Customer Reviews: Shadows (A Lux Novel Book 1)
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on February 21, 2012
So yesterday afternoon, I got my hands on the ARC of Shadows. Needless to say, that determined the rest of the day's activities. You may have seen me on twitter all excited about it. It took me about 3 hours total to read it. I took a dinner break but that's it. Make sure you pick this one up ASAP cause it's that good. Here's my review.

Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

My Summary:

Dawson is a triplet. His older (by minutes) bother, Daemon, looks identical to him. Daemon is overprotective and a little antisocial at times - at least with the humans. His sister, Dee, is hyper and very social with anyone - human or luxon. Oh and all three of them are aliens. They're supposed to stay low key, living with the human but not being discovered. The DOD looks poorly on too much involvement with humans. Still they go to school and talk to the humans but that's it. Until Bethany moves to town and Dawson can't seem to leave her alone. If the luxon's don't do him in for it the DOD's gonna find out. What future is there for a human and a luxon anyway? None at all.

My Thoughts:

5 stars - READ IT NOW if not sooner

Yes I love Jennifer's writing, her characters and her storyline. I have yet to read anything from her that I didn't love but WOW I loved this book.

Dawson is this strong, fierce, determine guy that reminds me so much of Daemon without the sucky attitude. I fell fast and hard. He's attracted to Bethany from the start but it takes time for them to fall hard, which I appreciated. What I really, really enjoyed was how Dawson was bold and confident with their relationship. I loved how they spend time together. I LOVED their first kiss, which.... oh just read it. The point is we didn't spend 95% of the book waiting for them to figure out that they liked each other and then 2 pages of a great relationship followed by something breaking them up only to have it fixed at the last second. NO, we enjoyed a fabulous building of a strong happy relationship. (Lots and lots of sighing, fanning and awing happening here). Of course, if you've read Obsidian, you know the ending is sad but what a ride until then.

It was so fabulous getting to know Daemon better. It opens up a whole new understanding of why he has such sucky social skills with the humans anyway. I think I understand Dee better too. Seeing the three together made it clear what their relationship is really like. Bethany got to see that too. We saw them through her eyes. So fun.

Speaking of seeing through different eyes, this novella was from three points of view (POV). Dawson, Bethany and Daemon. I have really taken to reading from the male POV lately. Love knowing what's going on inside their heads and Jennifer does a great job with that.

If you read Obsidian, then this is one you're gonna want to read ASAP. If you haven't read Obsidian, then start with this one. It's fabulous.
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on December 13, 2013
It’s very hard to place when is a good time to read this. Chronologically, it takes place before OBSIDIAN even begins. We learn the basics of what it is to be a Luxen and an Arum, how they fight, their general history. It’s very interesting to say the least. But the kicker is that we meet Dawson. If you read this book after book one, OBSIDIAN, you still will have no idea who Dawson is. You won’t find out until book two, so this is necessary background information for later in the series, but if you read this book before or after book one, you still won’t have an idea about who the main character really is. Scratch that, you’ll have an idea, but he won’t have been introduced in the main series yet. Confusing, I know.

I have read the novella after reading the first three books. I like how it turned out for me in this case. I met Dawson on my own, I made my own conclusions and inferences, and then I got a background story that filled in all potential blanks. While it’s not meant to be read in this order, I’d highly suggest others to do what I did.

To give a spoiler to those who have not read the series yet, Dawson is obviously Daemon and Dee’s brother. It’s unavoidable to review this novella without saying that. Later in the series you will find out some things about him that are rather shocking. This novella chronicles those events and gives some background information to some major bombs later in the series.

As the synopsis suggests, the love interest is a human girl named Bethany Williams. Forbidden love at its finest. While I loved Bethany’s character and Dawson’s character, they reminded me too much of Daemon and Katy. Dawson and Daemon have very similar thought processes even though neither are willing to admit it, and Katy and Bethany often have similar experiences, though Katy is more hardheaded than Bethany. The comparisons are slightly bothersome because the characters don’t stand on their own.

To make it worse, I didn’t like the progression of the relationship in this one. Time indicators were not included often and when they were they were thrown in haphazardly in the beginning of a chapter. I have no idea how long this book lasts (perhaps three months at most), but I was getting some serious insta-love vibes from this.

With all of that in mind, this is something that you would expect from Jennifer L. Armentrout. It will not wow you to the same degree as OBSIDIAN, but it’ll certainly satisfy any fan of hers. A novella is not meant to be on the same level as a novel, but for a novella, this is pretty solid.
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on August 6, 2013
Bethany is the new girl in school who quickly catches the attention from one of the most attractive guys she's ever seen. Little does Bethany know that she's stepped into a world unlike any she could have imagined. Dawson is drawn right away to Bethany and even shocked to learn that she can tell the difference between him and his twin which most people can't. The pair is instantly attracted to each other which is a surprise for both of them.

