Obsidian, by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (November 29, 2011)
Format: Kindle Edition
What is the best way to ruin a good book? Ding, ding, correct! Aliens. How stupid and completely unsexy are aliens? Don’t get me wrong, The X Files, certainly gave them some clout in the 90s but generally speaking, adding an alien to any novel is a surefire way to make it unreadable. Reluctantly though I decided to listen to the reviews on Amazon and picked up a book about aliens hiding out next door.
THANK GOD I DID. As my best friend and fellow YA lover, Ellen, excitedly wrote me, “Holy crazy chemistry batman!!! Jeez. That make-out scene? *fanning myself* when does the sequel come out?!” Yes, dear friends, this book is so good it made a respectable woman squeal.
So let’s get to it.
Witty, yet subdued Katy Swartz moves to rural West Virginia under some devastating circumstances, namely the loss of her father to cancer. She ends up living in an isolated neighborhood yet luckily, right next door live two teens about her age. She instantly buddies up to Dee and Daemon but realizes quickly that they aren’t like other kids and weird things are constantly happening around them. Plus Daemon antagonizes her like nobody’s business. He’s moody, arrogant, and at times, downright insulting. His one saving grace is the fact that he’s so gorgeous girls stop talking when he enters a room. For real. His sister, Dee, slowly becomes Katy’s closest friend and as a result, she’s forced into many unnerving situations with him. As she slowly finds her way within the new life she’s made, Katy discovers that Dee and Daemon and a few other high schoolers like them are actually alien life forms called Luxen. And when their natural enemies, the Arum, show up we get to see Dee, Daemon, and even Katy kick alien butt. The final battle royale involves Katy’s near death and transformation into something more than human. The story ends on a cliffhanger so we’re left with a few questions: what exactly has Katy become? Will more Arum come to destroy the peaceful existence of the Luxen? Will Katy and Daemon ever get together because we’re all dying to see it happen!?
Let’s face it, Armentrout’s plot isn’t new. It’s actually one that’s cropped up all over paranormal fiction recently. Girl leaves all she knows and loves to settle somewhere new. Girl meets incredibly attractive boy who is so odd he can’t be human. Boy tries to stay away from her but can’t because she is simply too compelling. Then some other bad non-humans show up and wreak havoc forcing Boy and Girl to work together and sparks fly. It sounds trite but Armentrout works this plot brilliantly with a combination of fantastic storytelling and completely believable characters. Bonus: the Boy in this instance is sex on a stick with a healthy dash of antagonistic jerk thrown in. I couldn’t stop reading even though (or is it because?) he alternated between hot and cold and if I were in Katy’s shoes, I probably would have hit him or cried…or maybe hit him as a I cried. Believe me, sometimes Daemon was mean!
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 10. Katy wasn’t sappy or weepy at all. I hate when girls base their lives off the guy but she thought he was such a jerk that even his good looks didn’t affect her. Well, not all of the time.
How much did I like the love interest: 1000000000+ Did I mention that Daemon is sex on a stick? Those eyes! That hair! Those abs! Drool.
How believable is the plot: 10. This story works with or without the aliens. Just insert random bad guy in place of the arum and you have a great coming of age novel.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Awesome writing, perfect pacing, believable dialogue, and great editing (except for one place where there was a mix-up between your and you’re but Daemon is so hot that I am not deducting points).
How much did I want to keep reading: 10. The sequel is out in May 2012, thank god. Waiting five months is going to be torture. Seriously, when are Katy and Daemon getting together?
Final Score: 100000000000+ / 10
And there you have it, one of the best if not the best YA fiction book I’ve ever read. BUY IT NOW!