Obsidian

Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout Re-read in January 2014

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I don’t usually tend to pay attention to hype, so when I saw so many people raving about Obsidian, I didn't pay much attention. My interest wasn't fully grabbed when I read a review to see what all of the fuss was about. What was it that grabbed my attention? Aliens. If there are aliens in a book, I will read it without knowing what the story is. So many of reviews of Obsidian (including one on the book itself) told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed, and oh how I wasn't!

Obsidian introduces us to Katy, who has recently moved to West Virginia with her mum following the death of her dad three years ago. Katy then strikes up a friendship with the extraordinarily beautiful Dee and is teased by her hot jerk of a twin brother Daemon who both live next door. When Katy is nearly hit by a truck, she learns what it is that makes the twins so extraordinary: they are Luxen, alien beings composed of light energy. While I enjoyed the book’s story, I only had one major problem: the main part of the story takes a bit too long to get to. We don’t find out what Daemon and Dee are until chapter 15, which is about halfway through. The story moves a bit slowly before that, with a lot of establishing going on. Thankfully, that is the only issue that I had with the story.

While the majority of Obsidian’s characters a likable, it took me a while to get used to some of them, specifically Daemon. As soon as Daemon was introduced, I, like most people, thought he was pretty hot. Until he opened his mouth, that is. Up until he started being nicer, he only had his looks going for him. If a hot boy is a total dick, his hotness decreases by 50%/ Once Daemon started being nicer I started to swoon over him and want him all to myself. Sexy alien who starts to be nice? Yes please!

I really liked Katy a lot. She’s probably one of the best narrators that I've read in a YA book. I liked to see how she developed as the story progressed, going from being a bit of a pushover to being more assertive, thanks to nasty bitchy Ash and a plate of spaghetti. One of the things that I like the most about Katy is that although she does become more assertive and does have quite a few squabbles with Daemon, she is generally a good person. Even though she knows that being friends with Dee is potentially going to get her killed, she continues to be her friend, because she values her friendship.

I thought that the small-town West Virginian setting is particularly fitting for a book about aliens, since aliens never really appear in places that are densely populated (they’re far too smart to do that!). I prefer small-town settings, like we see in Obsidian, to city settings because they can really shape a character’s attitudes towards things or how they’re treated by others, like when Dee is given odd looks from a woman in the grocery store.

As I said earlier, I really liked Katy’s narration; Armentrout has given her a great voice that I enjoyed reading. The ways in which things were described was very clear and was even humorous at times. I think the narration made Katy seem more relatable since she sounded like teenage girls tend to sound, rather than an adult trying to sound like a teenager, which I really like to see.

I really, really enjoyed this book. The year is not even a quarter of the way through and Obsidian is already one of the best books I've read this year. It took me a while to get into the book, but once I did I enjoyed every page and I am very glad that my opinion of Daemon changed as the book progressed! I wouldn’t have enjoyed the book as much if my opinion of him stayed the same. I am very much looking forward to reading Onyx, the next book in the series!

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