Friday, September 27, 2013

"Onyx" Review

In the aftermath of Katy, Daemon, and Dee's encounter with the Arum -a being of darkness who survives on the essence of another- no one is aware of Katy and Daemon's connection, and the two are determined to keep it that way. What's more, Katy refuses to believe that Daemon's attraction to her is real or substantial. Nothing short of the love her parents had for each other will suffice. But something greater is at work. The two are constantly at odds, but when the tables are forever overturned, tempers and abilities will rise, and new foes will be recognized. In the midst of so much turmoil, not everyone can survive a betrayal of this magnitude.
Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers a fantastic sequel to the New York Times bestseller, "Obsidian." Although it starts out a little slow, "Onyx" was worth every hour into the night. Thoroughly enjoyable, I found myself having to stop in the middle of a scene to let my pulse recede from "uncharted territory." One thing I really appreciated was Kat's unrelenting resistance to Daemon. She has values and holds to them, not simply tossing them aside for a pretty face. She does not want to change because Daemon thinks she's too trusting or a friend thinks she needs to take more risks. Katy knows who she is, and that was refreshing.
The story retains the voice of the first book in all of its interesting, mysterious, dark-humored glory. I would like to make a note regarding the entire series, though, and that is that the profanity is common (meaning it's how the characters are used to talking). However I'm not usually one to snuggle with excessive language and I was fine with it. Don't read it out loud, is all I'm saying. And as far as sensuality, eh, PG-13. Actually, since about 85% of movies are PG-13 nowadays, let's go with PG-15.
I really liked this book. I thought it was well-written and it held my attention until the very last word. But if you're like me and the last word just isn't enough, then enclosed at the end of the book, as with the first one, is a chapter in Daemon's point of view. That in and of itself is a great experience. I highly recommend "Onyx" for those who enjoyed "Obsidian," because believe me, you won't be able to put it down.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Merciful Tomorrow

At 12:30 in the morning, I don't want to write. I don't want to do anything work-related, but more importantly, I don't want to sleep. Not sure how that's more important than being lazy at crest-of-the-day o'clock, but it feels like it overshadows everything else, including the knowledge that either a cat or a toddler will probably be wandering in here in a little bit to rouse me from my slumber. But at the same time, I want to write. I want to get lost in a world all my own with characters that sometimes feel too real to be just characters. Part of my dread stems from needing to rise early tomorrow... er, I mean today, later. I do my best work late at night, I believe, when all is dark and quiet and it's almost as tranquil as reading a book under a shady maple tree, with nothing but the lazy days of summer to look forward to. But I don't want to be a zombie in the morning, either, and coffee can only get you so far. I hate having to choose between sleep and writing. But maybe God will show favor on me tomorrow. Maybe it will just be one of those days where you can sit and watch a movie or read books about a cat and his four groovy buttons. No, that's not that late-night talk creeping in. We seriously have a book about a cat with "four, big, colorful, round, groovy buttons." I can quote it word for word. :-) Yes, hopefully tomorrow will be merciful. I guess there's only one way to find out.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Official "Obsidian" Review

Wow. I can't even read my last post it was so bizarrely horrific. I mean, come on, who only posts the book jacket and, like, nothing else? No review, nothing? I was so anxious to start the second book I guess I wimped out on you, huh? Sorry about that. I'm making up for it now, though. Here is my official review of "Obsidian," by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Lately I've found it difficult to find a book or series I can really dive into, get totally lost in, like I did when I read the Twilight series. (Don't judge me.) Oh, sure, there are tons of great books out there, but I honestly didn't think a series could possibly capture my attention as ravenously as those books had. Well, I'm here to tell you that the Lux series captured my attention, is holding it hostage, and we are currently negotiating the release of my heart, which feels like it's been lodged in my throat the last several days.
I heard about the Lux series via Coffeeshopreader's (visit her amazing blog at glowing review of the latest installment, "Origin." Personally I think the girl has good taste and a great way with words because she immediately had me interested. The words "snarky... viewpoint" played a role in that. Of course she was reviewing the fourth book, so I was thinking, Where did this all start? Who's Katy? What the heck is a Luxen? Another thing that caught my attention: aliens. I hadn't read a thing about aliens since "The Rise of Nine" by Pittacus Lore. Onto I went, anticipation making my heart stutter in a dormant but familiar way.
It's a little dizzying when you jump into a novel without knowing what to expect (besides what you read in the description). It was thrilling! I felt like I'd embarked on an adventure, into the unknown, with nothing but a glass of water and one page of Goodreads quotes to go on.
I will say this once: "Obsidian" left me breathless. I couldn't get enough of Katy and Daemon's snarky banter, their arguments, just their... how did they put it... hate-hate relationship. It was surprisingly addictive and entertaining. Yeah, I mean the addictive part in a good way. Katy is funny. Her internal monologue cracked my up time and time again, and I could not help but adore Daemon's remarks, though sometimes inappropriate. I feel like this book was fresh and vibrant, a break away from the entertaining-but-usual.
On that note, I would like to make a point about something. Giving the reviews for "Obsidian" a cursory glance, I noticed someone remarking how it was a good story but the plot wasn't original. Let's get this out of the way now. There is really no story that is completely original. With the exception of Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Midnighters, and Leviathan series), every story is borrowed from some other story and written either to reflect a different aspect or take the concept in a totally different direction. Either way, plotlines are like roots: You have the bigger ones stemming directly from the flower, but then you have these tiny little spidery arms branching out from those roots, reaching, growing. I read because I enjoy reading, not because I'm looking for something totally and completely original. It's not always the plotline that makes the book good, but the writing.
Now that we have that all settled, back to "Obsidian." Great book, I liked the writing style, and I didn't even mind the language. Honestly, if you can get through "Game of Thrones," you should be just fine with this. However, there were some scenes that were a bit... steamy. Don't worry, I would call this book PG-13, but just for the record....
If you like paranormal fantasy mixed with romance, action, and dark humor, you will probably enjoy "Obsidian" immensely, because here's the thing with these books... once you start reading, you can't put them down.


