in itself is a cool concept and I really liked the idea, but when she was talking about her blog, I just found it annoying and distracting. Her attitude seemed a bit over the top.

Here are some examples:

"The day my Internet was hooked up was better than having a hot guy check out my butt and ask for my phone number. Since it was Wednesday, I'd typed up a quick "Waiting on Wednesday" post for my blog featuring this YA book about a hot boy with a killer touch - can't go wrong there - apologized for my extended absence, responded to comments, and stalked a few other blogs I loved. It was like coming home."

"Once I got home, though, and saw several packages on my front porch, all the crap from the day disappeared. A few had smiley faces on them. Squealing, I grabbed the boxes. Books were inside - new release books I'd preordered weeks ago.
I hurried upstairs and powered up my laptop. I checked on the review I'd posted last night. No comments. People sucked. But I did gain five new followers. People rocked. I closed out the page before I started redesigning everything."

"On the way home, I stopped at the post office. There was a ton of junk mail in our box, but also a few yellow envelopes, which brought a big ole smile to my face. Media Mail was stamped across them. Gathering my goodies, I headed home and piddled around the house."

Now, I love getting packages as much as the next gal or guy, but it seems to me that Katy is always going to the post office and always gets several packages at a time. I'm trying to figure out how she has time to read all the books she does get. Also, she makes several comments about a quick post. Well, I might have a tendency to run at the mouth...a lot...but I still can't see how a review can be quick. Even a short one for me takes a while to compose. All the comments she makes about blogging, while a great idea, are just a little forced seeming to me. It doesn't flow naturally and at times, it gets in the way of the story for me. Other than that, I absolutely loved the book. I am looking forward to the release of Opal in December and have the novella, Shadows, on my Kindle to read. I have also downloaded the first book, Half-Blood, and the prequel, Daimon, in her Covenant series and am now going to need to pick up Cursed. Looks like I found a new author to love.

If anyone out there has an opinion about Jennifer L. Armentrout's body of work, please share. I'd love to get your opinion.


  1. Nice review! I've seen mixed reviews on this one, and Katy's blogging experiences seem to be the main reason. As you point out, it seems forced. Like the author wants to make it clear that she knows about book blogging. And you're right, quick posts are not easy! Hope you finally get your hands on Cursed!

  2. There were a few nods to weekly mems as well like "Waiting on Wednesday" and "Stacking the Shelves". There are references to blogging in the sequel. I'm hoping that Opal, the third installment due out in December, will have fewer references. That realy is my only complaint, though. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the books.
    BTW, I just ordered Cursed so we'll see how quickly I get to it once I actually receive the book.

  3. I really loved this book! though I have to say that I love MORE the Covenant series.
    Great review! I personally like the blogging references in the book but it doesn't seem really important to me, so, they can be be there, or they can't.

    1. I just picked up the prequel and the first book in the Covenant series, so I am looking forward to getting to them. Jennifer L. Armentrout, while not my favorite author in the world, is a new author I have found to enjoy and I look forward to her forthcoming books. I just ordered Cursed as well. Haven't seen much about it, so I'm hoping it is good.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Everyone on my Twitter and Goodreads feed have been going crazy over this series. I really need to join this bandwagon and just read. Next year will be my year of getting to read the books that I really want to read and stop requesting new ones. It's so hard to do so, though.

  5. The Lux novels are really quick reads and I'm telling you, if you love the swoons, you will love this book. The characters are electric. I hope you give the series a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Tahnks for stopping by!