Review: The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Synopsis from GoodReads:

When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

The Darkest Star will be available October 30, 2018. 

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series is one of my favorite YA series and I was so excited to learn there was going to be a spin-off. Luc was such an interesting character in the Lux world and I always hoped we would get more of his story someday. While The Darkest Star didn’t give me all that I was anticipating, it was definitely a good start to this new series.

I think Armentrout definitely wrote this book so it’s possible to read without having read the original series it spun-off from. This is great for new readers, but it did provide me with some frustration. Lux fans already know what Luc is and we know his connection to Evie (maybe we aren’t supposed to connect the dots so quickly, but yeah). However, it takes to about the 45% mark before the word “Origin” is used. I felt like there was way too much build up for something I already knew. I also felt like the plot was pretty thin. The whole book is basically Evie finding out about Luc and her connection to him and how she deals with that. There’s a bit of a murder and mystery thrown in, but mostly there’s just a lot of up set up for future books.

Speaking of things I already knew, I thought that this book was extremely similar to Obsidian, the first book of the Lux series. There were scenes between Luc and Evie that seemed almost carbon copies from scenes of Daemon and Katy. I’m really hoping that symmetry was intentional. I was also expecting Daemon and Katy to play larger roles here, but Daemon is only in a few scenes and Katy is mentioned a couple of times, but never appears. I’m really hoping they pop up in future books because I will always need more Daemon Black in my life. I also liked the Archer cameo and would like more from him, as well.

So, despite some obvious issues, I did really enjoy this book. I have so much love for the first series and just being back in their world was so nostalgic for me. I’ve always liked Luc and I liked him just as much here. I also thought Evie was a pretty likable character. I really thought we were going to get Luc’s POV and was a little disappointed that we didn’t, but Evie was a good narrator so I didn’t mind it as much as I thought I would. I enjoyed the signature JLA banter between them and look forward to seeing their relationship progress.

Overall, I enjoyed The Darkest Star. I’m increasing my rating by at least half a star just because reading it gave me so much nostalgia for Lux. I’m already planning on going back and re-reading it. I honestly don’t know if I can be impartial enough to rate or recommend this book without letting myself be influenced by the first series. I do think that fans of JLA will enjoy this, especially if they read the Lux series.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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Reviewing the Unreviewed: July

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Falling for Her Fiance (Accidentally in Love, #1)

Falling for Her Fiancé (Accidentally in Love #1) by Cindi Masden. Read July 6th. 4 stars.

This was a super cute, fast read. Even though it’s totally predictable, I’m always a sucker for the “fake relationship” trope. 4 stars based on enjoyability alone.

On the Fence

On the Fence by Kasie West. Read July 7-8. 4 stars.

This book was all kinds of adorable!

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West. Read July 24-25. 3 stars.

 

I didn’t like this book as much as the first, but I still enjoyed it. This time instead of alternating realties, it was told in alternating POV between Addie and Laila. I didn’t care for Laila in the first book and it really took me until the final chapters for me to warm up to her now. I did end up really liking Connor, and of course I love Addie and Trevor.

My favorite part of the whole book, though, was:

*SPOILER ALERT*

when Connor healed Trevor’s arm! It was such an unexpected move and it made me so happy!

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins. Read July 25-27. 2.5 stars.

 

2.5 stars. I think this book would’ve been a little better if it was about 50 pages shorter. Most of the story was very slow paced and there was a lot of “and I drove around, wondering what to do next” going on. There were a few surprise deaths at the end that I didn’t see coming and took some guts for Higgins to include. Overall, it was a decent ending to the series, but it kind of failed to capture my interest most of the time.

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DID NOT FINISH

The City

The City by Dean Koontz. This was the first Dean Koontz book I tried and I don’t think it was the best one to introduce me to him. I got about a quarter of the way through before I gave up. The writing was good, but the story – what there was of a story – couldn’t interest me enough to keep reading.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. I wasn’t quite half way through this when I got distracted by something else. I’m planning on coming back to it eventually, though. I do love Maggie Stiefvater.

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RE-READS

All I Ever Wanted

Origin (Lux, #4)

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins – because sometimes just need some Kristan Higgins – and Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer Armentrout in preparation of Opposition coming out next Tuesday!

 

Origin by Jennifer Armentrout – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Origin (Lux, #4)

Synopsis:

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

_______________________________________________________________________

Ok, so we all know by now that I enjoy the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout. Origin is the fourth book in the series.  I’m going to try very hard to not spoil anything from Origin, but there will be some minor spoilers from the preceding books because this far into a series you can’t really avoid it.

