Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: This is a guest review by Heartless Lyn.
Blurb: Hailing from Florida, new girl in town Katy Swartz arrives in West Virginia after her mother decides to uproot the family, moving away from the loss of her husband. Katy discovers that she is the new neighbor of the Black family–Daemon and his twin sister Dee. Daemon does very little to help Katy feel welcomed, while Dee and Katy become close friends. When Katy becomes involved with the Blacks, her life begins to change from normal teenage blogger and high schooler to something more. From that point on, nothing is the same. Katy is attacked, threatened, and ostracized by others in her small West Virginia town. Slowly, Katy begins to understand that Dee, Daemon, and the entire town is surrounded in mystery, lies and paranormal occurrences. As Katy begins to uncover the secrets of the mysterious twins, she lands right in the middle of a war between two unnatural races, and her own life hangs in the balance.
Review: First and foremost, I didn’t have high expectations for this book. Many of my friends went crazy for it, but when I read the description, I thought that it was going to be another book attempting to ride the Twilight coattails. To be frank, there was little action until I was about 30% into the book. Up until then, trivial, small events occurred, while Daemon’s hot, god-like body played center stage. So imagine my shock when I got sucked into the book and ended up really enjoying Obsidian. I found this book to be realistic, addictive, and best of all, sincere.
I don’t want to give anything away about the storyline, but the culture that Armentrout creates is executed with substance and style. The physical attraction, the family alliance, and the budding relationship between each character were a tasteful example of how YA should be written. No side-swept best friends, no insta-love, and no flimsy paranormal elements to destroy the book and send it to the DNF pile.
Katy, thankfully, is a well-rounded character. Avoiding the Mary Sue complex, she is a shy, book blogging shut in that has no idea she is beautiful until it is pointed out (Sidenote: why does this keep occurring in YA books? Girls, it is okay to know and admit that you are beautiful. It doesn’t make you any less of a person to look in the mirror and acknowledge that you are a beautiful person. Don’t wait until a guy comes along to convince you that you are so). Her relationship with her mother is a strong, well-defined balance of power and friendship. If you go to the bookstore, it seems that every other book throws the main heroine into the role of head-of-household. It happens, but it has run its course, and frankly, it’s overused and poorly accomplished. I believe that some authors do not take into account that this situation changes a young person. They do not escape from it well-balanced and without issues. Thankfully, Armentrout dodged this YA bullet and creates a mother that needs her daughter, but does not become dependent on Katy. She is a grieving mother who dives into her own storyline as she tries to move on and find her own companionship. Katy’s character was a surprise to see in fiction aimed for young adults. She’s just a typical teenage girl, but she becomes special because she befriends one of the twins. She’s not a secret princess or the last of some ancient and powerful race. Dee and Katy become friends, and by proxy, Katy is yanked into the supernatural world of her next door neighbors.
Daemon. Here it is: I just did not like him. He emotionally abuses Katy, constantly calling her “not good enough” and saying that he and his sister deserve “better.” Often in the story, he physically traps Katy and shadows her every move. There is a reason for his actions, but his redemption doesn’t go as deep as his horrible attitude. Then he tries to crawl back and make good with her, only to repeat the cycle. Not something I would encourage girls to read and accept. Even his godlike status annoyed me to no end. And constantly saving Katy from a horrible demise (bear, bad buy, truck) left a bad taste in my mouth. Daemon, sad to say, suffers from a touch of Gary Stew-ism. The author makes a plea bargain for Daemon (that under all of the layers of hate and snootiness, he just wants to be normal as well). A decent side shined through from time to time, but not enough to convince me that he was a decent person. The random, stalker-like run- ins by Daemon really rubbed me the wrong way. Katy does get to reverse the roles and come to the rescue herself which is a nice switch, and I tried to like Daemon, but the guy is just an ass. Despite this fact, the chemistry and attraction between Katy and Daemon was still wonderful to read. The love-hate relationship was the true center of the book, but at least it played out at the right angle. Kudos to the author! One of the factors to help save Obsidian from the romance-only pit of hell is the select portions of the book that are not dedicated to Katy and Daemon’s “true love forever” tension. Katy actually has friends, and spends quality time with her new-found circle. Even the beautiful arch rival, Ash, blends well into the storyline. The competition has her own moments of nasty and sweet, which adds to the wonderful depth of the entire story. She doesn’t spend her entire time in the book obsessing over her crush, thinking about the hot boy, or bemoaning that she is incomplete without a boyfriend. Rock on, Katy, rock on.
Dee is another character in the book that I wish to discuss. She is the twin of Dickhead Daemon, and shares his extraordinary good looks, and contains powers of her own. When I started the book, Dee’s character was in danger of coming across as needy and clingy. Dee was the embodiment of loneliness but she tugged at the good ole heartstrings with her constant need for a friend outside of her own kind. Dee was charming, sweet, and there were many times that I wished I could have hugged her. Dee was also the instigator, dragging Katy into their world. Daemon’s concern for his sister helped hold the storyline in place. It is nice to see that some books still value family as well as friendship. I hated that she and Ash were often left out of the fighting. Sadly, it was the boys who were responsible for the fighting and the stalking of the enemy.
Obsidian was a harmonious blend of romance, supernatural, humor, and sweetness. If you love the metaphysical genre, then this book is a must-have.
Thanks for the wonderful review, Lyn!!