Book Review – ‘Obsession’ (#1 Arum) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A more grown-up take of JLA’s famous franchise that didn’t quite do it justice.

Genre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Romance

No. of pages: 384

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

This book just wasn’t for me. I usually get a modicum of enjoyment from JLA titles, but the tone of ‘Obsession’ felt possessive bordering on abusive, and smutty (but not in a good way.) I missed the witty banter, the angst and slow burn romance. This was thinly disguised hate-banging. The whole book left me squirming uncomfortably.

Told in two different perspectives – that of Selena, attempting to clear her murdered girlfriends name… where sometime through the narrative it turned into retaliatory justice. And that of Arum Hunter. Hunter is quite frankly, a dick. Sexually aggressive, arrogant, and stays that way throughout the entire story. There is only a hint of a softer side as he develops feelings for Selena, but because of the nature of the tone in this novel, I am not convinced. I feel the heavy hand of the author weaving the threads of their fate. And Selena… you in danger girl. She just keeps overlooking warning signs. She reminds me of one of those supporting characters in a Mob Boss movie. You know, that girl who’s hanging around for sex and clout because she doesn’t feel like she deserves any better. That’s the impression I get of Selena.

There is a lot of death and dismemberment, a lot of swearing, and bumping uglies… and I’m sorry but some of the descriptions of the intimate times had me roaring with laughter than feeling my feels. I just can’t.

The plot is simple. I would’ve thought that bringing the Lux universe into an adult setting we would have gotten a more complex, ‘adult’ multi-thread storyline. This was even more simple that any of its YA counterparts. It felt like an excuse to have some characters in this universe finally get to have some sex scenes in the forefront. Total wish fulfilment. Given that it had such a one-note story, it was also extremely predictable. And I ended up speed-reading the entire novel only to slow down on the occasional good bit. I still like JLA’s writing style, but there was so much not working for me in ‘Obsession,’ that it didn’t really get a chance to shine.

Given this was published 5 years ago and there hasn’t been talk of a sequel as yet, I’m guessing it wasn’t as well received. It has potential, but it’s completely outshined by the rest of the novels set in the Lux universe.

This is a complete miss for me and I don’t recommend this unless you desperately want more of the Lux cannon. You won’t miss anything about the series if you skip this title. Maybe the more recent Origin series set in the same universe will fare better…

Overall feeling: left a bad taste in my mouth…

© Casey Carlisle 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

6 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘Obsession’ (#1 Arum) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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