Review Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

OpalTitle: Opal
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

My Review:
The ante has really been upped in Opal, and the action is fast paced and super-intense. It’s great to finally see Daemon and Katy together, but all those interruptions when they try to hook up?!! Aahh, finger-nail biting stuff. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – JLA writes romantic suspense like no other, incredible,agonizing,edge-of-the-seat stuff.
We get to meet Dawson in Opal and he’s a changed man; broken and a shadow of his former self. He’s devastated that Bethany is still in the evil clutches of the DOD, and he wants to lead an immediate charge, but Daemon and Katy persuade him to stay his hand. Tad bit unbelievable, because you just know if the tables were reversed, and it was Katy who was lost to Daemon that hell on earth wouldn’t stop him from going after her. I would’ve liked to have understood Dawson a little more, but we really only catch glimpses of him.
Dee and Katy’s friendship is challenged beyond all limits in Opal and it’s heartbreaking, though completely believable.
Daemon is still a snarky,jerk at times but he’s so romantic and so protective of Katy, that you just can’t help loving him. I want me some Daemon Black please.
That cliff-hangar ending. OMG. I was just grateful that I’d waited till now to read this series so I could delve straight in. Otherwise I would literally have been tearing my hair out.
In summary, another gripping read from the writing powerhouse that is Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Review Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

OnyxTitle: Onyx
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Review:
Another fast-paced addictive read from JLA. I hadn’t totally connected with the characters in Obsidian, but got totally hooked in Onyx. Daemon is easier to like in this book, and you start to get a glimpse of his real personality. I completely distrusted Blake from the start, and was screaming at Katy to back away. I was disappointed in her, that she choose to believe him over Daemon, and though I understood her logic at the start, I felt it dragged on far too long. Katy felt the pull between them was only down to the connection, and that was reminiscent of Alex’s view that her attraction to Seth was all down to the Apollyon connection. (Covenent Series)
The suspense is really cranked up in Onyx, particularly in the second part of the book and I had a hard time putting it down.
JLA writes romantic suspense so well, and I was literally tearing my hair out at times, but in a good way.
A brilliant read, worth checking out.

P.S Does anyone else think that the guy on the front cover so does not do Daemon Black justice? DB in my head is way, way hotter. Don’t get me wrong, the model is fit, but doesn’t quite match up to the description of DB, in my opinion.

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

ObsidianTitle: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
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 Review:
I only recently discovered Jennifer L. Armentrout as an author, and I purchased the Lux series after I devoured the entire Covenent Series in less than a week (I seriously did nothing else all week but read, couldn’t drag myself back to normality at all).
While I definitely enjoyed reading Obsidian, and I’m dying to continue this series, I was a teeny bit disappointed. I didn’t connect as well with the characters as I had with Alex, Seth and Aiden from the Covenent Series.
However, it still contains all those amazing qualities that I have come to expect, and love, from JLA: compelling dialogue, addictive prose and swoon-worthy romance. It has all that in bucket-loads. And I’m totally down with the whole hot-alien thing.
I had a few issues though. Katy starts off being described as timid, but quickly turns quite sassy without really any explanation. Daemon was totally rocking an Edward Cullen type funk, you know – nasty and mean on the surface, but secretly yearning for Katy underneath it all, and just trying to protect her. Not a big deal for me as I love Edward Cullen, it’s more an observation. The biggest issue for me was that a lot of the stuff that came out of Daemon’s mouth was pure Seth, so much so, that I actually kept thinking of him as Seth which was jarring at times. Also, in the Covenent series a ‘demon’ is spelt ‘daimon’ and in the Lux series the character ‘Damon’ is spelt ‘Daemon’. For that reason, I kept reading demon in place of Damon and it bugged me. I know it’s minor (and it wasn’t an issue in the later books) but I wish she had just spelt it Damon.
Overall, my issues were quite minor, and this is still a very good book and I would suggest it as a recommended read.

Review Shadows (Lux #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ShadowsTitle: Shadows
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #0.5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

My Review:
At first I wasn’t that interested in reading about Dawson and Beth, mainly because I felt we really didn’t get to know them that well during the course of the series. However, Shadows was included in the print copy of Opposition that I bought so I wasn’t going to not read it.
I’m so glad I did because I loved it, and it really helped me to connect with Dawson and Beth and I adored hearing their back story. It was also interesting to witness Daemon’s response to their relationship, and it helped put his initial reaction to Katy into perspective.
A thoroughly enjoyable read in JLA’s usual addictive prose. I really dig all the bonus material Jennifer includes with her books, it brings the overall reading experience to a much higher level and has given me ideas for doing similar ‘add-ons’ with my own series.
Definitely worth a read.

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderTitle: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:

This book has a very interesting premise – a modern twist on a classic fairy tale. Intriguing, right?

While I liked it, I didn’t love it; though, I’m interested enough to continue the series as I want to see where the author takes the story from here.

Cinder is a sought-after highly skilled cyborg mechanic in New Bejing. While she feels emotions, she often can’t express them (she can’t cry or blush though the latter is a major bonus point in my view.)

Her step-mom is a prize cow and her eldest step-sister is a nasty piece of work. Cinder is close with Peony, her younger step-sister, and she is fond of her android assistant Iko.

Cinder crosses path with Prince Kai and they strike up a friendship which develops into a flirtation and possibly something deeper. Cinder suffers from huge self-doubt as a result of her cyborg status and she goes to great lengths to hide her true nature from Kai.

Character development is strong and Cinder is a likable MC. Some of the scenes at the end were difficult to read, but that’s only because the emotion was dripping off the page and it was easy to cringe at the awkwardness of it all. These scenes were very well executed.

The writing is good, but there was nothing stand-out about it for me. I thought the pacing was a little off in the middle and I found myself skimming some sections. It reminded me a little of the Legend Series by Marie Lu in parts (A love-interest Prince who becomes Emperor and has to juggle a minefield of global politics, technology-driven future world, and a crippling plague that forces the Emperor to make some difficult choices.)

I really enjoyed the technology of this future world and it was right up my street.

The biggest issue I had was with the plot; I felt it was too predictable. I figured out Cinder’s true identity pretty early on and that took away from my enjoyment of the story.

The plot, flow, and writing, all improved in the last quarter of the book and the last few chapters, in particular, were brilliant.

There is no way I’m not continuing with this story given that ending and I’ve already started Scarlet.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

My Review:
This book is total genius, I absolutely loved it and I have read it four times at the last count. I adore John Green’s writing, he is so witty and eloquent and there are so many quotes that stand out for me. I personally really liked the dialogue between Hazel Grace and Gus and it was so easy to get invested in these characters. I’ll happily admit that I spent parts of this book laughing out loud and others sobbing into my pillow (always the sign of a brilliant book in my view). I have seen some criticism which has stated the dialogue is unbelievable for kids of their age and I couldn’t disagree more. While I appreciate that not every teenager would converse like that, I think to assume that some aren’t capable of articulating in such a fashion is insulting to the intelligence of teenagers. I found it very refreshing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book.