Thursday, 31 May 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Flavoured Black Tea: Earl Grey


Flavoured Black Tea: Earl Grey
Ingredients: Black tea from Sri Lanka, cornflower petals, natural flavouring (oil of bergamot).

When I opened the tea tin on this one there was definitely a strong rich floral scent that was immediately released. When brewing this I was super careful about the temperature and the time it was steeped (if you steep it too long you get a really acidic and bitter taste). But I ended up getting a perfect dark amber coloured cup!
When I first smelled it after it was steeped, the bergamot oil gives off a slight citrus smell, but it kind of smells medicinal to me so it’s kind of discouraging. When I first tasted it the bergamot oil became flowery, but it was quickly replaced by the more smoky earthy taste of the black tea that I’m used to. I’m pretty sure any flavour the cornflowers may have contributed to the tea was probably overridden by the bergamot oil, so they were mostly for show.

Overall: 3/5 Cups of Drinkable Tea.
Even with my original disdain for the bergamot oil scent, the flavour mixed with the black tea creates a refreshing light tea with a deliciously rich aftertaste. To me this is a sometimes tea. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4): Girl of Nightmares

Waiting on Wednesday (4): Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases 

I finished Anna Dressed in Blood not too long ago and it was AMAZING! Also, since I released the Review of it today, I figured the next one in the series would be a great WoW pick! 

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake 
Expected Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
From Goodreads: 
It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. 
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live-not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas' eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

I love the cover to these books! They're so dramatic, and this time we get to see a bit of Anna's face! 

What's your WoW this week?
Leave a comment and a link and I'll swing by!

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 316
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Ghosts
Source: Borrowed from Library

Book Description from Goodreads:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead-keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage. A ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.


I thoroughly traumatized myself with ghost films as a kid and for the longest time I couldn’t watch them without huddling under a blanket and keeping a night light on. It wasn’t until I saw my first episode of Supernatural back in 2005 that I really got over my fear of ghosts because I realized that “Hey there’s really good looking guys that hunt ghosts and there’s totally rational ways to fight them”. It was their sense of finality at the end of the episodes that made me realize, well the ghost is gone and there’s nothing to fear (most of the time). This sense of safety is what I immediately felt upon beginning to read Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas Lowood embodies the Supernatural hunter vibe with cool confidence and deadly skills as he takes on “the family business”.

The cover features a gorgeous and haunting Anna in her signature white dress dripping with blood amid her Victorian home swirled in fog. I love the black and whiteness of the cover with accents of blood red! The version I read also featured a rusted blood red color for the font that compliments the mood of the story.

The story begins with Cas taking the reader through the logistics of ghost hunting, from the research to the props and finally the execution. I was immediately hooked by the rich details and the histories of the ghosts he hunts.

Cas has taken over ghost hunting ever since the death of his father at the hands of a very powerful and mysterious supernatural entity. As Cas and his witch mother move from one town to another in search of ghosts to put down, while Cas plans his revenge on the creature that killed his father. We end up in the Canadian city of Thunder Bay, Ontario as Cas follow’s Anna’s bloody trail to her doorstep.

Cas’ character is strong, confident (maybe a bit overconfident at times) and he has a hilarious sarcastic sense of humour. He’s got a very lone ranger method to ghost hunting and has a few acquaintances that he gets information from around the world. So when he moves to a new place he makes it his business to stay remote, and avoids making friends, but he definitely knows how to turn the charm on to get what he wants.

Anna’s ghost has a history that’s been shrouded in local legend and with all places that are haunted there are always drunk teenagers that stumble in to test their courage. Only this time, it’s not just a story and Anna is one of the most powerful ghosts that Cas has ever seen. The dichotomy of Anna’s character is what’s so interesting about her. One on hand she’s a blood fuelled, terrifying violent spirit that has an ever increasing body count to her name, but on the other hand with Cas the hurt she’s been through is visible as well as a lonely human side. When we finally find out her story, it was heartbreaking, and something completely out of left field. Anna also manages to get Cas out of being a tunnel vision hunter, she makes him question what he’s doing if it’s as righteous as he feels it is, she pretty much shakes up Cas’ whole life and it really makes him grow up a bit.

The secondary characters were an amazing cast who Cas originally only befriended because he needed them for their respective knowledge and skills, but they end up turning into something more. In turn each character such as Thomas who’s quite shy and a loner gets more courageous and Carmel, who I originally disliked because I figured she was the super peppy popular girl whose only skill is to scream, actually turned out to be pretty bad ass, and a great friend.

