Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

obsidian-cover5Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: May 8th, 2012

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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. 

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s novels have been making waves in the book blogging community for a while now, and after reading Obsidian, I finally know what all the fuss is about. She is hilarious! And she’s also pretty damn creative.

Armentrout’s Lux series is narrated by Katy, a young woman with an independent mind and some serious loner tendencies. Three years prior, Katy’s father died, and she has spent her time since then shutting everyone else out. Moving to a new town forces her to take a closer look at her life, especially when she meets her new neighbours: brother and sister, Daemon and Dee Black help Katy realize just how lonely she really is.

Dee is a force of nature – she is constantly in motion, coming up with new ideas and schemes, and she’s a bit of a hand talker. She’s a great counter-point to Katy, whose favourite pass-times are book blogging and other solo activities. Props to Jennifer L. Armentrout on this one: choosing a heroine who’s a reader and blogger shows that she obviously knows her target market. Katy’s musings on blogging are insightful and clever, which automatically made me like her.

As much as everyone loves Katy and even Dee, I feel like it’s safe to say that the real star of this series is Daemon. Usually I’m not a fan of the “hot-and-cold, but I’m gorgeous so it’s okay” trope, but it worked for me here. Daemon’s vulnerability shines through at the perfect moments, making us realize that maybe his attitude is partly a facade. He might not be as much of a jerk as he seems, but the boy’s got sass.

I thought his nickname for Katy was kind of cheesy and annoying, which was actually perfect. Calling a girl “Kitten” because you want to taunt her and single her out without admitting you like her? Yeah, that’s pretty standard high school behaviour. It was just so refreshing to read a book about teens that actually makes them seem like real people, with both smarts and some embarrassing foibles.

Finally, there’s the most creative aspect of the novel: the Luxen themselves. While Daemon and Dee have a lot in common with the average teen – aside from their ridiculous good looks – they are different on a fundamental level: they’re not human. The Black’s are Luxen, a species of alien that came to Earth after their own planet was destroyed. Although they seem fairly harmless, part of the mystery of the series is what their true agenda really is. I mean, they don’t actually expect us to believe that they’re fine with toeing the line and checking in with the Department of Defense, do they? I’m excited to see where this is going.

Aside from the character development and the unique portrayal of aliens, I also really enjoyed Katy’s response to Daemon’s request at the end of the book. I won’t give it away for anyone, but I loved how she knew what she wanted and still held her ground and told him that what she needed was better treatment from those around her. You go girl!

Aliens, make-out sessions, and girl power. Isn’t that what being a teenager’s all about? Well, aside from that first one…

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