Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Title: Onyx

Series: Lux, Book 2

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published: August 14th 2012, Entangled Publishing

Edition: ebook, 338 pages

Genre: Fantasy, romance

Age group: Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Onyx (Lux, #2)

‘Onyx’ is the second book in the popular Young Adult fantasy ‘Lux’ series by Jennifer L.Armentrout. With the first one, ‘Obsidian’, ending after a very impressive fight scene between Luxen and Arum, the questions are still not answered and the mystery is more alive than ever. ‘Onyx’ takes start right after the fight and it’s first half is pretty much uneventful, and may seem pointless until you read the book till the end.

The main characters Katy and Daemon now have a new problem, aside from Arum. It’s a secret no one knows besides them, for after Katy was seriously hurt during the fight, Daemon had to use his powers to save her. And now they have to face unexpected consequences. First there’s developed a strange and powerful connection between the two of them, like they can feel each others presence from afar. But most importantly Katy comes to notices something strange about herself, too. It seems like she acquired the same powers Daemon possesses, as she would randomly move or freeze objects. It terrifies her to no end, but she’s afraid to tell anybody, especially Daemon, who has to focus on protecting his sister Dee.

The help for Katy comes unexpectedly from a new boy in school, Blake Saunders. He knows all about the things Katy’s dealing with, because once he was saved by a Luxen, too. It’s very rare and forbidden for the Luxen to heal humans, because when this happens, humans will mutate. Their DNA would change, thus giving them the abilities only a Luxen is capable of. But it’s highly dangerous for a human to manage this power, to control it. Some can’t make it and would destroy themselves. Blake doesn’t want it to happen, he wants to help Katy and to teach her to control herself.

Their trainings go on with Katy’s indifference to Daemon’s disapproval. There is something about Blake that sets Daemon off, but Katy wouldn’t listen. But everything gets even more complicated when Daemon and Katy learn that the DOD’s main interest is not specifically the Luxen, but the mutated humans, and Katy may probably already be on their radar.

I’ve passed onto this story right after I finished ‘Obsidian’ and while I was impressed with the first one, with this story not so much. I can’t remember a case where I would read a book and be engrossed in it’s plot, yet feel completely indifferent towards the characters.

That’s how I felt about ‘Onyx’. Though the first half of the story was boring and made my eyes roll at scenes with Katy and Daemon, I was still intrigued about this whole new development with the mutated humans and the DOD’s interest in them. The fight scenes were very impressive and I can’t say that this cliff-hanger in the end didn’t hook me up on reading the next installment. Of course, I guessed about Blake being untrustworthy from the beginning, his sudden appearance and know-it-all attitude were very suspicious. But all in all the story’s plot turned really unexpectedly and now there’s even more mystery and questions about it than after ‘Obsidian’. I’m really interested what would happen next in ‘Opal’.

My main problem about ‘Onyx’ was Katy and pretty much every other character. Is it possible that mutation for Katy meant not only obtaining some power but also a complete personality change? It’s no longer the Katy from the first book, the one to gush about books and her blog, to spend time with her friends or her mom. That Katy was a really nice person. But I can’t stand the way she became in ‘Onyx’. She was illogical, reckless, stubborn and rude. She became obsessed with her powers and training, and the whole story was pretty much about her adamant desire to become Daemon’s equal. I didn’t like how distant she became with everyone, even Dee, but suddenly it was all about Blake for her, and it was really off for me. Whatever danger Blake would inflict on her, Kate would still trust him. And the way she acted with Daemon, you would think he was the demon incarnate. The person who saved her life and tried to protect her apparently wasn’t worth Katy’s time, but a suspicious boy with a dark past becomes her go-to person.

Katy and Daemon’s romance was just unappealing to me. The whole book through Katy would act like it’s just their connection due to the healing that actually made them want each other. She would push Daemon away, only to come to a realization it’s real love and almost have sex with him all in one scene in the very end of the book. Well, knowing there are more books to come in this series I would rather have a slower yet a more realistic pace than these rushed love confessions.

All the other characters were pretty much unremarkable, and all of them, even Daemon, were in Katy’s shadow. And by the end of the book I came to a realization that there’s nothing to turn me back to like Katy or Daemon or care about their love line. I’m more interested about the ending of this Luxen-Arum-DOD confrontation.

