Saturday, September 22, 2012

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Pages: 361 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: book trailer | author website

Obsidian (Lux, #1)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.


Jennifer L. Armentrout is like one of those inescapable, Internet-conquering memes.

In my circles, I can't click on an adorable cat picture or even scratch my own rear end without hearing someone praise Armentrout's novels to Tibet and back. The campaign her Lux series street team put on before the release of the second book Onyx seemed to involve every other YA blog I could find and everyone wanted to get their hands on the series--and her other series, the Covenant novels. Trusting some friends who gave the novel very positive reviews, I took the leap and read Obsidian.

Trusting those friends was not a good idea in my case.

Sometimes, Katy has a brain. When Daemon acts like a jerk, she calls him out on it and gets mad at at him the way other YA heroines might not. Awesome! Well, until she starts going on and on about how hot Daemon is and I beg her to shut up and focus. One can only stand the drool for so long before they feel like it's time to take a shower. Another thing that should be commended: their chemistry. Armentrout can write some intense chemistry between her characters that makes the few make-out scenes extra-hot.

And as Katy points out, Daemon likes to have his shirt off. In my head, I heard Mai Valentine say "Fanservice!" every time he was shirtless. Because that's what it is: fanservice.

This may not have been a good idea from the beginning. Fluffy romances, contemporary or paranormal or beyond, are not a good fit for me unless the characters falling in love are interesting, dynamic characters who can keep my interest based on their own merits. Romance alone isn't enough of a motivation for me to keep reading. Daemon and Katy are not anywhere near interesting enough to hold my attention, and reading the book became a chore all too quickly.

Once I came to the part where three straight chapters of infodump tell readers everything they need to know about Daemon and Dee's kind, it seemed like the end was in sight. Not a chance! I was only halfway there. This was one book I desperately wanted to make shut up, but my determination to finish this book and try to see this book though everyone else's eyes kept me going. It almost seemed to slow down even further after that point as if to torture me, but I'm paranoid that everything (even my own body!) is out to get me, so don't take that seriously.

The writing itself was rough and rather bland. There are a quite a few good one-liners highlighted on my Kindle, but there's no prose I could specifically highlight as pretty or even memorable. I don't want to say it and therefore will not, but it's derivative of one very popular YA paranormal novel. Not as derivative as other books I could name, but there is more than one parallel that can be drawn between the two books.

I have no plans to read Onyx. Though the prequel novella Shadows is in my possession too, I don't think I'll be reading that either. There are too many other books to read.

2 stars!

What am I reading next?: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones