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Monday, December 5, 2011

eARC Review: Obsidian (Jennifer Armentrout)


TITLE: Obsidian                                                SERIES: Lux #1
AUTHOR: Jennifer Armentrout                     PUB DATE: 12/6/11
PUB: Entangled Pub                                          FORMAT: eARC
SOURCE: Netgalley.com



Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is

THREE(ish) WORDS: Refreshing. Fun. Awesome MC

MY REVIEW: I’ll admit that I was a bit wary when I read the synopsis to Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout. I’m not usually a big fan of alien stories, but I think Arementrout’s book has converted me! Obsidian is an enticing, gripping read that held me captivated from beginning to end and has one of the best written female YA characters that I’ve come across in a long while.

            MY BRIEF SUMMARY
When Katy moves to WV with her mom, she doesn’t expect her life to take any surprising or exciting turns. In fact, she expects the complete opposite. But what she gets is something she could never imagine possible. The boy next door, Daemon, is HOT…too bad he’s also a jerky asshat. Daemon’s assitude only gets worse after Katy develops a friendship with his twin sister Dee. Katy soon finds herself on the receiving end of one cold hatred from Daemon and his friends. But after Daemon saves Katy’s life twice, and uses his alien (yes alien!) powers to do so, she is forced to remain close to him for her own protection. With dangerous alien enemies all around, Katy must face her fear and her feelings for Dameon-equal parts attraction and repulsion.

            STORY
Arementrout’s Obsidian is hip, fun, and so very refreshing. I was completely engrossed the whole read through. The sci-fi elements are original, imaginative, and best of all, not too heavy; they don’t dominate the whole story. Yet, the romantic aspects don’t dominate the story either. There’s a really nice balance between all the elements, which creates a very well developed and interesting story.

The story paces nicely, nothing is ever rushed nor drags. The story itself takes place over about 5-6 months, which I really liked. This timeframe allowed me to really get to know the characters and allowed the story to build organically. Arementrout’s writing is superbly witty, sharp, and entertaining. The dialogue and the teenage voice in this book are spot on realistic; the teenagers actually sound and think like teenagers.

I was really intrigued by the backstory and history of the aliens-the Luxen and the Arum. Armentrout develops and offers this backstory without ever overwhelming or confusing readers. And the alien abilities are pretty cool, original, and fun to explore! There are a few action packed, fighting scenes that are expertly executed and left me breathless.

I really enjoyed “watching” Katy’s story unfold. Katy’s story is an easy one to fall into and to feel a part of. Throughout the book I felt more like a participant than a simple reader; the story really pulled me in.

The ending is climatic, exciting, a bit surprising, and sets up the next book nicely.

            CHARACTERS
This is very much a character driven story and the characters are excellent! Arementrout offers readers three engaging, compelling main characters, a slew of fabulous minor characters, and a wonderfully evil antagonist.

Katy is, of course, the main character and I just LOVE her. She really is one of the most refreshing, likable, and relatable YA characters I’ve come across all year! What I love about Katy is that her character’s likability and relatability is effortless. Armentrout didn’t go over the top trying to make Katy super unique or different, but she also didn’t make her terribly clichéd or stereotypical. Katy is wonderfully and refreshingly normal and average. But that’s not to say that she isn’t awesome, because she is. She’s smart, funny, sharp, loyal, and courageous. But she also has her insecurities and issues, making her so easy to connect with...yeah, I'm kind of crushing on Katy ;)
 And I just loved the fact that Katy is a book review blogger! The amount of book blogger love and appreciation in this book is too awesome.

Daemon is equal parts infuriating and swoon-worthy. I really like the way that Armentrout doesn’t expect readers to find his arrogance, jerkiness, and overall assitude charming. Armentrout makes it ok for readers to hate him sometimes right along with Katy. And his less than appealing at times personality, actions, and words make sense and aren’t just there for the shock value or for the sake of adding snark and wit. Yet, he is a very layered character and his goodness, sweetness, and compassion do shine through.  Overall, Daemon is a love interest for our MC that readers will root for and be comfortable with.

Dee, Daemon’s sister, adds a lot of humor and bubbliness to the story. She’s a very sweet, fun, likable character. I love her friendship with Katy and her relationship with her brother.

The Arum make for satisfying and intriguing “bad guys”.

            ROMANCE
Katy and Daemon never actual date in this book, but the romantic chemistry between these two is off the charts undeniable and hot! There’s something very electric about the way these two interact, especially when they’re at each other’s throats. Even when they’re fighting and insulting one another, the air around them seems to sizzle and spark. They are a few physical scenes between the two that left me with a pounding heart and in need of a cold shower *fans self*.

Despite the intense nature between these two, I really love the fact that this relationship doesn’t turn Katy into a weak, lovesick, whiny girl like so many female YA characters. Yes, Katy does often think about Daemon’s hotness and fantasizes about him, but she isn’t simply spellbound by him. Her feelings for him don’t blind her to his flaws or his habit of being a jerk. And most importantly, she doesn’t allow Daemon to walk all over her. Katy isn’t afraid to stand up to him and demand to be treated with respect. I really love and admire Katy’s strength and refusal to allow Daemon to call all the shots.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS:  Obsidian turned out to be such a spectacular surprise. I’ve totally fallen in love with this book and with Armentrout’s characters. This is an awesome first volume in what is sure to be a phenomenal series. This is a MUST read book!

MY RATING
5/5 CUPCAKES

You can connect with and learn more about Jennifer Armentrout here:
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12 comments:

Kathy Ann Coleman said...

Hello :) So glad to hear that you liked this one too. I really loved the ending. It drove me crazy but it was totally brilliant and certainly not something I've seen an author do a hundred times before. I'm definitely hyped for Onyx. How about you?

A. Knight said...

Your review has made me THIS much more envious! I want. The characters sound as amazing as the story. Excellent review!

- Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking said...

@A. Knight- thank you so much! It was a great book. I hope you get the chance to read it soon :)

Oh! Paper Pages said...

Great review. I am not into Alien stories but after reading your review, I might order this book. Thanks for the rec!

Jessirae said...

This is an epic awesome review! I've been dying to read Obsidian! I need to get this book. Your review just made me even more excited to get this book! I'm so glad you loved this book!

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

I'm so excited to read this. I have heard from several reviews now that Katy is a great lead female character. I hate whiny lovesick females so I am happy to hear that is not the case in this book. I also love aliens! I used to love the show Roswell. Also very cool that Katy is a book review blogger! LOL Something we can all have in common with her.

LisaILJ said...

Wow. I have been reading some great things about this one and actually all of the Author's books. I really need to try to hunt this down. Thanks for the review.

mimz said...

I really really want to read this. I've been reading only great things about this book and the hype that surrounds it is making me very impatient. lol

Great review! :)

Maji Bookshelf said...

I honestly haven't seen a review of this book where someone didn't like it. I am also a bit put off by the synopsis. Im not a fan of sci-fi at all, but i never read a sci-fi book. and aliens? but everyone seemed to love it, so i have to give it a try!

I also love it when the book is set for a longer time, 6 months seems like a good enough time span. Like you said, i would really get to know the characters plus nothing feels rushed in, which is something i care a lot about in books.

Swoon worthy characters? check. Ok I'm off to buy it now!! :P

thanks for the review!! ;)

- juhina

Eunice said...

Great review! I agree with almost everything you said about this book! This is one of my favorite reads this year! Can't wait for Onyx! XD

Rebecca said...

I've heard a lot about this book. Sounds like it is a must-read. Thanks for the great review!

Katy Austin said...

LOVED! your review! I also love this book!!! its about Katy who does book reviews just like me lmao!