I liked this much more than I thought I would. Katy is a lead with some personality, and the small-town setting and interesting paranormal concept made for a very interesting read. The romance is a strange combination of lightning fast attraction and slow burn, but it works well, making this a paranormal romance that I might not start hating after book 2, and, though that remains to be seen, I have high hopes. 4/5 stars.
Solitary Katy moves the summer before her senior year, grudgingly ready to accept starting over if it means more time with her mother. She soon finds that some of the people in this one-stoplight town are not what they appear to be, and at the center of it all is her impossibly good looking yet incredibly irritating neighbor, Daemon Black.
Annoying as he is, Daemon has his uses. When Katy finds herself in danger, Daemon is there, using his out-of-this-world powers to save her, and in dong so, marks her. With the mark acting as a beacon for enemies of Daemon’s race who would steal his ability and kill anyone in their path, Katy must stick close to him if she wants to live.
I enjoyed that this was a paranormal romance with outer-space aliens. I usually don’t/haven’t read much alien stuff, but it was fun. The Luxen are extremely cool and between their enemies in space and the constant faceless threat of the US government doing anything to maintain secrecy, there is opportunity for tension and action all over the place. Romantic tension abounds as well, and it is definitely a romance that will be fun to watch grow for another book or two.
I enjoy Katy as a character for the most part. She’s smart and tough and brave. She doesn’t let the fact that she’s not a crazy alien with super speed and powers make her weak or stop her from fighting back. Weirdly though, I didn’t love that she loves books. I kinda get annoyed when authors make all their characters in love with books in a transparent effort to get their readers to like them. They know it’s the one thing we can all find in common with the character by default and so it breaks the fourth wall for me and it just feels lazy. [conclude: mini-rant]
As much as I had fun with this, I feel a little nervous about the next books in the series. In a lot of ways, this book felt like a set up, focusing mostly on introducing the setting, major characters and revealing all the secrets about the alien world. At the same time, however, I don’t get where the plot is going with the Arum. They’re evil, got it. Now what? They just keep attacking? And what’s the deal with the bond stuff at the end? These are questions that make me want to read the next one desperately, yet I’m not convinced the set-up was strong enough, nor will the characters be focused enough on the non-romantic conflicts to answer them adequately. I’ll just have to check out Onyx and see, I suppose, but, overall, the non-romance plot set-up was a little lacking for me.
I don’t have a ton to say about this, I guess. Mostly it was just a lot of fun to read something a little different (aliens) while still staying firmly in my comfort zone (smoldering eyes and hidden worlds). I’ll be continuing on with the series for certain, and I’ll be sure to let you know if the rest of the series is as good or better! Definitely recommended for romantic fantasy fans. There’s a lot to like here and I hope the rest of the series is strong too.