I think I've featured Obsidian three, maybe four times here on I Write, I Read, I Review. It's on my Christmas Wishlist. It was one of the four titles in my "What I Want Santa to Bring" Follower Friday and it was a Waiting on Wednesday selection. Point being: I've been really hyped up about this book for a while.
So when I saw a tweet looking for people to review it via NetGalley I was in another tab and requesting within ten seconds. I hadn't planned on reading anything last night. I'd actually planned to spend the evening doing revisions on Moon Dance. But I was too excited about having Obsidian on my Kindle not to check it out. I'd just read a chapter or two...
Yeah, right. I started the book around 9 p.m. and finished around 5 a.m. Apparently I'm a much slower reader then I ever realized I was. But that's not the point. The point is that this book totally wrapped me up in it's story, presenting a fascinating take on aliens, a great heroine and a hero that I kept changing my mind about whether I wanted to kiss or kill. Want my final verdict? Read on...
The Plot: (Summary from GoodReads)
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.
I was hooked right away, yet Obsidian was actually a story that paced its action and tension in a very slow and deliberate way. Jennifer did a great job of getting me to settle into the characters' worlds and care about them as individuals before she let things get really crazy. Katy already has some legitimate issues coming into the book as it is. She's the new girl. She needs to adjust to a new town and make new friends. She's grieving over the loss of her dad three years ago. And she is currently without internet. (*gasps in horror*)
The way that things unfold allow the reader to be curious about exactly what is going on in this book. Thanks to the back blurb, we know that there are going to be aliens involved. But it's not until a good chunk of the way through that this becomes a front and center fixture. There are a good amount of hints and clues leading up to it, but we don't get thrown face first into the "Hey! I'm an alien!" situation.
I felt that Kat's reaction to what she leans was admirable and believable. I also felt that the way that the Luxen felt about her knowing made a lot of sense, and created a lot of tension, too. I also want to say that the way the Luxens' powers, situation, etc. were handled and described were well done. i was never confused, I never felt cheated and I was never bored.
I totally loved Katy / Kat. (I must say, it sort of felt like the girl got a name change. Not in a necessarily "bad" way, but I'm not sure which name I'm actually suppose to use here.) She was a very level headed and down to earth character who was thrown into some pretty crazy circumstances. It's always a little odd for me when I read about a character who has my name, and that was definitely prevalent here. Some of the things that people said to her in this book were harsh and I sat there, mouth totally agape on several occasions.
Daemon ... I have never loved and hated a book boy so much at the same time. Seriously. He almost made me *throw* my Kindle. On multiple occasions. And it's not that he was poorly written -- it's that he was so well written for what he was. As a Luxen, Daemon feels that he is superior to humans in every way and this condescending attitude flavors his character from beginning to end. At the same time, though, we do see glimpses of a truly sweet and vulnerable person underneath. I have to applaud Jennifer on how well she wrote him. She walked a fine line between making sure that the reader would be interested in him, and having the guts to truly create an alien being who had some mannerisms, attitudes and ideas that seemed legitimately alien.
I also liked a lot of the supporting characters. Dee was a great friend, despite the fact that she did have moments where she acted strange because of the situation that she was in. I feel that she made a great contrast to Daemon and that they played well off each other. The other Luxens at the school were all interesting in their own way, although I don't necessarily feel we spent enough time with them to build strong connections. This is understandable; I appreciate the fact that Jennifer did not let Katy and Daemon get overshadowed by a huge cast. I also really liked Lesa and Carissa. I felt that their differing personalities and the dose of 'normal' that they brought to the story was needed to keep things balanced.
Forget: "He loves me, he loves me not." Instead, we are faced with "I like him, I hate his guts." *laughs* These two had so much heat / tension / chemistry that it could fry bacon. But they fought like cats and dogs. Some of the things that Daemon said to Katy really ticked me off and I sat there thinking "Oh my God, if a guy said that to me I'd throw something at him. Or want to crawl into the woodwork. Or both." Katy has more guts then I do. She stands up to Daemon, even when she is hurting on the inside.
I really had to question what was going on between Daemon and Katy at times. I think I get the point -- that actions speak louder then words and what Daemon *does*, as opposed to what he *says* is what I'm to focus on. But wow! I know I keep coming back to it, but he could be such a total asshole. I recall actually sitting there and thinking "If you feel like *that*, why do *this*?) (Leaving that and this blank to avoid spoilers.) Fortunately, Katy calls him on this, too, which helps ensure she is not being pushed over by him.
The last thing I want to say about the romance here is that Jennifer once again shows that she is a writer willing to take risks because she actually breaks the most basic rule of romance writing. (Seriously, just read to the end of the book and you will immediately get what I am saying.) If this was a single title I would consider this an extremely bad move. However, this is the beginning of a series and the move that she makes here is what sets up the next book ... And it is ***brilliant***. I loved and hated it. Which, in this story, made total sense. I'm very impressed.
Is Obsidian worth a buy? Absolutely! I could not put this book down. The pacing, the chemistry between Daemon and Katy, the overall sense of tension that threads through the book, the laugh-out-loud funny dialogue... There is so much here that is worthy of praise. The only thing that I will say is to buy this one as a physical copy. I'm serious, guys. Kindles do not make good frisbees. Daemon will push all the right *and* wrong buttons and I don't want to be responsible for anyone having a damaged e-Reader.
Obsidian is a fantastic beginning to a new series that I am already eager to read the next book in. It grabbed me and did not let go. It was original, fresh and fun. I cannot wait to see what happens next! I've nagged about him all the way, but I already need another Daemon fix.