Book Review: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsession

Posted October 3, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsession



Jennifer L. Armentrout

urban fantasy that was published by Covet on May 31, 2013 and has 249 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin, White Hot Kiss, Opposition, The Cage, "Ice Cream", Stone Cold Touch

It’s said to be a spin-off from Armentrout’s Lux series, but I see it as a full-length novel set at 4.5 between Origin, 4, and Opposition, 5 & last. It revolves around Hunter and Serena.

My Take

The narrators are both Hunter and Serena using first-person points-of-view with Hunter as the primary focus. It is an interesting viewpoint with the story told from an Arum’s perspective and definitely gives us a different take on the Luxen. It’s that Arum slant on the Luxen that makes me curious about future interactions between Daemon and Katy and Hunter and his crew.

I hate to say it, but it didn’t take long before I was wondering if I’d have the stamina to read the whole story. Insta-love with lots of tell was enough to keep me grimacing through the whole thing. I enjoyed Armentrout’s Lux series, so I had had expectations of Obsession. Oh well.

I did enjoy Hunter’s assessment as to the DoD’s real reason for wanting to protect Serena. Sounds just like the government. And it irritates me no end that the senator’s son will get special handling!

Hunter’s character and initial reactions were unexpected. He was such a jerk to Serena, and I was impressed at how well Armentrout kept that persona going. It was her inability to believably change Hunter’s attitude that made everything even worse. …that’s not totally fair… Armentrout did have Hunter note the arousal aura trickling from Serena.

It was Serena’s reactions to Hunter that really ticked me off. Sure, a person can get excited during stressful situations, but Armentrout did not make me believe in Serena’s instant attraction. Not only has her best friend been blown up, right in front of her, but Serena is terrified that they’re coming after her. I don’t know about you, but I’d be more concerned with surviving than getting turned on by a hot alien.

A “standing — and breathing ad for Sears’ menswear” does not make me think “hot stuff”. I’m sorry, and it is possible that Serena was getting hot for construction-style clothes…nahhh…

Hunter is surprised that Serena is trying to get away from him?? She isn’t told anything. Is ordered around. What is his problem?

Then there’s Serena around whom the stupid tropes abound. She knows how precarious things are, so what does she do? Yep. Everything wrong. Hunter tells her to hide, to get inside the house, to keep herself safe, and she does all the opposite. Well, how else are we to get tension without Armentrout having to exert her brain? Is she nervous about Hunter sucking her life from her? Good heavens, no. That would require more thinking. She wants to go to Boulder for that file. Does she even consider that there might be people watching for her? Does she grab that file and run? Or stand around reading her mail? Jesus. The DoD is coming after her, so does she flee as fast as she can? Why, noooo. Instead we’re hanging around while she insists on answers. When we arrive at Serena’s comment about “I wisely said nothing”, I laughed my heart out. And not in a good way. It’s about the only time she’s ever done something wise. It seemed as if she should have a heart attack or something for acting so against her usual self.

I did enjoy Hunter parroting back Richards’ comments to Zombro. And thinking about this midnight visit got me to thinking. Why is Armentrout making this so easy? God knows, almost no one trusts the government to act in our best interests, but there is no justification in this for how the DoD is acting.

I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that the Luxen should be allowed to get away with what they did. What is the DoD thinking, anyway? Do they really believe that one lone girl will be heard?

That comment about evolution maintaining the balance led me to think the Arum had evolved naturally, then Armentrout spoils that thought with Hunter following this up with his statement that the Arum were bred. Doesn’t sound like evolution to me.

I’m not liking either race that much. The Arum don’t do friendship; they do survival. The Luxen are all about domination.

Okay, the “adult” part comes from all the sex. And there is a lot of sex, as for the rest…it’s just stupid.

Tell, tell, tell, tell, tell

The Story

Curiosity killed this cat, and now the Senator is on a rampage, demanding this, demanding that. And it irks the DoD enough to force Hunter to babysit the human until they can squeeze any information out of her.

Once she’s used up, well…

The Characters

Serena Cross is a recent college graduate and a high school guidance counselor in Boulder. Mel Dockshire is the crazy half of this duo, and she’s been friends with Serena ever since that first shared chocolate cupcake in first grade.

We first met Hunter in Origin. He works for the DoD as a troubleshooter hunting down and controlling Luxen. Lore is his rebellious brother while Sin is the third triplet. Sin is intense about continuing to fight the war between Luxen and Arum, while Hunter and Lore want out. They are not interested in a war that started so long ago and makes no sense today. Dex is an Arum in love with a human, Eliza.

The Arum are…
…aliens, a people of shadow, and the enemies of the Luxen, craving the energy that is the life of a Luxen, but without the ability to heal people. Some Arum work for the Department of Defense; some work against it. Raz leads a small gang of Arum which includes Jael and Colec in West Virginia. Obsidian will kill an Arum while onyx will kill a Luxen. Opals act as a power booster for both Arum and Luxen, although the Arum need to feed as well to get the effect.

Origin are…
…half-Luxen and half-human hybrid, the result of government experimentation and abuse. They are incredibly powerful and can read minds. Luc is one of them, and he owns a club. Paris is Luc’s second-in-command and a Luxen.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is in charge…
…of a government project that forced male Luxen to mate with mutated hybrid-humans to create more powerful Luxen-human hybrids: Daedalus. The DoD is an equal opportunity government entity: they’ll kill anyone, torture anyone, unless you have power. Officers Zombro and Jonathan Richards are overseeing the investigation of the explosion, working to contain exposure.

Boulder PD
Detective Jones is investigating the explosion.

The Luxen are…
…also aliens, beings of light who can assume the persona of a human and are allowed to live on earth under the radar and constantly watched by the Department of Defense. The Source is energy the Luxen absorb; light is something they manipulate, and they can heal people.

Phillip and Elijah Vanderson are brothers; their father is Senator Vanderson. And they’re Luxen.

Harrison is the principal in charge at the high school where Serena works. Vee Winters is a fellow psych graduate friend of Serena’s.

Project Eagle is revealed in Opposition. Beta quartz distorts Luxen wavelengths making them appear to be human.

The Cover and Title

My interpretation of the cover is colored by my annoyance. Oh, the models on the cover are sexy enough — they make me think of a contemporary Eve and Adam standing behind that shadow with a naked Serena wrapped in a sheet, her bare back to us, her long hair tousled and all over the place while Hunter has one fine six-pack. He’s in profile to us with his head turned to face us and his eyes rolling up into his head.

The title is Hunter’s Obsession with Serena.