What Cas thought was just another job turned into something far more dangerous than just figuring out Anna’s story. There were so many twists and turns in this story that definitely kept me hooked all the way to the dramatic ending! Blake’s writing is so descriptive and it works well for when we’re taken back in time to recount the ghost’s moments before death. She also writes some really graphic- eye popping violence scenes and introduces some new aspects to ghosts that I’ve never really thought of before. I also love Blake’s little nods to Canadians by setting the story in a Canadian city, and things like Saskatoon Berry Jam (which is delicious by the way!).

Rating: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of tea! 
Overall this is definitely an amazing ghost story! If you’re a fan of Supernatural, then pick this one up!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Teaser Tuesday (3): Sweet Evil

Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Evil
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do as following: 
·Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 454
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels and Demons
Book Description from Goodreads:
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tender hearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, and inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns? 


     "What do you want from me, Kai?"
     "For starters?" His voice lowered to sexy, dangerous depths.
     "I want to introduce myself to every freckle on your body." (Page 347)

Oh Kai....*sigh* I'm thoroughly enjoying this book! 

What's your teaser this week? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out! 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Stacking the Shelves (1)

So for my first Stacking the Shelves most of my Book Depository order made it on time and in one piece!  

I bought: 

  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver <- The Packaging for this one was held together by a rubber I'm extra thankful it even made it!
  • Red Glove and Black Heart by Holly Black <- I'm a bit sad that these two covers won't match my old White Cat version. 
  • Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins 
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth

For Review:

  • Four in the Morning by Christi Goddard

Friday, 25 May 2012

Review: The Succubus Gift by B.R. Kingsolver

The Succubus Gift (Telepathic Clans #1) by B.R. Kingsolver

Author: B.R. Kingsolver
Publication Date: April 22, 2012
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Review copy provided by the author (Thank You!)

Book Description from Goodreads:

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath and having many paranormal abilities, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift. She has always been a good girl and isn’t comfortable seducing men, except one she really loves.
That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Will she be able to protect her newly acquired family and friends? Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?
Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed — with a willing young man of course.


Let me just start by saying WOW, because this book completely blew my expectations out of the water and then some. The initial synopsis plot struck me as interesting, but it didn’t prepare me for the utterly heart stopping onslaught of sex, violence and paranormal abilities out the wazoo.

In an age where book covers are raved about because they feature a pretty girl in a dress that’s been air brushed to oblivion, I love that The Succubus Gift’s cover has a more traditional art look and feel to it, with slight enhancements. It features a gorgeously rendered Brenna and features some of the abilities that the reader will be exposed to.

When we first meet Brenna she’s worked hard to make a career for herself after being orphaned as a young girl. She’s lived with being a telepath for most of her life, but never knowing the true nature of her abilities. That is until one fateful day after inadvertently saving another telepath he takes her to meet others like them, and so begins Brenna’s journey of self discovery.

I loved how dynamic Brenna’s character is. She’s smart, witty and takes things in stride, but there’s also the less perfect side where she’s a bit self depreciating, reserved and sometimes has serious anger management issues. It all combines together though to make a character that’s so interesting to watch as she grows from an innocent Catholic girl to a more confident and insanely powerful woman.

A main point of the story was that Brenna needed to learn how to control a lot of powers, and Kingsolver found a good balance between natural excellence and learning from tutors that made the story more believable and allowed the readers to experience the powers with Brenna instead of the character instantly being able to use all these powers and going out into the world to fight super villains.

One power in particular, her Succubus Gift (which is in reference to as you guessed it, a Succubus which are known for seducing and having intercourse with men) a rare power that eventually takes the main stage in the story. It provides some of the most hilarious moments as she learns what it means to truly be a Succubus and it also brings the reader to fan-yourself kind of steamy bedroom scenes.

Now with all the different powers on top of telepathy such as pyrokinesis, electrokinesis etc., there’s so much going on in The Succubus Gift. Kingsolver has to explain A LOT of things like the powers, the people, back history, and she manages to do it perfectly without getting the reader hopelessly lost. A few of the powers also have very unique names for them and it can get confusing at times, but Kingsolver added an index at the end that was extremely helpful.

I absolutely loved the cast of secondary characters, maybe a bit more than I do Brenna. There’s such a perfect combination of mafia like grandfather, regal motherly aunt, kick ass best friend and completely adorable, hot, but deadly in a fight - love interest and even other Succubi. Kingsolver crafted these characters with such vivid personalities, they ended up taking on distinct voices and life stories that I craved to know more about.