My Thoughts:

-While the first three books are told from Katy’s first person POV, Origin is told in first person POVs of both her and Daemon. As I’ve mentioned before, I love multiple first person POV. There were times in this book that I didn’t always feel it worked out well, though. Mostly Katy and Daemon’s “voices” were distinct and well defined, but there were a couple times where it was in Daemon’s POV and I thought it was Katy for a while.

Meet Daemon Black~the very sexy Alien from THE LUX SERIES by Jennifer Armentrout

-The first few chapters were told while Daemon and Katy were separated and I was glad that Armentrout didn’t drag that out too long because they are always better together. Armentrout promised this book would change the game and it did in several ways. Katy and Daemon’s relationship is one example. This is the first book where their relationship is really cemented. Even though they were together in Opal, there was still a lot of strife between them. In this book they were a very united front. There were still sarcastic remarks between them – which are always fun – but this time they seemed to be taken as a joke and not a reason for a fight. However, I almost felt like their relationship tipped a little too far in the other direction. Daemon becomes distracted by Kat’s left hand (specifically her ring finger) and Kat talks about how they “make” each other. A little too Twilight for me.

– We spend a good deal of the book away from any familiar characters, other than Katy and Daemon. While I didn’t exactly miss all of them, it was still nice that they weren’t left out entirely, which is where I thought the story was going. There’s also a couple new characters introduced, as well as some old characters given bigger roles. I actually liked all of that. Archer, a new ally, is smart and caring and sarcastic. Luc, who we first met in Onyx, is fleshed out more in this book and lingering questions about him are finally answered.

-While Kat and Daemon are with Daedalus being tested, we learn a lot about Daedalus’ mission, why they had captured Dawson and Beth, and what they want from Daemon and Katy. This was also another game changer from the first three books. Daedalus and the DOD were always villains, but it was still a very high school vibe. Origin leaves all the kid stuff behind and throws them into adulthood. While I’m fine with leaving the high school setting, they still act very much like the teenagers they are and some of their “grown up” decisions feel a little forced.

-Finally, Origin delivered on the big surprises we were promised (with the exception of Beth and Dawson’s situation, because that was almost too obvious). There are several character deaths that I did not see coming – One of which I’ve been waiting on for a while, but actually ended up being a little sad when it happened. The decisions made in this book affected much more of the world than just Daemon and Katy and it culminated in an ending that both surprised and impressed me.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book, Opposition (out next summer).

"You have got to be kidding me" Origin Teaser

-Overall, I enjoyed Origin and thought it was another great addition to the Lux series. The different setting and additional characters kept the story fresh and the risks Armentrout took paid off. I would still recommend the Lux series to those looking for a new great YA series.

Monday’s Minutes

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post about what I’m reading and what I’ll be reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I’ve actually already read this and it was just ok for me (before you start hating, know that I felt the series got better as it went on – except for the most recent book, which was again just ok for me), but I’m going to go see the movie this weekend so I wanted to skim through it again beforehand. Maybe I’ll  like it better this time around since I know how my biggest issue with this book was later resolved.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Origin (Lux, #4)

Origin comes out tomorrow! Yay! Apparently there were some stores that were selling hard copies this weekend, but I will wait for the ebook.

What are you reading?

Waiting on Wednesday

I’ve been experiencing in the past couple days something that very rarely ever happens to me: Reading Burnout. Normally it doesn’t take me any more than 2-3 days to read a book – unless it’s the weekend when I can often knock one out in a day. But I started the last book in the Vampire Academy series on Sunday and I still have 8 chapters to go and I just don’t feel like reading it. I was planning on being able to post a review of the whole series today, but since that’s obviously not happening, I’m going to do another first-time Meme: Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating (hosted by Breaking the Spine).

The book I’m waiting on is:

Origin (Lux, #4)

Origin by Jennifer Armentrout
Book #4 in the Lux Series

Synopsis (from Good Reads):

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

Anyone who has read some of my previous posts knows that the Lux series has become on of my favorites. The first three were all published when I stumbled across this series and I devoured them. Waiting for Origin has been agonizing. I’m so looking forward to this book coming out on Tuesday, August 27th!

Saturday Showcase (August 3, 2013)

Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

My pick for this week is the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Onyx (Lux, #2)

Opal (Lux, #3)

 

 

 

 

The Lux series is a YA paranormal series about aliens, called Luxen. Katy is a human teenager that befriends Luxen siblings Dee and Daemon. Throughout the series Katy and Daemon’s love/hate relationship grows as she becomes more immersed in the Luxen’s dangerous world.

I read a lot of YA, probably more than an-almost-30-year-old should, and this is one of my favorites series. The characters are likable and the stories are well paced – mixing romance with action and suspense. I’ve never met anyone else that’s read the series, but I expect that will change in the future as the first book, Obsidian, has been optioned for a movie.

The next book in the series, Origin, comes out later this month.

Origin (Lux, #4)