Monday, August 19, 2013

REVIEW: "Opal" by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Opal (Lux, #3)
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
For Ages 13+
Young Adult -- Science Fiction
Entangled Teen -- December 2012
Ebook, 452 pages
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Aliens, Opposites Attract, Small Town Setting

SUMMARY
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

FIRST LINE
I wasn't sure what woke me.

MY THOUGHTS
Warning!  This review contains spoilers for the first two books in the Lux series. 

I am really getting into this series now!  Opal takes the story of teenager Katy and alien heartthrob Daemon and turns up the romance and the danger.  I enjoyed this one much more than the last installment due to the great character development and the lack stupid moments from Katy.

The last time readers saw Katy, Daemon, and the gang they were dealing with quite a few revelations as well as the unfortunate death of Dee's boyfriend, Adam.  The biggest shocker was the fact that Daemon and Dee's brother, Dawson, and his human girlfriend, Bethany, are alive and in the hands of Daedalus.  Dawson is returned to the Blacks and his reappearance starts a whole new series of questions and adventures.

Opal's plot mainly focused on the effort to rescue Bethany from the Department of Defense through infiltration efforts, training to avoid booby traps, and deals with a mysterious person who may be a Luxen, human, hybrid, or something more.  In addition, Katy and Daemon are officially a couple and are trying to figure out the intricacies of their relationship including trying to find some quiet moments together which always seem to be interrupted in hilarious ways.  I love how JLA continues to develop the Luxen world and the humans' place in it.  She is keeping me as a reader guessing which almost always signals great writing for me.  Unpredictable plots are usually more fun to read and it enhances the suspense element that is become common in this series.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, Katy made some stupid decisions in the last book that effected my overall enjoyment.  I think she made up for it in this one by admitting her mistakes and learning from them.  She is still determined to protect Daemon and the rest of the Luxen, but is more open about it which shows her maturity.  I like that she continues to gain confidence in her abilities and her place in Daemon's world.  Her character's journey is intriguing and I applaud JLA for the growth.

And then...like always...there's Daemon!  He has always had my heart and this definitely doesn't change in Opal.  He still has his snarky, jerk moments, but they are becoming more of the humorous side of the story.  Daemon is willing to show his softer side (especially to Katy) and that makes him that much more of a great love interest.  The after-prom scene made me sigh like a sixteen year fangirl!  I also loved how JLA showed Daemon reacting to the return of his beloved brother.  His equilibrium is thrown off and it has really increased his protective instincts which should be interesting in the next installment.

I continue to enjoy the development of the secondary characters especially Dee who is dealing with the death of her boyfriend, Dawson who is willing to do anything to save the girl he loves, and Blake who is trying to gain back Katy's trust after the events of Onyx.  It was also fun to meet some new characters with my favorite being the mysterious Luc and Paris combo.  I definitely am excited to see more of them in the future!

In conclusion, I highly recommend this installment and this series to anyone interested in suspenseful, creative YA fiction.  I am not the biggest fan of science fiction, but absolutely adore this one.  Katy and Daemon's story is funny, dangerous, and super romantic and everything is heightened in Opal especially with that cliffhanger ending!


4.5 STARS


FAVORITE QUOTE
Daemon snatched the yellow packages from my hands, "Oh! Books! You have books!"
I laughed as several people waiting in line looked over their shoulders, "Hand them over."
He clutched them to his chest, making mooney eyes. "My life is now complete."



BOOKS IN THE SERIES
0.5. Shadows
1. Obsidian
2. Onyx
3. Opal
4. Origin (Coming August 2013)

Spin-off
1. Obsession

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