The villains of the story are kept shrouded in the shadows for the most part, and to me that was perfectly fine. They provided the stressor for Brenna to learn and grow, but frankly they were more terrifying when you couldn’t put a face to them while people were being hunted down. A word of warning, these villains are SO twisted. Kingsolver has them do really graphically violent things that some people may not have the disposition to handle. However, the way that Kingsolver states these events is in a very blunt fashion, she doesn’t dance around them with fancy words, they’re difficult things to write about and I'm glad she didn’t take them lightly and that there’s retribution to be had in the end.

Kingsolver’s way of writing is energetic and keeps up a great tempo. When I was reading this it was easy to see when it picked up for action scenes and slowed down for sensual moments. Especially since Kingsolver is a debut author, this was an incredible piece of work.

Eventually, in the end we find out what’s going on and it blows the doors wide open for an exciting sequel, but it doesn’t end on a complete cliffhanger. We’re left in a very comfortable place, where as a reader you want to know more but it isn’t going to make you angry that it just ENDED RIGHT THERE.

This is a great unique addition to the paranormal/urban fantasy genre and I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the genre! It had everything I could ask for, love, sex, violence, witty banter, supernatural abilities. I am so excited to see what Kingsolver does next! 

Overall: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of Tea!
To me it was like the Sopranos meets X-Men with a dash of Inception and a sprinkle of Sex in the City (but less obnoxious). Seriously, it's was an awesome book! Go read it! 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Flavoured Oolong Tea: Vanilla Oolong

DAVIDsTEA Vanilla Oolong

Flavoured Oolong Tea: Vanilla Oolong
Ingredients: Taiwanese pouchong Oolong tea, lemon myrtle, marigolds, natural flavouring.

When I brewed this tea I got a delicious waft of Vanilla right away. This tea uses the Taiwanese version of Oolong tea which is less oxidized and allows the flavour to have a sweeter more floral taste along with the signature earthy Oolong aftertaste.
There’s a hint of citrus, but it’s very faint and not overpowering. DAVIDsTEA really seems to like adding colorful blossoms to their teas. This time it was Marigold petals - though I don’t think they had much flavour to add on their own - they were a good color pick me up when looking at the tea leaves.
What really struck me was how this reminded me of the Créme Brùlee Rooibos tea, although it’s not as rich or sweet. These two are likely similar due to the copious use of vanilla flavouring.

Overall: 3/5 Cups of Drinkable Tea. 
It was okay, but nothing to go running through the streets cheering about. Probably because for me it was too reminiscent of the Créme Brùlee, and I liked that one much more.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

7 Deadly Sins of Reading (Tag)

7 Deadly Sins of Reading

So Sharmin @ A Battalion of Words tagged me to do this little questionnaire and after reading hers through it looked like a really interesting post to participate in. Also, a big Thanks to Malyza for adapting this!

GREED: What is your most expensive book? What is your least expensive book?
Most Expensive: My massive complete collection of Grimms Fairy Tales that's leather bound and gilded for, I'm not sure how much because it was a gift from my boyfriend.
Least Expensive: My copy of Life of Pi by Yann Martel, I picked this one up in a free bin when I was in highschool. 

WRATH: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Right now, J.R. Ward. I'm trekking through The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and for the most part I love her stories, they're like crack. But after Lover Unbound it shook my faith a little bit and I haven't been tearing through the subsequent ones as fervently, but I do want to get to the newest one Lover Reborn so I'll have to... See the love/hate? 

GLUTTONY: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever? 

The one I read over and over and over is Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, it's the end of the first chunk of the Fever Series, and it's by far my absolute favourite one.

SLOTH: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

I'm about half way through A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin, and that was probably 5 years ago? Back then I was a super slow reader, and these books are MASSIVE, so I think I just got lazy and stopped. But with the new HBO show Game of Thrones based on these books, I've been finding that I want to go back and reread them because my knowledge of what's going on is starting to reach the end of what I remember. 

PRIDE: What book do you talk about the most in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?

Probably House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, it's an eclectic mix of insanity and brilliance that takes you on a twisted journey that makes you question the very fabric of your being. See, what I did there ? :D But really, it's one that friends and I love to discuss how crazy it gets if you can get past the bizarre formatting. 

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?

Female: Intelligence for sure, confidence (it usually takes awhile to establish and that's okay, I just want to see this EVENTUALLY) and clever snappy dialogue.
Males: The tough guy who is funny, sometimes broody, but still sensitive underneath it all. 

ENVY: What books would you most like to receive as a gift? 

