Book review: Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

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Three years after the death of her father, Katy’s mother decides that it’s time for a fresh start.  They pack up and move from Florida to a tiny town West Virginia, where everybody is weird and rude.  The first person Katy meets in West Virginia is her neighbor Daemon.  And Katy hates Daemon.  In fact, during their first meeting, she says he’s acting like “the son of Satan.”

But don’t worry, because the feeling’s mutual.  Daemon can’t stand Katy either:

“She’s not welcome in our house,” Daemon snapped, turning to his sister. “Seriously.”

He smirked as he watched me. “I don’t like that you’re friends with my sister.”

“Actually I was being serious.” He leaned over the table, staring up at me through thick lashes. “You’re not wanted here.”

“Dee deserves better than you, people that are like her.  So leave me alone. Leave my family alone.”

Why does Daemon hate Katy so much?  Oh, just because she’s a human and he’s a Lux, an alien, and nobody can ever find out his secret.  Katy might be scared off by Daemon’s weird, unfounded hatred of her if not for one thing – Daemon’s sister Dee is Katy’s new best friend.  She encourages the two of them to hang out to get to know each other better, inadvertently causing Daemon to mark Katy with a “trace” that will lead the Arum (enemy of the Luxen) straight to her.

The rest of the book is filled with some pretty intense sexual tension as Katy and Daemon do the whole I-hate-you-but-I’m-so-attracted-to-you dance for about 200 pages.  There are some conflicts and some weird otherworldly stuff happens, but nothing of too much substance.  The book is clearly setting up for several follow-up novels, which I may or may not read – I have no burning desire to pick them up right now.

Honestly, the most frustrating thing was the writing.  Aside from the typical YA/paranormal suspension of disbelief (Why are aliens attending high school?), the writing was weaker than I expected.  I was disappointed to find several typos and continuity mistakes in a book that’s so well known.  For example, Katy notes that Ash, one of the Luxen, is just as gorgeous as all the other Luxen she’s met.  She marvels at this fact, wondering “what was up with alien DNA” to give them all perfect bodies.  This, just shortly after Daemon tells her that they are able to choose the human form they take on.

My final rating hovers somewhere around 2.5 stars, but I’ll round it up because I’m feeling generous.  If you’re into paranormal angsty romances, you’ll probably like this one.  It’s a fun ride, but it won’t be the best book you read this year.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

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