Sooo… My name is Kaja and I’ve got a problem. I’m binge-reading books by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and while I know they aren’t really good for me, I can’t help myself – much like with chocolate.
It started with Obsidian, which I didn’t particularly like because Daemon Black (he of the silly name) put me off the series. But then Becky said she loved Armentrout’s The Dark Elements series and I decided to give her another try.
And now I’ve read White Hot Kiss and Stone Cold Touch in less than three days, and lasted all of one week before succumbing to my cravings and ordering Wicked as well. What’s more: I chose Kindle editions so I got the books instantly, no waiting for the post to arrive.
This would not be as surprising if I genuinely, truly loved the books. But I don’t. I have this love-hate relationship with them, I cringed and rolled my eyes while reading them, but I read on, caught in a web Armentrout has created, powerless to stop. I know I’m being melodramatic. I do. Forgive me, dear reader. But it has been a while since I’ve come across a novel that was kind of silly but *unputdownable* all at once.
So, what’s the deal with these books?
The Dark Elements series (which will be getting a third part, Every Last Breath, sometime in 2015) is YA and has a half-demon, half-gargoyle seventeen-year-old protagonist named Layla. She grew up with the gargoyles (yes, those gargoyles from old Gothic cathedrals), who are actually Wardens – creatures who protect the human world from the visitors from below, aka demons. There’s a love triangle (gah), which includes Layla, a gargoyle named Zayne, and a very powerful demon named Roth. Angsty business ensues (Just look at the cover on the right. She’s so conflicted.).
And while it sounds like any other romantic paranormal YA crap, it’s intriguing, the characters are cool (especially Roth, Roth is fiiine), and I really like Armentrout’s sense of humor. There’s also a tattoo-demon-snake named Bambi.
I didn’t particularly relish the fact that the fate of the world seems to hinge on Layla’s virginity (too many Twilight flashbacks for my taste), but at least Layla has quite a healthy view of her own sexuality. The huge cliffhanger at the end of Stone Cold Touch left me craving more and I just know I’ll definitely be reading Every Last Breath as soon as it’s available.
Wicked is the first part of The Wicked Saga (I think this means more than three books?) and is geared at a slightly older public – new adult. Ivy is twenty-one and hunts fae for a living. Fae are beautiful, evil bastards who feed on humans. Then there’s Ren, a green-eyed, gorgeous fae hunter who’s got an agenda of his own and makes Ivy’s blood hot. There’s much more smooching and the sex scenes are pretty graphic (not that I’m complaining, it’s just that I’m still a newbie to the new adult genre and never know how much sex to expect in comparison to young adult).
I felt like Armentrout maybe went a bit overboard with the colloquial language in this one. Phrases like “grabby hands” and “because reasons” are fantastic on book blogs and Twitter but I like my books a bit more eloquent. It’s a personal pet peeve and doesn’t diminish the readability of this novel.
The one thing that’s confusing as hell is the cover. I didn’t really read the Goodreads synopsis very carefully before impulse-buying the book, so I half-expected some mermaids or… I don’t know… selkies? I have no idea why they are underwater. Really. The only water present in the novel is in the form of New Orleans humidity. Yes, New Orleans! One of my bookish dream destinations.
To recap this rambling post
Wicked (The Wicked Saga #1): my rating 3.5/5; fae and fae hunters, sex and angst.
I’d recommend both series to fans of paranormal romance, sexy boys, and flirty banter. And angst.
Have you read any of these books? Or anything else by Jennifer L. Armentrout?
Do you have any similar recommendations – I now have to wait for the next books to come out and am searching for a new obsession! :)