Tag «Author: Armentrout»

Pen names: Jennifer L Armentrout & J Lynn

Series Review: The Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout | The Dark Elements Series

Other books in the series:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author, Most Read Author
Series: The Dark Elements Trilogy
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pennames include J. Lynn)
# of Books: 3 (White Hot Kiss, Stone Cold Touch, Every Last Breath)

There is a prequel novella called Bitter Sweet Love that can be read before the series

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy
Heat Rating: really warm – spicy for a young adult novel
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

I pretty much read anything Jennifer L. Armentrout because I have always enjoyed her works but this was one series I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy. After reading the plot synopsis for White Hot Kiss it seemed obvious to me that there was going to be a love triangle and that kind-of turned me off of this new series (love triangles are my least favourite literary device). However, when I was browsing the Kindle Free Bestsellers, I came across Bitter Sweet Love and decided to give this series a shot.

I’m glad I read Bitter Sweet Love first–and I highly recommend that you read it first if you plan on reading this series (though it isn’t necessary). It does a great job of setting up the world–which is pretty unique in that it features gargoyles–so that you are familiar with it when you read the first full length novel, White Hot Kiss. It also introduces you to the main character Layla years earlier as well as some other characters that make an appearance later on. Again, you don’t have to read this book but I found that it helped set the scene for the rest of the series and it made me really excited to read White Hot Kiss.

White Hot Kiss reminded me of Firelight by Sophie Jordan but with gargoyles instead of dragons and a more mature (read: less annoying) heroine. The storyline is also completely different but I found the stories had a lot of parallels in its delivery. The love triangle wasn’t as bad as it could have been–it was pretty mild compared to other love triangle based stories. However, the sexual content (like most of Armentrout’s work) is higher than most Young Adult reads. Personally, it’s right on that Young Adult-New Adult border for me like Sweet Evil was.

I did like Layla as a character and I could understand her choices; however I just didn’t love her. I find Armentrout’s heroines all have the same general makeup to them so at times I felt like I was reading about Kat from Lux or Alex from Covenant (more so Kat in this case). I loved Roth though 😛

I’m interested to see where the series is going to go and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything unfolds.

updates

–December 7, 2014– Book 2: Stone Cold Touch

Stone Cold Touch really just an amped up version of White Hot Kiss. The plot is darker and more twisty; the love triangle is at full force (and totally swoon-worthy); and the characters become more defined. I really enjoyed reading it and it sucked me into the story much faster than the first novel did. While I had a pretty good idea of how things were going to unfold, I often found myself second-guessing myself so I loved that uncertainty and it kept me reading.

I have to hand it to Armentrout–she honestly writes the best male leads. I normally hate love triangles but with this one I had such a hard time picking a side! I probably have one I leaned to more (Roth if I’m going to be honest) but I liked that the love triangle wasn’t the whole focus of the book or annoyed the shit out of me by having Layla going back and forth between the two of them. While I still don’t love Layla (what I said earlier still stands) I liked her a lot more in this book. Overall, it’s a solid second novel (my favourite of the series so far) and I can’t wait to see how everything wraps up in Summer 2015.

–August 29, 2015– Book 3: Every Last Breath

I was really excited to read this last book, especially after the previous one which was fantastic. But I think I just read this book at the wrong time. When I was reading it, I was in the middle of moving and preparing for my new school year so I really didn’t have a lot of time to just sit around and read.

And because of that, the book just felt slow to me. I was expecting the action to start right from the get-go but instead, it focused on wrapping up the love triangle. Which, I appreciated don’t get me wrong! I wasn’t looking forward to waiting until the very end to see how that would all go down so it was nice to get it out of the way. I just wanted all that action I had anticipated given the ending of the second book.

The last 100 pages or so (the eBook was ~280) really picked things up and overall it was a solid ending. I just wanted a bit more and because I really enjoyed the second book SO MUCH, I think this finale had a lot to live up to.

Series Rating: 4/5

White Hot Kiss 3.5/5 | Stone Cold Touch 5/5 | Every Last Breath 3/5

overall

Fans of Armentrout will enjoy this series as it has her fingerprints all over it and delivers like you expect her works to. For people unfamiliar with Armentrout’s work, you will also enjoy it if you want a more mature Young Adult read with paranormal/supernatural creatures not often talked about in Young Adult fiction (gargoyles).

Read if You Like: more New Adult-esque YA, paranormal shapeshifter stories, good vs evil
Avoid if You: want less romance, don’t like paranormal YA

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Synopsis for White Hot Kiss (from Goodreads):

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

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Series Review: Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (Other pen names: J. Lynn)
# of Books: 5 (Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin, Opposition)

There is a prequel novella called Shadows.

There is also a New Adult novel set in the same world that slightly crosses-over into the series in Origin but is completely unrelated to this series called Obsession.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: warm for a Young Adult read (some may not find it appropriate for younger teens)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I discovered Ms. Armentrout after finding her Covenant Series but at the time it was not available for purchase in Canada. However, these books were at my library so I decided to read them instead.

A Young Adult series that deals with aliens wasn’t something I had come across at the time I started to read these books (I later read the Lorien Legacies but they are two completely different types of series). It was a change from the vampire and fallen angel romance stories I had been reading so I found it was super refreshing in that sense.

One of the reasons I really found it refreshing is because of Katy. I really liked her as a heroine. She was funny and quirky in a non-irritating way. She was also independent and didn’t need a man to define her–which in and of itself is a nice break from the usual Young Adult paranormal heroines. I also really liked Daemon–he is definitely swoon-worthy in every way. After reading Ms. Armentrout’s other works I have to give her props because she writes great heroes <3 Overall I felt like they were a good pair for each other.

Obsidian to me followed the typical Young Adult story in terms of the romance but the plot had an interesting spin to it. This science fiction spin carries on through the rest of the books and I really enjoy that aspect of it. And the characters really make the story as well. Onyx was a good follow up to its predecessor.

Opal was a rocky read for me. Having loved Katy in the first two books, she really grated my nerves in this book. I felt like the strong, independent girl we were introduced to lost a bit of herself because of Daemon and I really didn’t like that. I also found the plot slow and not overly interesting. This book read much more like the second book in a trilogy where it was needed to bridge the plot for the final climax of the series. It ended on a good note so I was really excited to read Origin.

Origin to me picked back up on the charm of the first two books and I enjoyed reading it much more than Opal. Katy redeemed herself in my eyes and I like where this series is heading into its last book Opposition.

I just have two important notes:

1) It’s important to note that Armentrout is an adult writer so the sexual content in this book is spicier than most young adult novels. I wouldn’t recommend younger teens reading it because of the content. This isn’t to say we get full out descriptions like in adult novels but it is more descriptive than the occasional make out session in other novels. From my understanding, Obsessions, a New Adult spin-off, has much more spice to it (though I have yet to read it).

2) Shadows is a prequel novella in the sense that it takes place before the first book in the series. However, it isn’t necessary to read and I would actually recommend that you read it after you read the first novel, Obsidian. I think it gives away too much about the mystery we get in Obsidian and it’s a nice way to wrap everything you learn in the first book together.

UPDATED (October 21/14): Opposition was everything I wanted for a finale for this series. I thought we would get a little more physical action scenes but we didn’t; and that isn’t a bad thing either. Everything was well done and fans of the series will like how everything wraps up.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a young adult paranormal romance but are tired of fallen angels and vampires, this is the series for you. It is geared for older young adults in terms of the romance but has action, humour and swoon-worthy heroes. The characters are always entertaining and the plot follows some interesting twists along the way. Overall, a great read.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental Series #1) and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Obsidian (from Goodreads):

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.