For Dawson Bethany is trouble she can ruin everything that they've worked so hard for. Dawson isn't human neither is his brother or sister. They are all aliens from a galaxy far away that has been given permission by the DOD to be here. The DOD doesn't want the Luxen dating humans but it's not been enforced so as Dawson and Bethany's relationship progresses things start happening that could put everyone at risk. Soon Bethany knows their deep dark secret after Dawson is forced to save her life but they are in two deep. When the Arum the enemy of the Luxen show up in town Dawson will be forced to choose between love and his family.

Without thinking I read Obsidian first. I wish I had read the prequel it would have given a better insight into why Daemon is so anti human. A fast paced adventure will with romance and aliens. Shadows is a short novella so it was easy to finish in less than an hour. Like Obsidian I found the concept unique I love the idea of the Luxen it's a unique idea for an alien race. The characters are engaging you can't help cheering them on as they overcome every hurdle. The relationship between Bethany and Dawson is sweet the way they risk everything for love. Well I don't want to reveal too much but I can tell you it's worth reading. I have a feeling this won't be the last of Dawson or Bethany but I could be wrong. Reading Shadows just adds to my desire to read the next book in the Lux series Onyx.
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on August 2, 2013
I like YA and I am working on a YA novel, so when I was encouraged to read this well-received series, I felt I should start with the Shadows novella, a prequel of sorts. The author obviously penned it to introduce Dawson and Bethany, two characters that affect the plot in the books that follow. Her intent is clear, she wants Shadows is to replace tedious back story in Obsidian, the first book in her Lux series.

I get it, unfortunately I didn't like it. It went on and on about how beautiful Dawson and Bethany found each other. Their insecurity that each could actually find the other so attractive, and how their secrets could affect their budding relationship in a negative way. Not that there were any gargoyles hidden in Bethany's closet waiting to be revealed. Bethany is pretty, but not gorgeous, and she is a good artist. But other than Dawson telling his siblings that she's a really good painter, there is nothing to make us find this talent of hers remarkable. Dawson, has green eyes, he has dark hair, he has great abs, he's not as good a fighter as his brother, and other than the fact he's a glowing alien... Yawn!

I think the basic problem, is there's no real plot. There were no shared obstacles to overcome, other than the whole relationship building process. There wasn't a story arc to speak of, characters are introduced, and then there's a repetitive narrative of Bethany and Dawson getting to know each other. This bonding goes on and on for the biggest part of the book. The action picks up when the author throws Bethany off a cliff, and then she has the horror struck Dawson breathe new life into Bethany. From the cliff to the end of the story barely covers a heartbeat, just a few page fillers. And in a rushed together, lightly narrated confrontation with the stories antagonists, she leaves us to believe Bethany and Dawson have both died.

Ah, but I don't believe it, and worse I don't really care if they died. I can cry over someone losing their pet goldfish, and yet I felt nothing. Ms Armentrout never managed to get me involved with these two vanilla characters. The writing wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good either, and it needed another edit. There were just a few awkward sentences throughout, but they hung me up.

So I guess that spells doom, as far as me buying the next book in the series...right? Wrong! Included with my e-book version, was a preview chapter of Obsidian. I wasn't going to read it; I felt those few minutes of my life could be better spent walking my dog Nigel. And then I thought, what the hey, after all I paid for it, and besides it was too hot out for a walk. So I read it. OMG! I Loved it! I went to Amazon to see if the preview was longer and it was. Two chapters were in the preview, I loved them! I was cranky when I couldn't read the next page. I wanted it now, and I wanted to keep reading. I tried the library, it was checked out. I checked the half priced book store, they didn't have it. So I will buy the e-book version. I will let you know if the rest of the book is as engaging as the first two chapters were.

In conclusion, I can't believe the same author wrote both Shadows and Obsidian. If my experience gives a clue, I would say Shadows is not going to encourage people to read the series, just the opposite. Readers who have already read and loved the series will like it no matter what, as true fans tend to be more least for awhile.

Review by Shelley Riley author of Casual Lies-A Triple Crown Adventure
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on February 21, 2012
Have you read Obsidian? If the answer is NO, then you might not want to continue. You have been thusly warned.

If you've already read Obsidian, this is one of those books you go into knowing the ill-fated outcome; knowing that when all is said and done that you're going to be a little heartbroken. And yet, Armentrout weaves Dawson & Bethany's story in a way that almost makes you forget you know the ending, that made me fall in love with both of them, and that made me hope beyond hope that, somehow, they'll get their happily ever after.