Anything Jennifer L. Armentrout at the moment. The books I have of hers are all ebooks, but I'd love physical copies to cherish. 

Definitely jump in if you want to participate, and leave your link for me to check out! 

Waiting on Wednesday (3): Onyx

Waiting on Wednesday (3): Onyx (Lux #2) 
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases 

Ever since finishing Obsidian (Lux #1) I've been bouncing off the walls in anticipation for Onyx to get my Daemon fix...

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected publication Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
From Goodreads: 
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks...
Daemon's determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I've sworn him off even though he's running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I'm falling for him. Hard.
Our relationship issues aren't our biggest problem...
The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I'm a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up at school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon's.
But then everything changes...
I've seen someone who shouldn't be alive. Daemon's never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them - from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

It doesn't help that #DaemonInvasion is happening right now and that he's EVERYWHERE!!

What's your WoW this week?

Leave a comment and a link and I'll swing by your post! 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Teaser Tuesday (2): The Zombie Survival Guide

Teaser Tuesday: The Zombie Survival Guide

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do as following: 
·Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 

·Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Max Brooks
Publication Date: September 16, 2003
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pages: 254
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Humor
Book Description from Goodreads: 
The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behaviour, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.


"They display no signs of rational thought nor even recognition of anything familiar....They neither sleep nor take water. They reject all food except that which is alive...." (Page 217)

Since May is Zombie Awareness Month, I figured I'd sneak a bit of zombie survival into my reading !

Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks

Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

Author: Michelle Brooks
Publication Date: April 20, 2011
Publisher: Kindle
Pages: 360
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought It

Book Description from Goodreads:
Time is running out… the Dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her…
Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.
Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves… bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything… including her very own life?


Brooks takes the subject of travelling through past lives and puts a very unique spin to it. Soon it becomes evident that there’s a lot more than just past lives at play here, there’s old magic and old enemies that are after Syd, who needs to figure out how to harness it all before it’s too late, good thing she has some friends that are willing to help out.

The cover of Bone Dressing very appropriately features a girl among an eerily misty graveyard with a bone chilling wind passing through that blows her hair about. I love how simple and calm the cover is in contrast to Syd’s more eccentric nature.

The beginning of the story definitely caught my attention immediately by throwing the reader right into the action as we meet Syd in a backdrop of flames while she recounts the events that lead up to her unleashing her inner pyromaniac. We also get the run down of Syd’s less than ideal life. She’s the poster child of what you think of when you hear “foster child”, she’s the school prankster, sneaks out and has a “I couldn’t give a two shakes what you think” kind of rebellious attitude with a sharp tongue built for snappy comebacks.

What I really loved about Syd was her defiant disposition that she draws her strength from. Using this she stuck up for herself and for her friends no matter the cost and it makes her a powerful ally to have on your side. But it’s also this headstrong attitude that makes her so difficult to get through to, along with her tendency for angry outbursts. I found it a bit irritating that no matter what life she was in, it took so many tries for everyone to get their point in when they were trying to tell her something REALLY important. The novel is also filled with soliloquy type dialogue in Syd’s point of view while she tries to make sense of her adolescent life. While these musings gave us depth into her character I felt at times that Syd might have attention issues as she continually jumped from one philosophical musing to another. But once she finally realizes what’s happening to her she becomes more focused and this more concrete direction in her lives makes her character easier to follow.

The character of Beau (aka Remy) pretty much had me at chère. I’m a total sucker for cajun accents, and combined with his dark looks and equally mysterious companions, I was definitely fascinated. But in the end he’s there to help Syd realize who she is and although we don’t get to know much about his background (although I’d really like to!), he was always there when needed and provided some scintillating scenes with Syd.

But where Brooks really shines is in writing her villains. Mr. Askew, Syd’s teacher and arch nemesis is absolutely THE CREEPIEST character you will ever meet. I still feel worms crawling under my skin every time I think about any scenes with him because he’s so incredibly manipulative, and he had me teetering on a fence wondering if he was actually that creepy or if it was all in Syd’s head. The lecherous stares, the insinuating dialogue just creates an image in your mind of an awkward older man with a greasy comb over and his tongue wagging at teenage girls in short skirts and it pretty much confirmed how bad he was.