Sunday, September 15, 2013


I have a confession: I've done that thing, that thing any true book lover has done at least once and is always craving to do again. Reading into the wee small hours of the morning, and then not being able to fall asleep right away because you're body is like a live wire from the thrill of the last page. I love it! Recently reviewed by Coffeeshopreader (to catch up on her amazing blog, click here : ) was the fourth installment of the Lux series, "Origin." I don't want to give any spoilers and I don't think I could do the description justice, so I'll just put the book jacket here.

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.

Are you interested yet? You should be. I certainly was. 400 pages and I devoured it in two days! And yes, I'm quite proud of myself, thank you. If you like fast-paced, adventure, paranormal romance, and the always-entertaining snarky remarks, you will really enjoy this book.
Hope everyone has a lovely week. :-)


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ursula's Tale (Part 1)

No copyright or infringement intended. This is a work of fan fiction. I do not own any of these characters, though I dare say they might own me. Please enjoy! Also, this is the "Rough Draft," also known as the "Terrible Draft," and in later terms will probably be referred to as the "Hide From Sight So As Not To Shame Myself Draft."

                Ursula churned the sandpit with a tentacle, watching in morbid fascination as it curled and bubbled like a swamp. She imagined living creatures in the concoction, reaching up and gurgling, choking on the mush. The thought was oddly entertaining, like observing a first-time bass and swordfish encounter.
                A loud crack echoed through the Black Castle, and Ursula looked up from the sandpit, eyes narrowing. CRACK, Crack, crack, it went, off the walls, the ceiling, even the black waters trembled a whisper.
Suddenly Ursula’s tentacle sloshed out of the pit, spattering her with sand as it slapped the ground. Ursula hissed and would have kicked the tentacle if it would have done any good.
CRACK, Crack, crack. Ursula’s indigo eyes scanned the darkness that was not dark to her. A shadow stretched across the wall of another room visible through a gaping hole connecting the corridors. Ursula froze. His shadow? She wondered. Just his shadow? The thought made her blood run cold.
                Voices, like string, wove in and out of the darkness, and more shadows crowded the wall, looming closer. “Don’t be frightened,” said one. His voice was deep and gentle, reassuring. “Here, step on the rocks like this. That’s it. Come on, follow the leader.” The figures belonging to the voices emerged, but they did not see her. Glaring, Ursula crept silently up the wall behind her, into a corner so dark that even the white of her hair would be camouflaged. She watched from on high as several boys explored the cave, peeking behind rocks and pretending to overthrow a certain hook-handed pirate. She noticed they avoided disturbing the water, as if doing so would awaken a dreadful sea monster. A smile slid across her lips at the coincidence; she continued to watch them closely. The tallest one seemed the most curious, or perhaps determined was the right word. No nook or cranny remained unexplored by him, no corner escaped investigation. If Ursula didn’t know any better, she would have sworn he was looking for something. And not just with the mild excitement of a child thrown into a treasure cove, but something particular drove this boy, a fire inside him.
                “Avast, ye scurvy dog!” a small boy shouted at another, both of them holding sticks as if they were swords.
                “En guard,” the other challenged.
                “Take that! Arrg! Bae, watch out!”
                One of the boys stumbled into the tall one, and he went sprawling into the black pools of the haunted castle.
                “Bae!” Another tike with curl orange hair stood just under Ursula, crouching by the pool, hand extended in service.
                “Thanks,” said the boy called Bae, but as he reached up to take the other lad’s hand, he caught sight of Ursula plastered to the corner like a bat. His face paled along with the others’ as they, too, realized the company they kept.
                Slowly, eerily, Ursula scaled down the wall with just her tentacles, surveying the boys with a cold stare as effective as any weapon. Finally her eyes rested on Bae, and lingered there. She was impressed by his blunt courage, for he matched her stare every bit as brazenly as if she were a child and he the overbearing guardian.
                “Greetings,” said she with a twist of a smile. Ursula moved farther into the light, her movements slow and slithering. “Come now, it’s rude to stare.”
                All at once they dropped their gazes, all but Bae. With practiced speed Ursula curled one tentacle across his shoulders and drew him nearer. If he thought his feeble boy-strength was anything in comparison to her lean muscle, he was quickly put to right. “I don’t suppose you’re here for the view,” she said softly.
                He glared defiantly. “Not in my life.” And suddenly he plunged a knife into her abdomen.
                Ursula gasped and her tentacles flexed automatically. She collapsed onto the cold stone floor, sharp breaths seizing her. Vaguely she heard those boys escaping, their shouts muddling into one great noise reminiscent of an echo: loud at first but fading fast.