Book Review: Obsidian (Lux: Book #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux (Book 1)
Genre: Teen Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi
Page Count: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 8, 2012

Publisher’s Summary: 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: I first heard about this book from a BookTuber (sorry, I forget which, I think her name was Emma?) who called it one of her “favorite trashy YA romance series.” I’d never seen or heard of it before, and alien romance was never necessarily my deal, but the BookTuber seemed to share my taste in other YA romances, so I ordered it in paperback along with the Syrena Legacy books. I instantly liked the narrator, Katy, who was a book blogger (yay!) and also, for some reason, a gardener? (Not sure if that has any purpose for the plot later in the series?) In very Twilight-y fashion, Katy is a high schooler who has just moved into a new town–this one’s in West Virginia–from sunny Florida. She makes fast friends with the girl next door, but the girl’s jerkwad twin brother hates Katy from the start for some inexplicable reason, and he never passes up the chance to let Katy know it.

Strange things start happening all around Katy. Next thing she knows, she’s embroiled in an all-out local alien war. Now, I was intrigued by the aliens’ powers and the worldbuilding in this one, but I don’t personally understand the whole ‘bully romance’ phenomenon. Enemies-to-lovers, on the other hand, I LOVE, so long as the character motivations are clear and the relationship eventually transforms into two people treating each other with loving kindness. But Daemon never stopped bullying Katy, and the only thing apparent between them was lust. It took until 3/4 of the book for me to finally warm up to him a little, once he helped rescue her from a potential date-rape situation. But I would’ve appreciated more opportunities to root with our hero.

The book is written in a super clever, snarky YA contemporary voice that is easy and enjoyable to read. It has just the right dose of sci-fi to be a genre PNR but doesn’t overwhelm you with science lingo or the physics (or astrophysics) of it all. As always with this genre, I tend to enjoy the side characters and their backstories, along with the world-building and scenery, more than the main couple. I recommend this book to fans of The Syrena Legacy, The Twilight Saga, and Guardian.

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