**Yes, I’ve intended to keep this review spoiler free, with just really minor spoilers that may not even count as spoilers.**
**All GIFS are from GIPHY**
I give this book 4/5 stars.
This is the first book in one of my most favorite series ever: the Lux Series. Obsidian is the first book I’ve ever read by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer L. Armentrout. I first read Obsidian when I was a junior in high school. It involves a hot alien boy and a main female character with personality and passion and a love for books.
High school senior Katy Swartz and her mother move from sunny Florida to a small town in West Virginia following the loss of her dad to cancer. It’s very rural and only has one stoplight. Katy learns that it’s a mysterious place with mysterious events and mysterious people. Upon moving in, Katy goes to visit her next door neighbor upon her mom’s insistence to meet people. She decides to break the ice by asking directions to the nearest grocery store, killing two birds with one stone. She is greeted by Daemon Black, an extremely attractive young man her age with tan skin, built muscles, green eyes and dark, shaggy hair. And he happens to be shirtless, too.
(I think that Danielle Campbell would portray Katy pretty well, so I’m going to use her in my visuals in this post.)
But Katy soon learns that his personality makes up for his gorgeous looks. He’s immediately a jerk to her, and she leaves with an unfavorable opinion of him. But she of course, not being one to back down, leaves an impression of her own– she retorts to his insults and gives him the finger in response to his rudeness. At the grocery store, she coincidentally meets his twin sister, Dee, who is just as attractive as Deamon looks-wise, but is totally the opposite to her brother personality-wise. She is extremely bubbly and eager to befriend Katy. As they start spending time together, Daemon is not happy and tells his sister to stay away from people like Katy. Katy doesn’t know what he means by that, but she sure is not going to let Daemon’s over-protectiveness and control get in the way of her friendship with Dee, and she makes sure Daemon knows it.
With Katy and Dee’s friendship and other inevitable events, Daemon and Katy are forced to interact with each other and sexual tension brews between them. As the story progresses, Katy finds out that Daemon and Dee are aliens from a planet called Lux; more specifically, they are Luxen. Katy gets increasingly intertwined into Daemon and Dee’s world.
This book is packed with action, suspense, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, humor, and of course, romance. I like to compare it a little bit to Twilight, but with aliens instead of vampires. But it’s also much different from Twilight. Katy actually has a personality, and Daemon is more than a creepy stalker man like Edward who watches a girl sleeping without her knowledge.
The story is also very different from Twilight. When I say that Obsidian is similar to Twilight, I mean it in the sense that there is a supernatural love interest with whom the main character has a hate-love relationship, and it takes place in a small, rural town. I don’t think that this generalized plot is unique to Twilight and Obsidian— I feel like it’s a common template for many young adult stories.
Despite my love for this book, I feel like there was some sexual objectification and normalization of sexual harassment. For example, there is one scene between Daemon and Katy where the two go to a secret lake area in the woods that is special to Daemon.
This is in the beginning of Katy and Daemon’s relationship before they’re really even friends. Daemon claimed that his sister was hiding his car keys and wouldn’t give them back until he made nice with Katy and apologized for his rude behavior, and so he needed to hang out with Katy. Katy of course wasn’t going to hang out with some jerk, but unfortunately for Katy, she was forced to go because her mom appeared during Daemon’s prodding and her mom, of course, loved the idea of her daughter spending time with the new hot neighbor, which she thought would be good for her daughter.
It had been settled that Katy and Damon were going to meet up the next day. Before Daemon left, and of course out shot of Katy’s mom’s ears, Daemon told Katy that he bet she was going to wear a one-piece.
I could see how that line may have been meant to highlight the sexual tension between Daemon and Katy and be seen as a flirty, but jerky, gesture. But it’s wrong. Daemon just met Katy. They barely know each other. He is in no place to comment on her body and any potential personal insecurities she has about it. He has no right to talk about her body like that– it’s demeaning. Whether she decides to wear a one-piece, a two-piece or a whatever piece is none of his business.
Then again, Daemon’s character is supposed to be a jerky one in this first book. Perhaps the author’s intention was to highlight just that. So Jennifer L. Armentrout perhaps wasn’t normalizing sexual harassment or making it seem acceptable– she was using it to further antagonize Daemon in the beginning the story. But at the same time, I wish that Daemon had been portrayed as a jerk who at least didn’t make comments like that– or at least apologized for them later even in his jerk persona. I guess I wish he was a more morally conscious jerk when it came to respecting women.
As for the rest of the story, being a sucker for frenemy relationships laced with romance and sexual tension, I loved how the interactions and relationship between Daemon and Katy progressed. They had their arguments and their banter, but they also had several good moments. It was obvious that there was a deeper connection brewing between them. They had deep conversations and voluntarily engaged in each other’s company. It was clear that and Daemon cared about Katy; he quickly becomes protective over her. Katy reciprocates caring for Daemon, and after she finds out about Dee and Daemon’s secret, it’s becomes obvious that she would risk her life to protect them.
Daemon is also a great brother who is protective and loving towards Dee, which was nice to see (no rhyme intended). He really cares about her and wants to protect her from harm. Their sibling banter is also hilarious, and includes Dee’s anger over Daemon finishing her tub of ice cream (honestly, I would be mad too). Though I can’t remember if that happened in this first book or if it happened in one of the books after Obsidian. It’s also easy to forget that Daemon and Dee are twins. Despite Daemon only being a few minutes older than Dee, Daemon assumes the role of a “big,” older brother.
I really liked the way Katy’s character was written. Like I said, she was a far contrast from Bella Swan. Katy’s passion for books was adorable and relatable to me as a book lover myself (and I’m sure, to most other readers as well). Katy has her own book blog/vlog where she geeks out over books. Her friendship with Dee is fun to read about, especially with Daemon becoming protective over both of them as his feelings for Katy become deeper. And Dee was someone I’d personally like to be friends with– she’s kind, caring and funny– and fun to be around, of course.
I also loved the way that Armentrout paced the story. It wasn’t too slow, and it wasn’t too fast. She was also great at creating the suspense and instilling an eagerness for me as the reader to find out more about mysterious events. Her descriptions were attention-grabbing, and the details were anxiety-inducing (in a good way) when it came to suspenseful, action-filled and thrilling scenes.
I’ve finished the rest of the books of the Lux Series a few years ago, and the suspense and thrills increased with every one. I love many other books by her and like I said, she is one of my favorite authors. My order for one of her most recent books, From Blood and Ash, just came in and I’m really excited to read it.
And if you’re wondering why I haven’t included any portrayals of Daemon, I’m honestly still looking for a guy who would fit the image I have of Daemon in my head. If you’re a Lux fan, do you have any suggestions?