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.

#bookporn #coverlove


I remember the Lux collection of novels being fun escapist fiction, I’ve had this sitting on my shelves for years and though this is the first of the Aurm novels, there doesn’t seem to be any others released as yet. But I’m going to treat ‘Obsession’ as a quaint standalone revisiting the universe of the Luxen. Got my May TBR stack ready to go!

Book Review – Oblivion (#1.5 Lux) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The flip side of Obsidian.

Oblivion (#1.5 Lux) Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Romance

No. of pages: 352

From Goodreads:

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her–or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy–the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy–a human–won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…


This was a nostalgic read. It felt like I was reading ‘Obsidian’ all over again. I enjoyed living in the Daemon-Katy world once more. Plus, I really enjoy Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing.

Though, there wasn’t anything new brought to the story told from Daemon’s point of view. I would have liked the opportunity to learn more about Luxen history, more about Daemon’s relationships with others of his clan. It was all repetitive. If there hadn’t been so many years between when I had read the debut of this collection, and this read, I may have gotten bored. In fact I did a lot of speed reading because it was all so familiar.

The other thing is that ‘Oblivion’ felt dated. My reading habits have grown and evolved, the market has changed. The old tropes just don’t hook me so much anymore. A brooding, rude, on-again, off-again love interest is more frustrating than titillating. I found myself poking at character behaviour… but at least there was no eye rolling involved.

Oblivion (#1.5 Lux) Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

For all of the aspects that detracted from my enjoyment, the nostalgia, great writing, humour, and guilty pleasure all helped keep this novel in the wheelhouse of indulgent fun.

There’s not much I can add to the characters than what has already been said in reviews of the previous books in this collection, so this is a very short review. I’m relieved that Jennifer L Armentrout is moving on from this series, because it was starting to feel like flogging a dead horse.

I am interested in reading ‘Obsession’ a book told from an Arum’s perspective, and there is a new trilogy set in this universe following different characters which I will tackle next. We do get more of Katy and Daemon, but they are not the protagonists. Hopefully this will grow the universe and breathe new life into something that was getting slightly repetitive and drawn out.

Overall feeling: Nostalgia

Oblivion (#1.5 Lux) Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Oblivion (#1.5 Lux) Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle


© Casey Carlisle 2019. 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.

Book Review – Opal (book #3 in the Lux Series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Alien puuurrrfection!

Opal Book Review by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Romance

No. of pages: 382

From Goodreads:

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.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I liked how the start of this book picks up straight after the last one (Onyx) and with introducing another character to the Main Cast, changing the dynamics of the group adding tension, making it a much more interesting read. I always feel spurned on to dive into the next book in the series straight away, but am purposely pacing myself… too much Lux can be sugar sweet and result in toothache.

The repetition that I have now found typical of Jennifer L Armentrout was still present – descriptions of Daemons eyes, body, kisses, or in fact anything to do with Daemon is nice – but every time he’s in the scene… it’s started to get annoying! Come on Jen – it’s the third book we already know how hot he is and the things he does to our bodies!

Opal Book Review Pic 05 by Casey Carlisle

A slow, wry smile teased Daemon’s lips. “Simmer down, Kitten, before I have to get you a ball of yarn to play with.”

It was great to see Kat flex some serious muscle, after being the verbal sparring wallflower for so long, she finally gets to train and match it with the best of this series antagonists! Girl power! So much more fun to read than the repetitive swooning.

Even the tension between Dee and other cast members had me turning the pages in hope that things could be resolved and I’d see glimpses of that old girly-fluffy Dee! Because of this, the series had been getting better, I love the ever evolving relationships, and Armentrout isn’t afraid of pitting any against the other.

Opal Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Jennifer certainly knows how to drip feed you information to keep the story moving forward. Don’t expect me to blab about it here – you’ll have to read the book for yourself, but so far each edition of the Lux series has revealed surprises to have me eager to discover what’s going to happen next. And therein lies the beauty of this series – I still get serendipity with each volume. Plenty of action, mystery and intrigue mixed in with the romance… the unpredictability of events is definitely a good thing.

Overall feeling: guilty pleasure to the max!

Opal Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Opal Book Review Pic 06 by Casey Carlisle

     Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. 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.

Book Review – Onyx

Onyx Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defence are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’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…

Page border by Casey Carlisle

Onyx Book Review Pic 07 by Casey CarlisleI’m beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with this series. It is a guilty pleasure – I am drawn to the trashy Mills & Boon-esque love story, the teen angst, the drama, the all-stakes action (with some sci-fi thrown in for good measure). I definitely enjoyed this book more than the debut Obsidian. Daemon Black still has me melting into a pool of my own making. Although I am periodically pulled from the narrative with the writing style when Jennifer L Armentrout attempts ‘teen-speak’ – it comes of off as trite on occasions. But then again it is her target market – not an ol’ bitty of my vintage.

A plus for the story telling typical in this genre – the protagonists weren’t so two dimensional, and in addition to the plot twists, you were never entirely sure who they were. I liked how I was kept guessing at their underlying motivations. It created some great tension.

The biggest failing for me was the repetition of our main character (Katy’s) inner lamenting. Although her mental dialogue was sufficiently angsty, at times became frustrating and boring, as it had only been described ten pages before. So too were her, (and the love interest – Daemon’s) behavioural patterns. As much as I love the uncertainty of their reasoning, at times felt a little too drawn out.

Onyx Book Review Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleThe last little niggling thing that kept pulling me from the narrative were some of the long-winded kissing scenes… don’t get me wrong, I love a great hot and steamy snog-fest, but Onyx had me squirming at times, like I’d just walked in on my parents playing tonsil hockey.

One the whole, I enjoyed this second instalment in Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series, the pacing was superior to its predecessor. As was the predictability of the storyline, it had me guessing at aspects of the plot. There are still some glaringly obvious forecomings, but that did not distract from the experience.

There were some definite laugh out loud moments in this book, but overall seemed few and far between than in Obsidian, but we’ll worth the wait. I miss Katy’s goofs, clumsiness and one liners.

I liked Daemon a lot more at the end of this novel, upon completing Obsidian, I really felt him to be a little too contrite and nearly blew my interest in the series; but totally redeems himself in Onyx. Katy grows up a little more in this edition, but as stated earlier I felt her narration annoying at times. She’s always had a backbone (which I like) but wasn’t given the opportunity to let her sass shine as much here. Also the great relationship she had with Dee (Daemon’s Sister) fell by the wayside for much of the book. That disappointed me – great girlfriends are hard to come by, and Katy and Dee have been my favourite lit gal-pal pairing to date.

Onyx Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Whether Jennifer’s writing is improving, or the storylines becoming more intricate and realistic, Onyx is definitely a fun read. I’m a sucker for a bit of romance and a bit of science fiction with a side of teen angst. I’d recommend this series to anyone who is a sap for gorgeous brooding men, aliens, and some heavy petting.

The Third book, Opal, is in this months T,B,R pile… so stay turned for a review of that one 🙂

Onyx Book Review Pic 06 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle


© Casey Carlisle 2015. 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.