Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

30 August, 2012 Reviews 28 comments

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1
Published by Entangled Teen on November 29th 2011
Pages: 287
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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.

Wow. I did not expect to enjoy Obsidian as much as I did. For some reason, I’ve just been avoiding it, but it was always there in my Twitter and GoodReads feeds. Daemon was frickin’ invading my life. Finally, after seeing everyone change their avatars to the Lux series’ covers, I felt I had to check it out. Almost all of my friends have given this book anywhere from 3-5 stars, but most averaging around 4. So naturally I had to read it to see what the big fuss was about. I was initially wary because I had heard Obsidian was Twilight all over again and we all know how I feel about Twilight and its reincarnations. But surprisingly, I really liked it! Weirdly enough, I could probably go on and on why I didn’t like it, but I don’t have that urge. I have an urge to hug this book closely because it made me laugh on more than one occasion. Also, Armentrout. I want to hug her too. Because despite Obsidian’s headdesk-worthy clichés, I cannot deny… it’s an enchanting read. Either that, of I probably shouldn’t be drinking while reading…. Ha! Yeah, right.

Another reviewer said, “It was as if the author felt obligated to fix Twilight catastrophe and tried make it right again” and I completely agree with her. I’ll even take it a step further and say it was like Armentrout woke up one day and said, “I’m going to write a book using all the tropes and clichés people usually hate and they’re still gonna love the shit out of this book.” You might be wondering, “How can one possibly make Twilight better?!” Well, let’s take a look at Armentrout’s plan for blogosphere domination:

Step One: Create a likable and relatable main character.

How do you make a female main character instantly relatable to most of the female blogging community? The answer is so simple I’m honestly kicking myself that I’ve never thought of it before. You make her one of them. There are so many books I’ve read where the protagonist is an avid reader. And now I usually find myself going, “YAWN. She can read. Good for her.” But not here in Obsidian. Because not only does Katy love to read, but she is a book blogger. Say what? This main character has a… hobby other than staring at her hot next-door neighbor? Nice. Not only that, but Katy is smart, funny, witty and gives Jerkface Daemon a run for his money.

Step Two: Add a bad boy with two scoops of asshole.

Ah, the bad boy. Almost every girl goes through the “bad boy phase.” It’s like a black hole, totally unavoidable, unless you happen to be smarter than the rest of us, in which case, you rock. But there’s just something about the thrill of fooling around with someone you know you have no business fooling around with. It can be the best and worst days of your life. That is… until you grow up and get married! XD

Anyway, that’s kinda what Daemon is for Katy in Obsidian. He is the irresistible, hot, bad boy who Katy can’t deny she’s attracted to. But the kicker is that even though Daemon treats her awfully (reasons are revealed in Shadows), she’s not one of those heroines that sits back and accepts that. It’s one of the first times I’ve seen a YA heroine differentiate between love and lust. Here’s a girl who is saying, “Okay this guy pretty much sets my panties on fire and I would totally exercise him in my bedroom (and possibly in the kitchen by the buttered rolls), but I’m not gonna because he’s a complete asshole and I’m better than that.” How refreshing!

And yeah, maybe Daemon is a nice guy underneath all his Jerk-titude, but that doesn’t mean Katy has to bend over backwards and ignore his past behavior. Armentrout sets up Daemon’s character for redemption because finally someone is saying, “Enough with all the douchebags treating the heroine like shit and still ending up with her in the end just by apologizing.” And that is why Obsidian ultimately won me over. At first I couldn’t figure out how everyone could love a book when the love interest was a complete tool, but when Katy gave Daemon the one finger salute with a nice “fuck you very much,” I knew I was won over.

Step Three: Choose a paranormal creature that isn’t written to death.

Vampires? Ugh. Werewolves? Old news. Fairies? Boooring! How about something we don’t get to see a lot of in YA? Something that will grab your attention! (And I’m not talking about Daemon’s… er… friendly nature.)

Actually, now that I think of it. That image is pretty accurate. 

Maybe I’m not as well read as I thought I was with YA novels, but I don’t see a lot of PNR authors tackling aliens. And what a shame! There is so much untapped potential there. In Obsidian you have hundreds of aliens living in West Virginia amongst humans. They’re in the schools, holding normal jobs and interacting with humans on a regular basis. So what happens if someone finds out their secret? Awesomeness happens. That’s what.

Step Four: Make overused YA cliché and tropes interesting again.

Girl moves to a new small town? Check. Heroine doesn’t know she’s beautiful? Check. Single parent home who has a convenient excuse to leave the heroine alone for long stretches? Check. Paranormal characters hit the genetics jackpot lottery? DOUBLE CHECK. Love interest is so hot he practically melts the heroine’s panties off with a grin? Check. Boy save girl from near death experience, therefore revealing his paranormal abilities? Check. Boy tries to deny those abilities? Check. Girl is allergic to his bullshit? Check. I admit, some of these this did bother me, but in the end, it didn’t matter too much, especially since there is no insta-love and Katy is frickin’ awesome! Hmm… This review turned into one huge lovefest for the MC, Katy. How odd.

