Word Spelunking

Shadows - Jennifer L. Armentrout THREE WORDS: O.M.A! (Oh. My. Aliens!)...three more words: All Mah Cries T_TMY REVIEW: Obsidian was one of the most fantabulous book surprises I read last year…simply put, I LOVED IT! So, I was super excited to finally read Shadows, the prequel novella to the Lux series, and admittedly a bit nervous. Obsidian was such a fab and well-crafted novel that I wasn’t sure if Jennifer Armentrout could produce such awesomeness twice…she totally did *fist bump to Jennifer*.**If you’ve already read Obsidian or if you haven’t but don’t mind being spoiled, then please continue reading. If you have not read Obsidian and do not want to be spoiled, then stop reading now…and go read book one in the Lux series! Since Shadows is a prequel to the series you may actually want to read it first; either way, you and the Lux series seriously need to get all chummy!**In Shadows we are introduced to Dawson, the third triplet in the Black trio. In Obsidian we learn that Daemon and Dee’s brother and his human girlfriend were killed and in Shadows we get to see the story of Dawson and Bethany from beginning to end *sobs*.Armentrout’s alien filled world is so wonderfully addicting! This prequel novella had me enthralled from the heart-pounding prologue to the heart crushing last page. You’ll want to set some time aside when you begin this book because you won’t be able to put it down until you’re finished…and then once you do finish, and after you’re done simultaneously cursing and singing Armentrout’s praises, you’ll want to read/reread Obsidian…For Reals.As with Obsidian, Shadows is hip, smart, laugh out loud funny, authentic, enchantingly, but not totally nauseatingly, romantic and deliciously sexy. Armentrout writes with a pitch perfect voice, razor sharp wit and with a clear understanding of who her audience is.This novella is told from the POV of its different characters and this works very well. I love that Armentrout allows readers inside the heads of Dawson, Bethany, and even Daemon, especially since this is such a character driven story. The story takes place over a few months, and like in Obsidian, Armentrout uses this time frame and time lapse well. There is definitely a few months’ worth of story going on, but the story never drags; it’s perfectly paced.There’s an excellent mix of action, romance, comedy and drama, and I’m continually impressed with Armentrout’s ability to balance all these elements effectively and captivatingly. We get to learn a bit more about the Blacks’ backstory and more about the Luxen people, their ways and history and Armentrout introduces these things naturally and without overwhelming readers.As I stated above, this novella (and the series) is very character driven, and I’m so very much in love with all of the characters! As someone who has previously read Obsidian, I found it such an intriguing and fascinating experience to become acquainted with a pre-Obsidian and pre-Katy Daemon and Dee. I loved these two in book one, but now, knowing what they’ve gone through and being able to understand how and why they’re like they are in Obsidian, I think I love them even more. Armentrout has done a phenomenal job of showing all the apparent and subtle ways in which Daemon and Dee’s whole existence has progressed and changed from this novella to book one.Dee is wickedly witty, undeniably charming and simply endearing. Daemon is intense, impossible to ignore, and dayumm sexy. I love and appreciate the fact that, as readers, we’ve been given this chance to intimately and intrinsically understand why Daemon is the way he is in book one. I feel even more connected and invested in both Dee and Daemon now.But of course, this novella is about Dawson and Bethany’s story, and what a fun, romantic and heart-breaking story it is! Dawson may look just liken Daemon, but they are vastly different. Dawson is laid back, compassionate, sweetly charming and his sense of humor is more fun, versus Daemon’s more acerbic wit. Basically, Dawson is just as swoon-worthy as Daemon, but in completely different and compelling ways. Bethany is just as likable and relatable as Katy, but again in her own unique ways. Bethany has a quiet charm about her; she’s a bit reserved, but can definitely hold her own against Dawson.Dawson and Bethany are instantly attracted to one another and feel an instant connection, but I wouldn’t classify this relationship as insta-love. There’s a definite natural progression to their relationship and I loved watching it unfold. While the spark between Dawson and Bethany is enticingly electric, there’s also something very beautiful and serene about it.Going into this novella I knew what was coming in the end, but Armentrout still managed to take my breath away and squeeze out all my cries…and for some reason, I feel the need to thank her for that *smirks*. I also have some theories (or maybe they’re just the thoughts of a stubborn fangirl) about just what happens to Dawson and Bethany and I cannot wait to see if any of them are right…I can haz Onyx now, pwease?MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Jennifer Armentrout has quickly become one of my favorite YA authors and her Lux series pretty much owns me…seriously, I feel like I should just hand over my heart to Jennifer and point to the sign on it that says “You break it, you buy it*”. Shadows is an awesome edition to a fantastic series and a definite MUST read!

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