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Shadows (Lux 0.5) Jennifer L. Armentrout
by Lauren Schmelz
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Page Count: 179 pages
Goodreads link: HERE
Amazon link: HERE
Source: My personal wallet
Summary: The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.
Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.
Captivated. Lured. Loved.
Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.
REVIEW: Let me start by saying that the author's Covenant series is by far one of the best YA series I've read. So I really wanted to see what her other series had in store. Granted this is only the first taste of the series for me, so my opinions will probably change. And I realize when Armentrout wrote this, this was before her Covenant series and she probably learned a lot in terms of story builds, character development, and syntax.
This book is the precursor for Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It's essentially a story about aliens falling for humans. Already knowing the basic gist of the series, I dove in expecting a brilliant world build of how the alien race related to the human one in the throes of an immediate threatening entity that could crash their worlds to oblivion , tons of backstory, creative character development...But it wasn't really there in this book. What I got was a alien falling in love with a human, his family and friends (other Luxen) trying to drag them apart but later accepting them, and the "bad" guy, the Arum, coming for Dawson and Bethany (well, really all of the Luxen but catching Dawson and Bethany first) because when a Luxen marks a human they glow. So Bethany is just as vulnerable as the Luxen. It all felt weak, like the biggest conflict was Dawson trying to prove to Daemon and the other Luxen that Dawson and Bethany could actually be a couple, not that should be one. Make sense? The ending fell flat and rushed.
The story was told in alternating POVs which isn't a bad thing, but it lost the mystique you usually get in these types of books. Granted, this book was published after the first in it's series, so Armentrout is essentially giving the reader the backstory of the first book, so I can understand why the author included the different POVs.
The good: Armentrout doesn't bog you down with the details, and over-tells in narrative. Although this is a good trait in writing, it seems to be it's biggest downfall when it came to this book. Although, I like that the author didn't drag with details of how the Luxen came to Earth, what happened to their planet, why are they like figures of light, why they don't need to breathe, etc. I needed more, more details. AGHHH!! Everything was just explained simply and accepted. A little part of me was disappointed but what are you going to do? But I also have more in the series to read in terms of world building.
Onto the love story: It was okay. I got the whole vibe of forbidden love. That part worked fine. But it just felt so superficial. The other Luxen are scared shitless of the Arum and the DOD, Department of Defense (who are actually the good guys but in the cases of Dawson and Bethany, the bad guys because they can force them to separate and have been known to kill humans who know the secret that an alien race lives on Earth). Dawson doesn't seem to care so much what he's doing can harm the other Luxen. He's pretty selfish in a way. I get it though, he's in love, and nothing stands in the way of love. It doesn't matter who you love, it's about what you feel for the person that matters...blah, blah, blah. But in this case it matters big time: It's life or death for the Luxen and in turn for Bethany as well.
I wanted some more urgency in their pursuit to stay together, more dire need to protect Bethany. Dawson would stand guard outside Bethany's then say, "Don't sense any Arum around, I'll just go home now." WHAT? He's the laziest protector ever. Maybe since I kept comparing this to much to Twilight on so many levels and I kept saying Alice in my head every time I read Dee's name, I half expected Dawson to be watching Bethany sleep or standing guard at all hours. *shrugs* I wanted the end to give me a punch in the gut given what happens and it didn't.
The bad: Holy shit, the disembodied action was bleeding all over the page. UGH! The writing isn't too bad per say, but when body parts start becoming characters in the scenes, it gets scary. I kept waiting for an arm to appear and smack Dawson or Daemon in the head.
EX: "He pulled her to his side, draping a heavy arm over her shoulders." YIKES! If I were this chick, I would run the hell away from the zombie body parts.
Rating: Three lip bites. It drew me in enough that I'll read the first book (already started). I'm very curious how things will play out. If you haven't read the Covenant series, read that one first. It's excellent!
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