Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen (2 edition)
Recipe Variables: Adult themes (sex and innuendos) and language
Series: Lux Series: Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin; Shadows a 0.5 novella
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.
It’s that reaction I have when I get all kinds of pumped-up to try something that I think is unique and exotic, with potential for greatness like chocolate covered mushrooms…but then it falls miserably short of expectations. Hundreds of foodies swear chocolate mushrooms changed their religion, but for me, munching on fungus drizzled with perfection was like sitting through a particularly painful sermon. It’s also how I felt about reading Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
This Chick discovered the novel multiple times lurking on “favorites” lists and “You Might Like This” scenarios to the point I pulled the purchase trigger. What really sealed my fate with Obsidian was the fact that it had aliens, which hasn’t been the typical topic for paranormal YA reads as of late. But from the start, I increasingly felt the disappointment seep into my dessert dish.
The main character, Katy, is on the move from a glamorous locale (Florida) to nowhere, USA (Ketterman, West Virgina). Katy and her mom are starting over after the death of Katy’s father three years prior. Within the first few pages, she immediately meets Daemon, the smoking hot guy living next door (is there another kind anymore?), but in Katy’s words, he’s a douchebag. And therein begins my list of problems with the read.
First of all, Katy doesn’t commit to her profanity which is smattered throughout the story. Trust me when I say the more conservative types will find the read offensive, but it’s consistently offensive. One moment it’s “Daemon the Douchebag” and in the following line, Katy mutters, “What the heck?” Heck? Seriously? No teen on the planet uses the middle finger as often as Katy then turns around and says, “What the heck?” Just when I think the author has the hang of the teen lingo, it skews heavily into the nonsensical.
The kicker, however, is the fact that Katy is painted so pathetically weak. There’s no toughness about her, other than her snarky attitude towards love-interest, Daemon. Even the cover is smothered in camp: super hotness oozing off the hunk looking directly into the camera while damsel in distress is hanging on to him for dear life.
The gaps of discrepancy also involve the character of Daemon. He spends a majority of the storyline antagonizing Katy with nicknames like Kitten or Kittycat. Are you freakin’ kidding me? That’s not cute; it’s gag-worthy. The author makes it no secret that she’s completely patterned this irritating stud after the character of Damon from The Vampire Diaries. They not only share monikers, but a similar trait between the two is that girl doesn’t know whether or not she wants to ram his head into a brick wall, or use it for leverage if she jumps his bones. Unfortunately, that’s not where the comparisons stop. There’s the whole alien angle (I Am Number Four), the I’m-gonna-save-you-from-a-car-crushing-you moment (Twilight), and the I’m-beautiful-but-don’t-know-it (Again, Twilight, or any current YA series).
What I did enjoy, however, were the bonus chapters at the end written from Daemon’s point of view. With skill and verve, the author takes ownership of Daemon’s voice and character and runs with it—too bad her editors didn’t see this angle and have her compose the story that way.
Based on literally thousands of reviews of this book on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com, my opinion is a rare drop of descent in a sea of overwhelming love for not only this novel, but the entire series; there are four titles and counting and a rumored movie in development. I’m just here to tell you that if you see the title/cover continually pop up over and over again on your “favorites” lists and “You Might Like This” scenarios, please be aware that a fungus tends to hide in the shadows. Stick with the dessert you’re familiar with on this one because, let’s face it, a mushroom is still a vegetable.