After trying unsuccessfully for three years to find a new kind of normal after her dad passed away, Katy and her mother pack up their life in sunny Florida and move to the remote hills of West Virginia with the goal of starting anew. Urged by her mother to make more of an effort socially, Katy climbs out of her comfort zone and attempts to meet their new neighbors. She immediately wishes she hadn’t. Instead of walking away from the expected polite exchange with a new acquaintance, she ends up furiously arguing and giving the one-finger salute to Daemon, the most infuriating, arrogant, (insanely hot), jerk of a neighbor she’s ever met. However, his twin sister Dee, she quickly discovers, is exactly the opposite of her brother, and they soon beome fast friends despite the Daemon’s oft-voiced and oft-demonstrated disapproval. And yet, despite the fact that she so intensely dislikes him and he her, she can’t seem to shake him, from her thoughts or from her front porch. When Daemon unexpectedly saves her from a deadly situation by unearthly means, Katy learns her surly neighbor’s most closely guarded secret and that his actions have made her an easy target for his enemies. If Katy wants to survive until the trace of Daemon’s power has faded from her, she must endure an equally unpleasant fate: the constant presence of her incredibly annoying neighbor. Or will she find spending time with Daemon is actually not as bad as she fears?
No. It most definitely is.
The reason that this book is really notable, besides the wonderful characters and fabulous writing, is without a doubt the romance. Jennifer Armentrout knows how to create a believable chemistry between two characters and maintains a sizzling romantic tension between Katy & Daemon throughout the novel. It’s the impassioned verbal sparring, the contrasting love/hate relationship, the budding attraction they’d never dream of admitting to, that makes this book so exciting, leaving the reader anxiously anticipating the next Daemon/Katy encounter. Daemon does run very hot and cold throughout the book, leaving Katy all-turned-around-and-upside-down at times, and this behavior creates fabulous conflict and a wonderful build-up of sexual tension. At first, it might be easy to write Daemon off as just another hot, arrogant jerk who believes he’s clearly God’s gift to himself and everyone else, but as his character develops, it becomes clear it’s not quite as simple as all that.
There’s something to be said for the tempestuous romance. There’s an appeal in the verbal back and forth, in the highly volatile, emotional atmosphere it creates. This kind of romance creates many tension-filled moments that provide opportunities for some fantastic character development. There’s a certain kind of passion you find in a tempestuous romance – that mercurial, fierce love/hate relationship, where the reader hopes it’s just a few parts more love than hate. It’s an intricate, compelling kind of dance that Daemon and Katy do around the complicated minefield that is their relationship, and Armentrout is a masterful choreographer.
Together, Katy & Daemon have undeniably explosive chemistry, but when viewed individually, they are just as compelling.
I love Katy. Katy is a character written for me, for me and all book bloggers. From her compulsion to check her blog stats, to her moment of sadness at missing a weekly meme, to her girlish, squealing glee at discovering a box of books on her front porch, Katy is a kindred spirit. Besides her love for all things bookish and YA paranormal, Katy is mature, loyal, self-sacrificing, has a quiet strength and a level-head… except maybe when it comes to Daemon. Faced with the cocky, self-assured Daemon, Katy quickly discovers a side to her she didn’t know existed – a fiery temper and a quick tongue that can challenge anything that Daemon throws her way.
Of all the characters, Daemon is perhaps the most intriguing. At first glance, Daemon is aggressive, arrogant, a total bad boy, and though perhaps he truly is all these things, he’s also more complex than your typical alpha male. Underneath the tough exterior is a guy who’d do anything to protect those he loves, including behavior that is the height of douche-baggery, and he will be cruel to be kind. He’s also a guy who’s experienced a lot of loss, grief, and hardship in his life, and he understandably has trust issues. These things make him a more sympathetic character, but make no mistake, Daemon is far from warm and cuddly. He exudes a certain sense of danger, and he most certainly is not a “safe” kind of guy. All these points taken into account, it helps one understand why Daemon is the way he is and does the the things he does.
But… then again, Daemon is just kind of a jerk. He takes no small amount of pleasure in goading Katy into a confrontation just because he can, and he’s completely aware that he’s a sexy guy and he uses that, sometimes shamelessly, to his advantage.
As far as the story goes, Armentrout keeps the plot rather simple. It’s not extremely complex and doesn’t really need to be, as the focus of Obsidian is rather on character and relationship development. The simplicity of the story works well, but is still extremely interesting. The sci-fi angle and the back story Armentrout gives the plot is very enjoyable, and she thankfully manages to steer clear of the overly complicated, StarTrek-like explanations. At times it can be disappointing when the “science” of a sci-fi story doesn’t quite feel deep enough or credible enough, and the vagueness can leave one wanting and needing more insight into how the world works. However, Armentrout gives just enough information to keep me completely satisfied without getting too in-depth. As more and more is revealed to the reader about the plot, Armentrout does fantastic job of building a growing tension throughout the book with a sense of real danger and urgency – just as she does with the relationship tension – until it culminates in the oh-so-exciting conclusion.
Overall, with a addictive, fiery and passionate romance, an incredibly intriguing bad boy, a strong, female lead (who just happens to be a book blogger) and a well-done sci-fi bent, Obsidian has definitely earned a place on my favorites’ shelf.