Monday, January 27, 2014

Epic Recs: January and Obsidian: Lux #1

I don't know how many of you have ever heard of "Epic Recs" but it is an amazing and super fun feature where Amber @ Books of Amber and Judith @ Paper Riot force each other to read a certain book a month.  Check out Judith's page here and sign up for a partner!  They are really kind and spend time matching you with someone of similar interests.  That's how I met Andrea from the Youtube Channel Bookstalkers.  This month she made me read the following book… Stay tuned for more updates on "Epic Recs".

Title: Obsidian: A Lux Novel, Book One
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Format: Library Copy
Genre: YA; Paranormal Romance; Sci-fy
Rating: ✎✎✎✎

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.

My Thoughts and Reflection:

This book doesn't have the most unique premise; it follows along with a lot of clichés that are commonly found in Paranormal Romance.  That, for me, was a problem.  I rarely read Paranormal Romance, because it tends to be repetitive and carbon copied.  So, the premise almost scared me off, but not quite.
The plot took a long time to go anywhere; there was a lot of relationship build up between Daemon/Katy, and Katy/Dee, as well as some foreshadowing involving the whole Dawson story.
The characters overall were interesting. However, Katy was sort of a bland character, which isn't a good thing for a protagonist to be.  She wasn't exactly very interesting, besides all of the book blogger references.  Despite the fact that she was the protagonist, I felt like I didn't know her at all.  Katy also didn't exactly have a relationship with her mom (who was absent) and she didn't have a lot of emotion about her father's death.  She talked about it in sort of a detached way, which is just strange for someone, especially an only child who likely spent a lot of time with her father.
I thought that Dee was a light, fun, character, but she did't have a lot of depth about her.  Besides the pain about losing her brother Dawson, we don't learn a lot about Dee.  She is supposed to be the best friend of the protagonist!  However, her relationship with Katy did give some balance to the romance, which I think a lot of YA struggles with.
With Daemon we obviously get a lot of character development, and I think that he was the most rounded character in the book.  He feels a lot of pain for shutting Katy out, but on the other hand he is fiercely protective of Dee and their situation.  That is understandable, considering that his only other sibling is dead as well as his parents.
I did find it strange that Katy and Daemon never had any bonding moment of the loss of their parents.  It probably would have strengthened their relationship.
 Katy and Daemon's relationship tended to fall into the stereo-typical bad-boy good-girl category, although Katy has a lot of real pain about Daemon's "dislike" of her, which was unique to this particular story.
Ash, Adam, and Andrew are three characters that we really don't here about until towards the end of the book, but I think that Armentrout did a very good job at showing their personalities through dialogue.  They were not flat characters.

The concept of aliens is what fascinated me most.  A lot of paranormal fiction focuses on a more folklore side (vampires, werewolves) or a almost religious side, (angels).  This made Obsidian really unique.
I also loved the way that Armentrout described the aliens, and that she made them beings of light.  Daemon comes across as a dark character for most of the book, so I think that showing that his insides where light added depth to his characters.  Also, the concept of an opposite set of aliens, who are dark, and are set on stealing the light, was great.  It was almost parallel to a story of the angels vs. the fallen angels.
I thought that the ending was satisfactory.  Certainly not a major cliffhanger, but a little disappointing all the same.  After a great lead up I expected a well composed ending.  It came across as a little rushed.

However, at the end of the copy that I read there were several chapters told from Daemon's POV, and I think that they gave a lot of closure and depth to his actions.

Cover Analysis:

I don't think that this was a very fitting cover for the book.  It was too dark for a story about aliens made of freaking light, even if Daemon is the bad boy for half the book.  Also, the boy/girl actors weren't satisfactory.  This should have been a cover without people on it.


Overall, I was pleased with this unique paranormal romance, but I will be looking for more depth in Katy as the series continues.


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