Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Reviewed by Joanna

Book one in this series gave us Katy, a seventeen-year-old relocating to West Virginia, and finding out her neighbors were aliens. One particular alien, Daemon, was super mean to her all the time so of course he’s the love interest, except they settled on being frenemies by the end of the tale.

Because of an interaction they’d had fighting the Arum, the alien bad guys, Katy now shares some of Daemon’s magical powers as well as a connection with him where they can sense each another and speak to one another inside their heads (when he’s in his pure light alien form). So it’s safe to say her life has changed forever.

In this instalment, Katy is exploring her powers while Daemon is making a play for her affections, but she’s still not having it as she doesn’t believe his amour is true and she needs an awful lot more convincing. Cue lots of romantic efforts and highs and lows. Alongside this the DOD – department of defense – is starting to look closer at the activity around their small town after the drama of the first book. They are aware of the aliens and keep them under tight control, but what will they say to a human with alien powers?

Luckily for Katy, another guy she’s interested in, Blake, can help her with her secret, much to Daemon’s disgust. Then there’s a change in the danger factor. In book one, Katy being in Daemon’s life put him and his family at risk, now it’s the other way around.

So Katy trains with surfer boy Blake while Daemon glowers in the background and the bad guys close in. Then there’s a plot based on a consistent lack of communication. No one tells anyone anything and it drove me nuts.

There is a theme of sexism in this series which bugged me, centering on Daemon’s repeated ignoring of Katy’s wishes (and that of any other female). Example: Katy wants to date someone else but Daemon scares them off and interrupts her date despite her asking him to leave. She then feels she can’t speak to the guy if Daemon is around. This is presented as being okay because she secretly really wants Daemon. But he doesn’t know that. The only knowledge he has is her repeatedly saying no, and his interpretation of the physical effects he bring out in her. Like blushing.

He also patronizes his sister and withholds life changing information from her, and leads on another girl who he used to date but doesn’t want anymore. Well doesn’t he sound a treat?

Daemon didn’t want his sister to know [SPOILER REDACTED]. I promised, mainly because I understood that imagining what was being done to [SPOILER REDACTED] right now was probably worse than thinking he was dead. Daemon didn’t want to share that helplessness with his sister. He was that kind of guy, and I respected him for it.

I did not. I’ve got no problem with alpha males, submissive females and any kind of relationship people want to enter into. What I don’t like is non-consent. Katy says no to Daemon, he ignores her and thinks he knows better.

There’s another couple of books to this series but I’m not sure I’ll read on. I’m not interested enough in the human threat element and felt the alien aspect is wasted. The aliens bring little other-worldliness to the story. The lack of world building disappointed me and I missed the opportunity to know more about the home planet or pretty much any other real species development. I guess book three will bring access to the Elders of the race. I may or may not meet them.

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

Onyx
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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