Dawson & Bethany are as different from Daemon & Katy as you could possibly get. Dawson, while he shares his brother's looks, confidence, and stubbornness, is at heart an optimist. Daemon is pessimistic, suspicious, abrasive and paranoid. He is this way because Daemon has taken on the burden of protector for both his family and his fellow Luxens. While Dawson clearly recognizes the dangers and risks of being what they are, he does not feel the weight of this responsibility as keenly as Daemon does. Dawson instead is friendly, compassionate, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He knows the risk a potential relationship with Bethany poses, and the rules it breaks. But he also "doesn't think that love recognizes differences" and that love, true love, is worth pursuing.

Bethany, on the other hand, is quiet, a little shy and an introvert. She's not one for confrontation (Good luck with the Black family, Bethany dear), yet if push comes to shove she can stand up for herself. She's open-minded, loving, and possesses a calm and an insight beyond her sixteen years. In short, she's a total sweetheart.

Together, Dawson & Bethany are just so sweet. Their relationship isn't built on snark, gaining the upper hand, or crackling sexual tension, but rather it's something entirely different. It's more honest, more innocent, perhaps a bit more healthy , but also perhaps a bit naïve.

Not just a love story, Shadows also provides some very interesting clues into the Luxens history on Earth, the Colony, and U.S. government-Luxen relations. It helps form a larger picture of what the Luxens face and gives the reader a sense of how decisions and events could potentially have consequences that are more far-reaching, more than is apparent in Obsidian. Since Obsidian is written from Katy's perspective, I enjoyed the third person point of view of Shadows which gives more detailed insight into the Black and Thompson families, helping to create a more well-rounded view of those particular characters.

Overall, Shadows is a fantastic and long-awaited return to Petersburg, WV where Armentrout has created a monopoly on amazingly hot aliens and epic romance. Seriously, August 14th cannot come soon enough.
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on March 2, 2014
I picked up this novella after reading Obsidian, because Shadows is the prequel and I was curious to know more about Dawson and Bethany's ill-fated relationship. I have to say, had I known there was a prequel available before reading Obsidian, I would have read it first, but as things turned out, I ended up reading the first full novel prior to reading this prequel. That being said, I already knew the outcome going in, and yet, I almost feel like reading these stories backwards made me care even more about the characters than had I read them in the correct order. Would I recommend reading Shadows after Obsidian? Well, yes, I think I would, because even though I knew the ending going in, I had a healthy respect for all the characters and knew so much about them that I already loved the story before I even started reading.

And just like Obsidian, Shadows is an extremely well written novella. Armentrout ties the novella and novel together seamlessly, giving the characters I loved, like Daemon and Dee face time, even though this isn’t their novella. She also gives readers more background information about the Thompson triplets, characters readers tentatively meet in Obsidian, but don’t obtain much information about them as they’re extremely minute.

I will say that knowing the ending of Shadows was hard, especially as I’d gone and fell in love with the characters right away. It killed me to know bad things were going to happen to them, and yet, I also feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. Based on the wording that Armentrout uses at the very end of this novella, I’m not 100% sold on the idea that what the DOD said happened really happened, so I do have hope as I go into Onyx, book two in the series. Likewise, I’m very curious about this bond that seems to keep happening between the aliens and their human lovers… having seen what happens to Dawson and Bethany, I am worried for our characters Daemon and Katy as they seem to be in a similar situation at the end of Obsidian. Which is another reason I’m not 100% sold on the end of Dawson and Bethany…

To be quite honest, it doesn’t really matter what order your read these two books in—Obsidian before Shadows, or Shadows before Obsidian… they’re both beautifully written and captivating, and you should read them both.
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I absolutely adored this Lux novella by Jennifer Armentrout! I have always wondered about Dawson and Beth so I really enjoyed getting to see how they met and how their relationship came about. For those of you who have read the Lux series, we all know how this novella would end. And it still freaking hurt.

I liked getting to see this Dawson. When Bethany first walks into his class, it's over for him. He is immediately drawn to her and he believes her to be the most beautiful girl he's ever laid eyes on. Being a Luxen (an alien!), there are certain rules he and his siblings, as well as their close friends the Thompsons must follow. Getting involved with a human is a big no-no, as they are required to report that type of thing to the DOD (Department of Defense). There are so many things that could go wrong with a human- they risk exposure to not only their kind, but to the human as well. There are more Luxen males than females, so it's natural for Luxen not living exclusively in the Luxen community to fool around with human girls. However, it's never meant to be anything serious. However, the more Dawson spends time with Beth, he really finds himself falling for her.

He won't let his siblings or friends interfere in that and we really see Dawson take a stand against the people closest to him. He knows the risks and consequences and he knows he should stay away from her, but he doesn't want to. Dawson cares about his brother and sister more than anything, but he won't let them dictate his life either. It's a gutsy move on his part, but I admired him for going after what he wanted.

