Saturday, January 18, 2014

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

Warning to all of you who love reading series: don't read the synopsis blurb on Goodreads for the next book until you're finished with the first one. Although I guess the good thing that came out of me not following this rule for the Lux series is that I wasn't as shocked/disappointed/heartbroken/pulling out my hair at the end of this book as a lot of others seem to have been!

But I'm way ahead of myself...

This book was, like the two before it (and I'm sure the one after), AMAZING! If you haven't already heard it enough in the short time I've been blogging, I LOVE DAEMON BLACK! Jennifer Armentrout has created the perfect relationship with just enough passion, devotion, and, often times, frustration and defiance, to make Katy and Daemon believable as a couple to keep the readers cheering for them, while not getting completely sick of them (think Bella and Edward).

Speaking of those overexposed vampires, I couldn't help but thinking as I was reading this and the other Lux installments, that this series is everything that I really wanted Twilight to be, yet so, so much more! You have the supernatural element of course, but wonderfully unique this time with aliens instead of the overdone vampires. Katy, of course, is much more tolerable than the ever-brooding Bella, and as I mentioned before, though her love of Daemon is as unyielding as that of the once-human-turned-vampire's devotion to the sparkling Edward, their relationship isn't without its quarrels and blatant defiance, often in the shape of Katy openly going against something Daemon has told her to do. Katy is not one to sit back and let a family of aliens take care of her. The only point I'll give in favor of the Twilight series in this battle is the use of the love triangle as a valid plot conflict. Before finishing the series initially, I was actually team Jacob. Of course, I had some inherent issues with the perfection of Edward as well as Bella's blind devotion to him, but Jacob had balls and went after what he wanted, consequences be damned! I admired this about him. He also seemed to have a genuine interest in Bella's well-being (not that Edward didn't) and even something to offer Bella that seemed more favorable than life as an eternal bloodsucker (i.e., warmth, a more "normal," aging life). The Lux version of this might not have intended to be as drawn out or intimate as the Twilight love struggle was, but I must say that I hated Blake from day one! And it's not necessarily for the fact that he made Katy question her feelings for Daemon or the involvement in the supernatural family of light beings. He was just such a self-centered donkey! I get that his character is essential to the plot as his connection to the DOD is a continuous conflict with the aliens. However, part of me wanted there to be an even stronger pull to test the relationship of Katy and Daemon. At times, I even wished that Dawson would prove to be this force, even secretly hoping that he was the one sneaking in to snuggle with Katy in the middle of the night. Alas, his devotion is to Beth, and this was not to be!

This lack of love triangle success does not make this book or series any less wonderful, however. Opal picks up where the second book, Onyx, left off (so if you haven't read the first two, you might want to stop now... if I haven't already ruined it for you thus far!). Dawson is back, and although he's not the same as the glimpses we've gotten from the other characters' remembrances of him, he still fills a now-bigger void in the alien family (with the loss of Adam) and his presence seems to bring a little peace, if also trepidation, to Daemon and Dee. Dawson also seems to fall into the category of people who are not opposed to Katy being a part of the group, which is good since Dee is teetering to the other side given the aforementioned death of her boyfriend, which she at least partially blames Katy for. Although it broke my heart, this breach in the friendship of Katy and Dee was wonderfully depicted, and the emotions so real, filling the void of the relationship drama that was lacking between Katy and Daemon this book. (Not that I didn't love seeing them in love of course!) Blake is also back (gag) and begrudgingly (on both sides) forms a semi-alliance with the gang as they work to overcome the scrutiny of the Arum and the DOD while figuring out how to rescue Beth and Chris (Blake's Luxen healer). The cliffhanger at the end of this book was HUGE, and although I knew it was coming, it was still beautifully and heart-wrenchingly emotional. And the best part is, coming into this series late in the game, I don't have to wait for the next one to come out like everyone else did! I'll go start it now...

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