Brook’s writing is amazing with staccato bursts of action and tension interspersed with more languid and detailed scenes that kept up a very interesting pace. While there is so much paranormal magic and shifting, it was a bit hazy on how it was all done, so I’m really hoping that it’s better explained in any possible sequels. But I did thoroughly enjoy the trip back in time, and there were some supernatural reveals that I could not see coming at all! The other characters like T.J., and Sarah all showed up rather mysteriously with Beau, and I’d definitely like to see more thoroughly explanation about them as well. All in all I found this a very interesting read with a great introduction to some very engrossing characters and the ending completely left me with my jaw on the floor wondering where does the story go now after something like THAT is revealed…

Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea! 
It was an enjoyable read with really sharp dialogue, super creepy villains and a different spin on magic.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 287
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance, Aliens
Source: Bought it for Kindle

Book Description:
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has lit me up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.


I’m a huge science fiction fan and alien’s are always so prominent in science fiction. For me aliens hit a high note with the X-Files in the 90’s, and another probably less known alien based tv show called Roswell - this one in particular is a dead ringer for Obsidian. But for a while there I think female teenagers equated aliens to be these slime covered green weird looking guys associated with greasy basement dwelling nerds, conspiracy theorists and a subject to be avoided in general, rather than a subject with high entertainment value. As it is, aliens aren’t very prominent as YA novel topics, I can’t think of any others, can you?

So I’m going to start here by applauding Armentrout for successfully bringing a not commonly tread subject so successfully to life in the YA category because Obsidian was that freaking awesome.

Both the new and old cover feature the now famous (and real life couple) Pepe as Daemon with strikingly eerie green eyes and Sztella as the absolutely gorgeous Katy. Although I do like the old cover version more since we actually get to see Sztella’s face.

When the story starts we’re introduced to Katy, who is the new girl in the one horse town of Ketterman in West Virginia. We get a quick run down of who she is, and what she’s doing there. What I really enjoyed was Armentrout’s nod to the book blogging community by making Katy a book blogger herself, and inserting the little joys of book blogging such as memes and the excitement of books in the mail.

Initially Katy is a quiet person who is more reserved and prefers the company of books, but when looking through her perspective you can see that she’d really like to change that and with this determination in mind she decides to go out into the world to meet new people… and what better place to start than with her neighbours?

Upon reading the first 5 pages…and as soon as we meet Daemon in his completely necessary state of undress I was hooked and I couldn’t put it down until it was done a few hours later. Armentrout’s style of writing is casual, upbeat, deliciously detailed and she writes some of the sharpest dialogue that I’ve seen in a while . It all works together in perfect harmony to create rich characters, settings, tense action scenes and the aura of mystery surrounding the aliens.

Katy’s character is easy enough to follow along, she’s smart with a healthy dose of skeptical (I mean aliens really? :D) but when things get weird she notices and when the truth comes out she at least accepts it with some fascination instead of running off in hysterics. What I thoroughly enjoyed was watching this struggle between shy Katy and a more bold Katy that wants to take the challenge of Daemon head on and how she eventually forms into a stronger unified Katy that I’m so excited to see in the sequel Onyx!

Oh Daemon…I’m pretty sure anyone syllabically named in relation to Daemon (I’m looking at you Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries, specifically the TV version) is destined to be a dark, broodingly hot, with a wicked sense of humour but infuriating character that is lethal to the bone and is doggedly determined to protect his family no matter the cost to anyone else. That extreme loyalty is what gets me every time, no matter how much of an ass they are at every turn I end up absolutely head over heels loving the character because I love seeing the flashes of good and badass as the situations progress and aren’t these types of guys just more interesting than a perfectly good boy?

The secondary characters provided such a well rounded support cast, from Dee’s adorable longing for friends, to Katy’s mom - who probably is the coolest mom ever, to highly entertaining jealous catty girls, gossip fuelled townies and dangerous villain’s that will have you looking around in hopes of finding Men in Black, or a hot alien to save you.

I loved how Armentrout crafted every detail to a purpose, with seemingly small things that explode back into your face as a huge secret in the overall plot. She’s also got the alien explanation rationalizing to humans down to a science, and I bow down to her sexual tension mastery - she takes these two right up to the edge of a cliff, pushes them over and at the last second grabs them and saves their lives, the rush is both infuriating and addictive. The explanations for the aliens, and their abilities were corny I thought at first, but Armentrout does an amazing job weaving an intricate story web, and making these aliens believable to me through some heart stopping action scenes.

What I do know for certain is that at the end of Obsidian I was having serious Daemon withdrawal issues (and still am) and all I want is to get a hold of Onyx to see what happens next! 

Overall: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of Tea!
It was amazing! Seriously if you've never read a J.L.A book go check it out now, you'll get addicted to her brand of writing!

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