SECOND LOOK: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ONYX (Lux #2)

Jennifer L. Armentrout is the sweetest person in the world.  I was lucky enough to meet her at YA FEST 2012 this past weekend and she gave me her last copy of ONYX.  I read it in, like, 10 hours.  I couldn’t put it down.  But I wanted to wait until the official release came out today to read the POV scene from Daemon before posting my review.

Title: ONYX
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux, #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Aliens
Age: 15+ for violence, sexuality

Synopsis
Picking up where OBSIDIAN left off, the story continues pretty much uninterrupted.  Daemon tries to convince Katy that they should be together.  She thinks it’s because of the link that they now share.

Early in the book, Katy gets REALLY sick.  It turns out she’s suffering from ‘alien flu’ (her words).  After a brief hospital stay, she feels better than ever.  However, it doesn’t take long to realize that she’s developed powers – very similar to Daemon’s.

Enter a new boy, Blake.  Katy goes out with Blake to make Daemon jealous (hint: it works), but he also reveals that he can help her control her newfound powers.  Much to Daemon’s chargrin (and protests), Katy starts practicing with Blake after school.

The Big Bad in this book isn’t the Arum (though they make a few appearances), but rather it’s the DOD (Department of Defense).  There are a few interesting revelations, too, near the end of the book.

According to another review, you should read the novella SHADOWS before reading ONYX for background on Dawson and Bethany.  I didn’t, but ONYX still made sense.  However, it’s getting added to my READ SOON!!1 list.

Thoughts
It’s really hard to write a review for a book I love.  I think my love turns normal words into “a;dhadha;dha;dha;dhaehq’d” and then no one can understand my glee.  So, there’s that.

In all seriousness, as a sequel, ONYX is just as good as OBSIDIAN.  Katy is still as kickass as ever.  Possibly even more because of the effects of alien flu.  Daemon’s still very snarky, but we see a softer side to him, which rounds out his character.  And while there’s the “obligatory” love triangle, Armentrout takes a new stance with it.  While Katy seems interested in Blake, she never really takes it far.  It’s always Daemon she wants and she doesn’t go back and forth about that.  Needless to say, Blake never stood a chance – I mean, really?

One of my favorite things about the book, hands down, is how strong Katy is.  She’s a role model for tough girls and I like that.  She doesn’t put up with Daemon’s BS, even if she’s gooey-eyed for him.

I really can’t say enough good things about this series.  It’s got a little bit of everything.  Not only is it awesome and sexy, it’s got a kickass female heroine.  What’s not to love about that?

I can’t wait for the release of OPAL (Lux #3)…whenever THAT is. :(

Bonus Items
There’s only 1 POV scene for Daemon, which is a little sad.  But it’s a great scene, so if I had to only have one – I’m glad we got the end scene.

Rating… 12/10 (That’s right, a 12!  And I stole the rating from Katy’s Krazy Obsession in this book.  This book is a “forget your homework, don’t feed your kids, and quit your job one-sit read.”

Second Look: Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout (Lux #1)

Jennifer Armentrout is coming to YA Fest next month.  And I’ve been wanting to read OBSIDIAN so I can talk to her about one of her books.  However, when all of the SUPERDUPEROHMYGODHOT pictures starting circulating on her Facebook page for the book trailers, I could wait no more.  And man, I was NOT disappointed.

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux, #1
Publisher Date: May 2012
Age: Young Adult, 15+ (Sexual content, some language.)
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Aliens; Paranormal Romance

Synopsis
Katy moves to small town West Virginia with her mother to escape the painful memories of her dead father in Florida.  Katy knows that it’s the best decision for her mom, but she can’t help feeling a little regret that she’s living in a town with one stoplight.  Oh, and the fact that she’ll have to drive to the next town over to receive her mail.

The twins that live next door, Daemon and Dee, are as opposite as night and day.  Dee yearns to be Katy’s friend, while Daemon does everything in his power to make sure Katy knows how unwelcomed she is in their little group.  Little does Katy know it’s because they’re aliens and they can’t trust humans with their secret.

Katy’s friendship with Dee blossoms, while she and Daemon throw witty retorts back and forth, building the sexual tension to near breaking points.  Katy’s determined to convince herself that she absolutely despises Daemon, despite the fact that he’s super hot.  It works.  Almost.

Thoughts
It’s TWILIGHT meets I AM NUMBER FOUR but so, so much better.

I don’t want to give away too much about this book because it’s so amazingly good, I want you to go out and read it yourself.  I’m not even sure I can properly express the amazing-awesomeness of it.  It’s my new Mythos Academy series.  It’s -that- good.

What I Liked Loved:  Katy’s so real.  If she were a real person, I’d want to be best friends with her.  She has doubts and fears about herself.  She’s a BOOK REVIEW BLOGGER!  Her excitement over new books to read and post about rivals mine and Katie’s.  Seriously, the girl could not be any cooler.  I also like that she doesn’t take crap from Daemon.  She calls him out on his asshole-ness.  And she fires back one-liners that rival his own.  (Really, that’s what he likes about her.)

I also like that it takes a long build-up for her to realize something isn’t right.  While she has an inkling that there’s something going on, she doesn’t suddenly realize it.  (Ahem.  Like another heroine we know and love to hate.)  She doesn’t even tell him what he is – he has to explain it to her.  While she handles it especially well, the reasons behind it are written into the plot and make sense.  She’s not scared of him, but he’s not scary – towards her.  He’s not meant to be dark and dangerous, though he tries.  He’s made of LIGHT for chrissakes.  So, that makes sense as far as not running away in fear of being killed.

Daemon’s a complete jerk.  And he knows it.  But there’s also reasons behind it, which he explains both to her and in his own words (see BONUS MATERIAL).  He’s trying to keep his sister safe, and then he’s trying to keep Katy safe.  Very noble.

Also, I like the fact that the novel ends with Daemon realizing he wants to be with her, but she doesn’t dive into his arms with joy.  In fact, she walks away from him.  And as much as I growled through TOUCH OF FROST and KISS OF FROST that Logan and Gwen didn’t get together, I like that about this book.  Now, if you ask me after ONYX (August 2012), I might have a different opinion…

What I Didn’t Like: Um, nothing!  Seriously, there’s not one BAD thing about this novel.

I took it out from the library to read, and I’m dying to own my own copy.  But I’m waiting until YA Fest to purchase it and have Ms Armentrout sign it for me.  However, I’ll be pre-ordering the next in the series!

Bonus Material
We got lucky.  There’s three scenes told from Daemon’s point of view.  I love this because it not only shows how he’s thinking, but why he acts like he does.  And they aren’t just the first three chapters retold.  They’re three pivotal chapters in the book (originally told in Katy’s POV).  So we can see how he develops over time.

There’s also two chapters from ONYX.  I didn’t read these.  It’s like watching trailers for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES six months before its release.  I can’t handle the torture of ALMOST KNOWING and having to wait.

Other bonus material: Check out Jennifer’s blog or her Facebook and you get all sorts of hot behind-the-scenes footage of “Daemon” and “Katy.”  Seriously, it’ll melt your screen (or blow it up).

And there’s a website for Katy’s blog! Katy’s Krazy Obsession.

I think I’m done.  I might spend another twenty minutes raving.

Summer Pick!

Rating… Can I give this book a 15?  No?  Okay.  10/10 stars.