I’m so glad to have been pleasantly surprised with this YA series. I was starting to loose hope that maybe I was getting too old for the genre, because I hadn’t read a series that I had really, really loved in a long time. But Obsidian really captivated me, and I’m anxiously awaiting for the next two books to arrive on the library hold shelf for me.
I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t impressed. First of all, Daemon was (and still is) a HUGE jerk. It seemed overdone. And not a jerk in a sexy, bad-boy-who’s worldly-and-just-a-tad-too-old-and-experienced-for-you way (example: Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush series). Jerk as in some of the things he did were beyond curel. I was really concerned reading this from a feminist perspective because I did NOT want the protagonist to fall in love with a hot guy with a razor sharp tongue and validate his behavior with his lust, perpetuating the cycle in our society that men can treat women poorly and still be seen as worthy mates.
Luckily, my love for the protagonist solved this problem. Katy took no you-know-what from Daemon, and was realistic about him from the get-go, acknowledging that yes, he is super attractive and my hormones lust after him, but no, I will not allow myself to become obsessed with him because I deserve to be treated better. She’s also honestly hilarious.
For example, after a steamy encounter with Daemon that resulted in a near electrical storm and Daemon leaving her in the dust, her first observation is not to cry, but to poignantly say:
“That son of a bitch blew up my laptop”
…I couldn’t stop laughing.
Katy stuck to her convictions throughout the story, proved to be an extremely funny narrator, and I loved the fact that she’s a book blogger herself, as though the author is acknowledging her audience. Katy is the most refreshing, genuine, and likeable female protagonist in a YA paranormal romance series that I’ve read in a long time.
*Mild spoilers below*
Regarding the romance: It was not rushed at all. Even by the end of the book it’s still ambiguous as to what the relationship between Katy and Daemon really is, and the book spends a lot of time developing it, rather than rushing into it and having the characters be together and established by the middle of the book. Like I said before, Katy does not allow herself to be treated poorly, and stands up for herself even when it may seem futile. Some may find it frustrating that it takes the romance so long to build, but I feel closer to both Daemon and Katy because of it; I feel like I know the nuances of their kind-of relationship, and I feel more invested in it (to the point where I could not stop thinking about the book for days after). This is a book that sticks- the mark of a truly good read, when you can’t even bring yourself to read anything for days after because you’re still reeling from the story and have to give it time to settle.
I also appreciated the departure from vampires/werewolves/angels/demons/etc genre for aliens. I normally don’t go for sci-fi, but the use of extraterrestrials for a YA paranormal romance was a really interesting twist, and I think made it feel less juvenile. Also, Armentrout’s acknowledgement of the realism of high school and hormones and realism helped- Katy faces drunk driving, attempted date rape, assault, and more, situations many teenage girls are at risk of today. She also doesn’t shy away from teenage hormones, and provides realistic encounters with just enough detail without making them smutty. This book is honest, funny, and witty while resting comfortably in a genre that is often over sensationalized, juvenile, and overdone. This has been my favorite read of the summer yet.
This book should honestly be getting the hype that Twilight did.