Top critical review
I Expected More...
Reviewed in Australia on 13 June 2017
Actual rating: 1.5 Stars
Through my Bookstagram account (@dahlias_booktography) many people have sent me book recommendations. Among these requests, Armentrout has been one of the more popular authors. So, I decided to give this book a go. I noticed that she had high ratings and so my expectations were set rather high.
After a friend of mine on Instagram suggested I start with the Lux series, I went ahead and purchased Obsidian. The cover is nice! A very cool design that the author could take pride in.
Obsidian starts with a girl called Katy. She has recently moved to a small town in West Virginia. And hates it. The reason for the move was due to the death of Katy's father. Her mother wanted a new start and voila, they settled in Ketterman.
I loved the mum character, Kellie Swartz. She was sweet and a delight to read, unfortunately she wasn't in much of the novel.
When Katy's mum encourages her to make friends, Katy goes next door. In a shirt that says: MY BLOG IS BETTER THAN YOUR VLOG. This does not set a good impression with the attractive and arrogant next door neighbour. Not that he cares about vlogs or blogs, he just thinks the shirt is dumb.
Every time this neighbour, aptly named Daemon, showed up, I cringed. And no, he doesn't have a brother called Stefan but Damon Salvatore and Daemon Black could almost be twins in attitude.
However, Katy makes friends with Daemon's sister, Dee. Dee is adorable! Not only is she kind and friendly, she is also willing to help Katy out with anything she needs. They quickly become friends.
And I mean very quickly. The pacing and sense of time throughout Obsidian is lacking greatly. Half of the time I was reading, I felt as if I was flicking through a dull account of someones day-to-day life. This does not interest me whatsoever. I felt disconnected from the characters and plot. Armentrout favoured passive voice over active voice and I cannot abide by that!
So, why is it that I truly cannot stand Daemon? Well, maybe it is more that I cannot stand Katy...
Even though Daemon is hopelessly mean and smug, Katy still adores everything about him. She notes that he is attractive, and this is all well-and-good, as they say, but he is nothing more. He claims to hate her yet constantly appears, mostly to tell her what to do or what not to do. He is creepy and has nothing better to do than try to control Katy's life. From the start! And, for most of this book, I could not remember Daemon or Katy's name. I felt no connection, I could not have cared less about their lives.
On another note, early on in the novel, Katy becomes suspicious of the twins. Dee and Daemon are different. People around them either love them, fear them or hate them. And strange circumstances make Katy question who, or what, they really are. I will leave the details out so as not to spoil the book for others. However, I have to note that according to Daemon, no one knows who or what they are. Even though they all appear to...
As Daemon rescues Katy again and again, some weird bond starts to grow between them. Not love. Not even like. Maybe...a begrudging acceptance?
This wishy-washy behaviour brings me to my next point: was an editor hired throughout the writing process?
Not just a copy editor but a content editor, line editor or proofreader...
Info-dumps, misspelled words, repeated words, unnecessary words...the list goes on and on. And maybe this is why I couldn't connect with the story. Take this quote for example:
[ “It was like touching the surface of the sun without being burned.” ]
If it was like touching the sun, then Katy would get burned. She wouldn't even get to the surface before burning up.
[ “...not human, but otherworldly...” ]
This is a given. If they are not human then they are clearly otherworldly – when referring to something that has a humanoid appearance.
[ “...vocab...” ]
This issue might just be a style-choice but it made me cringe. The first thing one learns about editing is to write the whole word. Unless the character says the word “vocab”, it should be written as “vocabulary.”
Obsidian is full of sentences that don't quite make sense. Armentrout relies heavily on cliches and similes. She also did not develop her characters during the book apart from an unexplained circumstance where a sweet guy became an alcoholic and potential rapist for no other reason than to move the plot along.
Now...enough of the editing lesson...
I would like to think I have merely judged Obsidian harshly due to the editorial issues but it is more than that. The characters are, for the most part, dull. They lack the realism that is needed to truly engage the reader.
Not only this but the plot was also dull. After reading the blurb, I was thrilled! I thought it would be great because it was a fun idea! Unfortunately, I will not be continuing with this series in the near future. Though I will be purchasing other books by this author.