Step Five: Sit back and watch your magic work. Your work here is done.

 Pinky ring not required, but recommended. 

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
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28 Responses to “Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

  1. Fauzan

    Didn’t you just LOVE Katy? xD My review for it was a huge love-fest about her too, and filled with burning hatred for Daemon. Great review, Steph~

  2. NatasaWMYB

    I’ve been seeing this Obsidian everywhere as well. After reading your review I guess I’ll *have* to read it now :/

  3. sofie_hatter

    I read your GR comments last week and got caught up. So I  read it over the weekend when I needed something light and fun. I’ll admit it, I liked it. I was scared because of the whole Twilight comparison, but in the end you are so right about everything you said. It’s amazing what a heroine with her own interests, some self worth, and personality can do for a book. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Stephanie Sinclair
      Twitter:

       @sofie_hatter It’s true. A heroine can really make or break a book. Had she had been a Bella, this book would have received a much different rating. Are you going to continue with the series? I finished Onyx the other day and it was an improvement plot wise. 

      • sofie_hatter

         @Stephanie Sinclair  @sofie_hatter Yes, I think I will continue. It satisfies my craving for light reading. It’s fun and mindless, no offense to the author, without making me feel like I’m loosing brain cells or that girls can’t do anything on their own. Again, thanks for bringing this series to my attention.

  4. Sarah saz101

    Bahaha! I’m so glad you liked it, Stephanie! This book frustrated the hell out of me, and Onyx even more so… and I <em>loved</em> it. What it did to my blood pressure… but it’s CHEMISTRY. PHWOAR. The books are like crack… only… on… uh… crack? LOVE that Katy doesn’t take Daemon’s BS, and loved so many things about the book–especialyl the friendship between Katy and Dee… the writing wasn’t <em>fabulous</em> but it’s so chatty and authentically <em>Katy</em> it’s easy to get caught up in.
     
    <em>“I’m going to write a book using all the tropes and clichés peo­ple usu­ally hate and they’re still gonna love the shit out of this book.”</em>
     
    BWAHAHA!

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I’ve been avoiding reading this one despite the great reviews because Daemon just sounded like a douche to me. Hopefully when I get around to this, my love for Katy will outweigh my dislike of Daemon.

  6. Realm of Fiction
    Twitter:

    Brilliant review, Steph! Jennifer’s books have always been guilty pleasures for me, especially her Covenant series. They are all pretty much full of aspects that usually annoy me, but I still find them very addicting and fun. I’m really glad you ended up enjoying this! 🙂 

  7. readingangel002

    YES YES YES AND MORE YES!!! Pinky ring and all!! I bow to your review mastery! That is all 😉

  8. _ElizabethMay

    Haha, you are wonderful, Steph! Brilliant review! I find Armentrout’s writing to be incredibly addicting, so I had such a fun time reading this one, too.

  9. RadiantShadowss

    ““Okay this guy pretty much sets my panties on fire and I would totally exer­cise him in my bed­room (and pos­si­bly in the kitchen by the but­tered rolls), but I’m not gonna because he’s a com­plete ass­hole and I’m bet­ter than that.”
     
    This alone makes me want to pick up Obsidian. Why I haven’t before now? Pff, who knows. But I most definitely will be after now!

  10. Neyra

    I’ve had this book on my TBR forever, and I thought I’d bumped it up a couple shelves closer to me reading it, but no such luck. I’ve heard so much about it too, so many people gushing and going all fangirl for Daemon, I feel like i’m missing out  -____- i didn’t however know that Katy was a baddass MC, so thanks for that Steph! ^-^ I’ll be looking forward to this now! 🙂

  11. Erika

    I loved this book for the same reasons you did, and, yes, I too could go on and on about its flaws but I really just don’t want to!

    I’m not sure if it was you or not, but I saw a Steph comment on another review on Goodreads saying she probably wouldn’t read this, and if that was you, I am SO glad you did.

    I actually really like how self aware this book was, too. Katy even mentions insta-love at some point when reviewing a book, but I think that might be in Onyx. I’m tearing through them so fast I can’t even keep it straight.

    Great review!
    Erika recently posted…Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux, #1)My Profile

  12. Stephanie

    I love your review as much as I love the book! I was wary about the book at the start because of all the Twilight comparisons, but so many people assured me that it was such a fun and joyful read that I just HAD to pick up a copy! And I am so glad that I did!

    The chemistry between Daemon and Katy was PERFECT! Katy’s character was flawless, and I loved her so much! Armentrout’s use of humour was refreshing and kept the whole story interesting, and I think it’s half the reason why all the clichés work so perfectly in this book.

    Fantastic review, and I can’t wait to keep reading the series!

    • Danielle

      I loved your review of this book so much. It was super well written and I literally was chuckling at my desk while reading it. When I read this book I felt the same way, conflicted. I didn’t want to like it but I couldn’t stop either. For some reason it did keep my interested enough to finish and even buy the sequel but I did want to face palm myself due to my dislike of so many cliches and yes it reminded me of twilight over and over. However, I think you perfectly verbalized how I felt about this book and convinced me to follow this book for good!! Great job!!!!

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