This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Entangled Teen
Released on December 1, 2015
After just finishing the last Lux series book, I was having a moment of mourning that a favorite YA Sci-Fi Romance series was over. But then…is it true? Yes!!!! The author released a companion book from Daemon’s point of view. Must have this was my first and only thought.
So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered this wasn’t only a book from Daemon’s point of view, but it takes the reader beyond the scenes of Obsidian that involve Daemon’s thoughts and interaction with Katy to new scenes showing Daemon with the other Lux, his struggles to protect his family and in a way to protect Katy, and the tense scenes with the DOD people keeping track of the aliens. I didn’t realize when I picked this up that there is an even bigger surprise. This doesn’t just parallel the first book, Obsidian, but also books two and three as well. While the latter books in the series flip perspectives, the first three were all from Katy so the author took the time to go back and write Daemon’s side of things. Lots of good stuff and my anticipation was high even as I crossed my fingers that this wouldn’t disappoint with a mere rehash.
I don’t want to do much summarizing of the story thread since this is a companion story, but I’ll do a worldbuilding summary just in case it’s someone’s first encounter with the series.
Daemon Black is not human. He and many others of his kind come from a destroyed world far way and found a home on the compatible world of Earth. In his true form, he doesn’t look human and has many abilities beyond what humans can do, but he and the other Luxen can take on human form and live among humans. In America, the Department of Defense treats them carefully, but also is a menacing Big Brother presence to keep their very alien refugees in line. The Lux aren’t the only alien presence, their arch-enemies, the Arum, have also come so the Lux must toe the line and keep what they are from coming out to the civilian human populace while avoiding getting on their enemy’s radar. Luxen live in communities near outcroppings of a special mineral rock that prevents the Arum from sensing their presence. As a result, a little community in West Virginia is where Daemon and others of his kind live. Unlike most Luxen, Daemon, his siblings and a handful of others choose to live outside the Lux compound and integrate fully in the human community.
But this doesn’t mean he has any plans to get chummy with the potentially dangerous humans like his triplet, Dawson, did because look how that turned out. Dawson fell for a human and now he and the human girl are dead. Too much interaction with humans is bad which is why he is all kinds of frustrated and worried when the DOD allows a pair of humans to move in next door and one is a sassy, intrepid girl his age that his triplet sister, Dee falls into BFF instantly. Daemon tries to repel the human girl, Katy, with attitude and rudeness, but his resistance falters with each passing moment.
Daemon finds that it isn’t Dee that will expose their alien race and bring trouble to their door. Katy is a trouble magnet and Daemon finds the fragile, but brave human girl irresistible especially since she wouldn’t be in trouble if he could have just stayed aloof and away from her. Daemon slowly begins to understand how Dawson could make the mistakes he did and end up sacrificing all.
It’s been a while since I read the first three books in the series so it was both a long-time reunion and a new experience rolled into one. The story line started coming back to me as I went, but it was great getting it all through Daemon’s eyes. And I have to say, this was definitely not a tired rehash. It was insightful and the turn of perspective also made me see the whole series arc in a new light.
I want to point out that even though this is listed as book #1.5 in the series, it should not be read until at least after the first three books and not in place of them either. There is an assumption that the reader already read the other books the way some scenes from the original point of view are glossed over or merely recapped briefly. Even for me, there were times I struggled because the leaps into and out of the parallel storyline weren’t smooth.
The best way to describe it is to say that the fresh scenes were told with the camera zoomed in while many of the scenes that are the same with merely a flipped perspective from Katy to Daemon are told with a distance lens. But not all the familiar scenes are distanced. A few pivotal ones are kept up close and personal. The author did a good job of picking which scenes it was best to detail and which just to mention in passing. This is a strong reminder that there are expectations that the reader is very familiar with books one-three.
I read this companion story differently than I did the original series of books. I didn’t feel compelled to read each bit with the same amount of attention. I did at first, but then I realized that I could treat it like something of a buffet. If it was a scene I didn’t particularly care to revisit, I skimmed, but I could switch up and engage completely with one that I loved or was fresh and new.
This method really helped when I got to book two, Onyx, since it was the least favorite of the series for me. Katy drove me absolutely nuts in that book with her stubborn-stupid going on before a catastrophic event woke her up and helped her mature. I was relieved to not get it from her perspective. In ways, the change in point of view was worse because then I got poor Daemon’s struggles to convince the mulish girl to believe him and trust him all the while the weight of the disapproving Luxen Elders, his Luxen peers, and the DOD watchers along with his suspicions of Blake and hope that Dawson might be alive were all on his shoulders.
But, aside from that, I found this dive into Daemon’s mind, his world, and the story again was a treat not to be missed. Daemon is what he is and doesn’t apologize or hold back yet the care and protectiveness that were only hinted at in Katy’s perspective are full-blown in Oblivion. His descent into love with Katy was slow and reluctant, but it was deep. Normally, I don’t care for stories when a person denies their feelings, but the author did a splendid job of showing that the conflict and need for caution were real for Daemon. Any choice he made affected more than himself and he knew it. He might be arrogant and cocky, but he is honorable and duty-bound so it was no easy matter to give in to his attraction and love for a human that would have far reaching results. This came through clearly and I think was my favorite part of reading this companion story.
In summary, Daemon’s perspective is not to be missed for a fan of the series. I suggest that this one not be skipped or treated as just a rehash. This is a huge gift from the author to the readers and I am so grateful she put so much into it and it wasn’t disappointing.
My thanks to Entangled Teen and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Challenges Met (2015):
Romance Roundabout #421 YA