Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

Reviewed by Joanna

Alien romance is a new one on me. I don’t read much space fantasy so don’t often see aliens as heroes. Aren’t they usually the bad guys? Well for Katy, new resident of nowheresville, West Virginia, this proves both true and false. For one thing, her new neighbor—incredibly hot and frequently topless Daemon—is just such an ass. He is perma-scowling and rude, and can move faster than any human should. His twin sister Dee is his polar opposite in terms of attitude and as much as she and Katy want to be besties, the douchebag brother doesn’t like this plan one bit.

This story is set in high school and sits firmly in the YA category. The protagonists are seventeen and dealing with issues like exams, friendships, dating and social status. Except for Daemon, Dee and their crew they have the extra fun element to their torturous teenage years of being so very different to everyone. Like, light years away from their peers as, um, they’re aliens.

This fact isn’t revealed until a good portion into the book but I’m pretty sure it isn’t a spoiler. If anything it serves to make sexy Daemon hotter by giving him enhancements. Like the speed thing, strength, glowing and being very pretty.

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.”

The plot centers on the aliens-are-real secret Katy discovers, the threat the young auslanders face, and the frenemies relationship she and Daemon develop.

As a book blogger, Katy was very likeable, and she had attitude to her which balanced Daemon as the arrogant douchey hero. I wanted to smack him upside the head repeatedly. He rejects Katy time and time again but she doesn’t sit and weep about it so it’s just part of the sparring. She’s a great character and I wish she had her own storyline rather than just that of the hero’s.

Because Daemon is verbally abusive he’s a little difficult to like, and he’s drawn to Katy despite himself. I wanted to watch him crack, back down and admit he liked her. She obviously finds him very attractive but she’s no pushover. He orders her about and she tells him where to go.

Shades of Twilight are all over this story, and where I don’t mind formulaic all that much, there are some very similar scenes, e.g. the heroine goes dress shopping with her new school friends and gets spooked by a bad guy, the hero’s sister becomes her bestie, the hero saves the heroine by stopping a speeding truck. On the other hand it was lighter in terms of atmosphere and plot, and had its own structure and feel.

I’m hoping for more world building in the next book, as there was nowhere near enough about the Luxen’s (the aliens) history, and how they aged or even how they felt in their assumed human forms. This would’ve been interesting and I felt the gap. ‘Alien’ really could’ve just been replaced by ‘vampire’ or ‘wizard’.

There is no HEA but it’s implied for later in the series. If you’re considering this for younger teens, it features swearing, kissing but no sexual activity and the aliens and their evil counterparts aren’t scary.

Rating: C+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Obsidian
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Comments

  1. I had the same feelings about this book. I couldn’t shake the Twilight feel either. Afterwards, I had tried to read her Covenant series, but it felt like I was reading fan-fic of Vampire Academy. Not sure if they were ever intended as such or not. I have been hesitant to try her newer stuff because of this. BTW, if you haven’t read the novella Shadows, I definitely recommend it since it sheds some light onto Daemon’s character.

    • Thanks Kristin, I’ve read Obsidian and Onyx but not further yet. I wasn’t if it was worth it, but I’ll pick up Shadows for sure.

      And I heard the same thing about the Vamp Diaries. She certainly seems to be following a well-worn pattern.

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