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Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Title: Obsidian

Series: Lux, Book 1

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published: November 23rd 2011, Entangled Publishing, LLC

Edition: ebook, 251 pages

Genre: Fantasy, romance

Age group: Young Adult

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

 Obsidian (Lux, #1)

This New Year I planned on catching up on all those most buzzed and bestselling books and series I’ve been reading such enthusiastic reviews about, but for some reason haven’t read yet. Starting with ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ next I decided to move onto the ‘Lux’ series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, the first book in which was published in 2011 and was next followed by three more installments with the fourth expecting publication later this year. So you see I’ve missed a lot.

When I say that for some reason I haven’t had a chance to read some of the most popular books, with this particular series I was first of all put off by it’s summary. I mean, another YA fantasy/paranormal love story? OK, I’ve read Twilight a long time ago and whatever I read since that of this very genre was pretty much the same, with differences in characters’ names and the main hero’s real essence.

The ‘Lux’ series are about aliens, teenage aliens. Well, when I read about that, I though that was, first, creepy and unreadable, and secondly, it seemed like these YA authors’ have already run out of ideas, like which else fantastic creature there wasn’t a book written about yet?

But my curiosity took the best of me, and since the book is not that long, I thought, ‘Why not?’ But when I went through the first 50 something pages I came to the point of almost abandoning the story. Why? OK, everyone is probably familiar with the clichés that are always present in horror movies, like everyone would always go and check what is that noise in the dark basement and so on. Well, YA romance novels about paranormal creatures can’t do without clichés, either.

The main heroine moving to a small secluded town with a somewhat unusual population? Check. The main hero is a vampire/werewolf/angel/zombie/alien/etc., who is also hot, brooding and controlling? Check. The romance between the main characters is forbidden or dangerous but can’t be stopped? Check. The girl’s parents are conveniently either always absent or just clueless about their daughters relationships with her new boyfriend? Check. The hero’s always antagonized by some evil forces who use the heroine as a way to get to him? Check.

Well, the list of clichés can be very long and that’s what made my eyes roll when I started reading the book, I had a feeling that I’ve already read this story only the characters’ names were different. Katy Schwartz moves with her mom to West Virginia after her father’s death to start anew. She becomes friends with Dee, a girl next door, but her brother Daemon hates her for seemingly no reason. After a series of strange occurrences, like Dee’s and Daemon’s body parts become see-through for a moment or strange light flashes, followed by Katy saved by Daemon from being hit by a moving truck with the time stopping, she learns that both Dee and Daemon are aliens. They came to Earth from a far away planet called Lux (‘light’ in Latin) and are actually creatures made entirely of light, having to hide on Earth in their human forms.

Of course, they possess some cool powers, like time stopping or speed-of-light moving, they can transform in any life form or get totally invisible. And Katy is really impressed by this new knowledge, but of course, not as much as by Daemon, who is an arrogant jerk, but oh so hot. They act like they hate each other but with them having to spend time together the line is starting to blur.

A romantic relationship between a human and a Luxen is not entirely forbidden, but it’s pointless and dangerous. The life of Luxen on Earth is monitored by the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) and they do not approve of a human to know about the existence or powers of these creatures. But it’s not the only thing for Daemon and Katy to worry about. A long time ago Daemon’s planet was destroyed by the people of dark, Arum, who followed the surviving Luxen on Earth to kill them all. The only way for Arum to find Daemon and others of his kind is to get those humans with a trace of light, a significance of this human witnessing the Luxen powers, and Katy has already seen so much, she shines like a Christmas tree.

And that’s why Daemon hates her so much, because Katy is the danger to him and his sister. But of course there’s only one step from hate to love, and besides Katy doesn’t want to be a bystander, she would prove that she’s not a weakness.

So, no matter how many eye-rolling factors I found in the beginning, I decided to give it a pass and actually read the book till the very end, and soon I was hooked, like really addicted. I became so engrossed in the story, I couldn’t pause for a minute. After a really uninspiring start, the plot took a very intriguing and entertaining turn. I liked the way Jennifer L. Armentrout managed the story, some thrilling moments would mix with Daemon and Katy’s witty banter and flirting. The fight scene in the end was so gripping, I can’t imagine what could possibly stop me from reading. It was both the plot and the author’s writing that I liked the story so much, that I’m already reading the second installment just because I couldn’t wait to know what is next for Katy and Daemon? Oh, and this cliffhanger is definitely part of that interest.