I liked Beth too. She is sweet and kind and she doesn't back down even when Ash and Andrew (part of the Thompson family) threaten her. She doesn't cave to Daemon either and for those of us who have read the other books in the series know- that's a pretty big deal. Daemon can be a prickly SOB, but at least we now can understand why he acts the way he does in Obsidian. That still doesn't excuse his behavior, but I can't imagine his feelings at the end of this novella.

Beth and Dawson's chemistry is really great. I loved the build up between these two and when it comes down to it, they make a great couple. The odds are stacked against them, but they manage to make it work. Beth is an extremely loyal person and we really get to see that here- her loyalty to Dawson and by extension his family was really great to see.

I'm glad JLA decided to write this novella and I'm glad I finally decided to pick it up and read it! It's a great introduction to the Lux series, however readers may want to read this one after Obsidian or even Onyx to have a greater understanding of what happened.
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on January 29, 2014
I loved this!! Such an adorable peek into Dawson and Bethany's relationship. Even though I probably didn't read this at the intended point in the series (I read Obsidian through Origin, then picked up this one), I kind of liked being able to have the perspective going into it that I currently have. There was definitely some foreshadowing in this novella for things that will occur later in the series, so it was kind of cool to be able to read it with that insider's knowledge.

One thing that I thought was weird about this story was that I'd kind of gotten the impression that Dawson and Bethany had been dating for a while before they disappeared. But apparently it was a very, very short amount of time. I don't know...everybody talks about how in love they were and how special their relationship was, and while you definitely see that side of them in the novella, they still haven't been together for very long. Maybe I thought the wrong thing, but it was just a little weird. It didn't really bother me, because you totally get to see the depth of their love for each other and, for me, it was believable and so cute, I just ended up being surprised by the actual duration of their relationship for some reason.

I also really liked getting to see more background between the relationships of Dawson, Dee, and Daemon especially, but also the dynamics with Ash, Andrew, and Adam. It was nice to get to see how close Dee and Dawson had been, and the explanation behind why Daemon treats Katy the way that he does in the first book. I was really put off by his behavior in Obsidian, so getting to see that "behind the scenes" really helped amend my feelings toward him for that.
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on August 12, 2013
I don't know about everyone else, but I actually read this book after finishing Onyx. When I was reading Obsidian and Onyx, there was always mentioning of Dawson and Bethany and I really wanted to know more about them. Dawson's disappearance was the reason why Daemon was so against the idea of Katy and Dee being friends, and if you are like me, and haven't read Shadows, then his reaction is a bit extreme. So it's really nice that I get to read a novella dedicated to Dawson and Bethany, and see where their relationship began and how it progressed.

Dawson and Daemon are quite different, despite the fact that they are twins. Dawson is really sweet, funny, and laid back while Daemon is more strict, serious, and ill tempered. But they are both super charming, and Dawson is just as irresistible as Daemon! I thought that because he was the nicer one, that he would be boring and lack that flare in Daemon that we all love but I was wrong. Every moment that Dawson and Bethany were together made me really happy!! They were just so darn cute! And the relationship that they shared, how much they loved one another, is enough to leave anyone envious. The love between Bethany and Dawson is beautiful, and very heart warming.

I also really like Bethany's point of view as well. She is different from Katy, yet at the same time they are both really strong girls. Bethany is really sweet, and I like how she handles herself around Dawson and the other Luxens. Obsidian and Onyx are written in a first person point of view- Katy's only, so we only get to see what she is thinking. I like that Shadows is written in third person omniscient, so there is a wider scope being covered which was brilliant. Since this is a novella, the author has to give out a lot of information but has limited page space, so I thought it was a clever idea to take us into the mindsets of many characters.

I really enjoyed this novella, it was charming, sweet, funny, and at the same time creepy and dangerous. It's like we are given this amazing love story, side by side with this ticking time bomb...knowing that something bad is just waiting to happen. It's really nerve wrecking! Especially if you are like me and you know how things are going to end, but you still hope that the turn of events won't go down that road.
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on January 18, 2014
Reading prequels to a series, after the first book, goes against every fiber of my being. I am really OCD when it comes to reading stuff in order and by order I mean chronological.
I just don't like to go back when a story is already ahead.
But every review insisted this has to be read after the first in this series so I did. Reluctantly. :)

First the actual romance here was just a tad to sugary sweet for me. Compared to Daemon and Katy in the first book, Dawson and Bethany were just a bit to cutesy.

It was good to finally get to meet them though after the snippets of talk in the 1st. It was also nice to get to know the other Lux better and what makes them tick.

This story of course also explains a bit better why Daemon is the way he is in Obsidian, but he isn't completely off the hook for being a douche.

What I liked best though was getting a tad more info on the Feds and how they are dealing with the Lux. I think there was more info on that here than in Obsidian, so that was good.

Overall it was ok, a bit short and sugary, but important for the info.

On to the next one.....

** read January 2014
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