Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Okay guys, get ready because this review is going to have a lot of gushing.
Are you prepared? You sure? Good.
I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK!
Lux: Beginnings is volume one of the Lux series reprint and contains the first two books, Obsidian and Onyx. The MC, Kat, has just moved to the tiny not-quite-a-town of Ketterman in West Virginia, right next door to the mysterious Black twins, Daemon and Dee. Through to various unexpected encounters with bears, attackers, and transport trucks she discovers the Blacks’ secret: they are aliens from the planet Lux. The Luxen are beings made of light forced to flee to Earth following the death of their home planet where they are now monitored by a sector of the US Department of Defense. Oh, and they are the sworn enemies of the Arum, beings of darkness who’s life’s aspiration is to take the powers of the Luxen which is done, of course, by killing them. Fun!
Katy (“Kat”) and Daemon are a real treat. She is clever, headstrong, brave, quick-witted, book-obsessed (oooobviously the most important 😉 ) and sarcastic. Hesitant enough to doubt things when necessary (thereby avoiding coming off as overly arrogant or unbelievably capable), confident enough to know when she’s capable and important (thereby avoiding appearing insecure, anxious, or utterly reliant on the boy). He, too, is brave and quick-witted but sexy, cocky, and flirtatious to the degree where nearly everything that comes out of his mouth makes your stomach clench and lips curl up into an anticipatory grin. Daemon may be arrogant to a fault but he is at the same time tender and caring and absolutely devoted to those he cares about (think The Mortal Instruments’ Jace). And oh, my God, I nearly burst every time he calls her ‘Kitten’. When together, their sexual tension-fueled bickering and banter had me laughing so hard I would not have been surprised if I’d suddenly gained washboard abs while reading. Their sweet moments made me swoon. Their more physical moments are full of such white hot passion just reading them is dizzying, but also brimming with naked affection so strong its nearly palpable.
Kat’s alien best friend/Daemon’s twin sister, Dee, is immediately likeable. Sunny, bubbly, friendly, sweet, and funny–it’s impossible not to like Dee. Kat’s other friends, Lesa and Carissa, are great too. Even the Luxen triplets Ash, Adam, and Andrew are well-written and appealing even though 2/3 of them are assholes. These characters were incorporated so flawlessly that the reader is able to quickly connect with them but that they don’t threaten to eclipse the MCs or the primary plot.
Armentrout put an interesting spin on the alien concept. Luxen are not your stereotypical green-skinned big-headed aliens, nor are they the seemingly human kind from a different planet like in novels like Melissa Landers’ Alienated; they are literally made of light but can have a human form. Imagine a really really really bright star in the shape of a person. Many of heir supernatural powers are all linked directly to light: traveling at the speed of light, using light as a weapon, etc. They’re more advanced but otherwise–at least in the emotional and body physical senses–very similar to humans. It makes them simultaneously otherworldly and empathize-able.
The romance is very central to the plot but directly linked to the equally important external, extraterrestrial aspects. The relationship between Kat and Daemon is a slow-burning one. There is no insta-love or instant connection; if anything, it’s instant hatred. Plus, while there is no shortage of romantic or lustful scenes, it takes quite some time for them to actually get together. This is nice because it stops their relationship progression from overshadowing or outshining all the interesting alien stuff. Likewise, the alien stuff is not so all-consuming that the romance feels rushed or unexplained. That said, I will relent that if you are not a fan of romance in general this series may not your favourite but if it’s the syrupy, saccharine stuff you have a problem with you’re still good to read this. And you should.
And if you love romance, you’ll love it and I love you! 😛
The central conflict between the Luxen and Arum is a personification of light vs darkness. They coexist but neither can survive if overcome by the other. It also takes the idea of darkness being bad and light equaling good and puts it into a physical battle–it’s no longer the forces of light and dark fighting it out, but actual light vs. actual dark. The plot is made more complex by an overbearing and suspicious government sector seeking to regulate the Luxen–and use them. Dun dun dun DUNNNN!
This is only the second book I’ve read by Jennifer L. Armentrout but I can already tell she does not fail to impress. Her characters are lovable even when you hate them, her books are sexy and captivating and one-of-a-kind. It has been a long time, too long, since I read a book that truly, deeply, completely enthralled me–I’ve been in the middle of a long spell of mediocrity and dying to get out. This was my ticket out. Honestly, if not that my TBR pile of 114 has officially bested me, I’d have already purchased, read, and reviewed the second volume. I love love LOVED every second of Lux: Beginnings–and I have a feeling you will too.
Click here for the book synopsis on Goodreads!