Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Book Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?
And will they even be together?

This review will contain a lot of spoilers! If you haven't read the first 4 books in the Lux series already, I advise you not to read this.

Daemon Black is ready to burn the world down to get Katy back and I think it's safe to say that is exactly what happened. Before I start the actual review let me just say this this was the best book in the Lux series yet! This review is going to be the hardest one I've ever had to write, even with all the notes I have. This is because I have a lot to say and I have a feeling that once I start to rant, it will get all jumbled up the same way it does in my mind *oops*... So just bear with me.

So, the first thing I noticed in Origin was Katy. In Obsidian she wasn't shy as such but she definitely was not up for kicking alien/government ass. Throughout this series she has become incredibly strong and brave beyond comprehension. I don't think the old Katy (pre-mutation) would have been able to handle everything that has been thrown her way and boy, she has a lot of problems especially with this fourth installment. As I said, there's a big difference between Katy in Obsidian and Katy in Origin. All of the differences are good, don't get me wrong! She's become a helluva lot more independent, she actually wants to fight alongside Daemon instead of behind him and she's matured emotionally. The things I love the most about Katy's character stayed the same though, like how even in crisis she's thinking about her abandoned blog or when she gets out of Daedalus's facility and to safety she just wants the comfort of her books. I love it when this happens, when the characters develop throughout the stories but still manage to keep a big part of themselves the entire way. In Obsidian, Kat was a nerdy book blogger with the t-shirt to prove it. In Origin she's a nerdy, kick ass book blogger alien hybrid with the t-shirt to prove it. She's still the Katy I love!

Jennifer made is easy to understand the struggle of choosing which side she would fight for if the time ever came; Katy is pretty much half alien, half human but she's been human for the majority of her life. We get to see how Katy is feeling and what she'd honestly do if the time came and it was eye opening. What would you do though? Would you fight with the humans or the aliens if the time came? Katy has people she loves on both sides, her mum is a human as is Lesa. Plus there's a whole world of humans, innocent ones at that! Katy definitely would think about that. But then there's the other half of her, she has a little family of aliens that she loves too yet she's not fully one of them. If it was my choosing I'd have a nervous break down. What about you?

We learn about what Daedalus is really trying to do and we get an inside look at the place where they're keeping the Luxen and hybrids (and the origins but we'll get to that later). What we once thought was terrible actually seems pretty normal... Until they bring in Katy, slice her back open so her spine is showing and then force Daemon to heal her. I think we've all come to the same conclusion after reading this book: these people are bat-shit CRAZY. They think what they're doing is going to better mankind, and maybe it would! But, as with all government issues, they go about it the wrong way. Also, it was super creepy to see how Nancy and the other Daedalus members thought that what they were doing was so normal and just 'helping'. No no no, you're fighting crazy with crazy. Something that Katy said really made sense - they were keeping her against her will but when she saw the Luxens who had happily agreed to give their blood for the LH-11 cause or whatever it was, she said herself that if they just asked her she'd be happy to give her blood to the cause of helping all these human diseases. WAS IT WORTH IT? REALLY?

Okay, as I said before this is the best book in the entire series so far. The action scenes were epic! Daemon pulls one of the most awesome moves ever when he slams his fist into the ground and everyone just goes flying on their asses. He also, at one point, stamps his foot on the concrete and causes a fissure to run down the road. It was like something straight out of The Avengers.

It was fascinating to learn more about the Luxens and how some of them are planning an attack. I honestly thought that the title of this book referred to us finding out more about the origin of the Luxens and how they came to Earth or why the war started between the Luxens and the Arum - and we do! Kind of. We learn about the war and how the bad guys aren't exactly who we expect. JLA should 100% make a book about this kind of thing - like Cassandra Clare did with the Shadowhunter's Codex. We've learnt so much in this book and it's pretty hard to keep track! We learnt about the origins, baby aliens, Daedalus, the war with Luxens/Arums and so much more in this one book. Maybe I just don't want this series to end:( *raises hand* I'll write the book for you *smiles angelically*

We got to experience every single moment through Katy and Daemon, all their feelings, their inner struggles and how they thought about each situation. Katy was wary all the time, never trusting and Daemon was ready to burn the world down to get Katy out of that place. He sure as hell kept his word on the whole burning the world to save her. We also got to see how they were alone and we come to realise that they are definitely stronger together, not just freaky-alien-power wise but emotionally, they have so much more will power when they're together. It was actually heart breaking seeing them suffer apart, especially Daemon who has only shown either the cocky, arrogant side of himself or the sweet, melt-your-heart side. We get to see his emotions stripped bare and it really shows the lengths he is willing to go to get back the person he loves.

Every book is getting better and better, the writing becomes more descriptive and the pictures become clearer. I liked how the book was split between two POVs. We usually only get to read about how Katy is feeling and we have to kind of guess about Daemon, we never got to see his inner feelings like this. It did funny things to my heart.

The new characters and the big change of scenery was refreshing. I really liked all the new faces, Luc and Paris (sobs) and even Hunter who I hear will be making an appearance in Opposition! I really liked Paris, it was sad to see him go but major respect for the guy. He got infront of Daemon, Kat and Luc to take the hit. *applause*
My favourite character in this book was Luc. He had the child-like charm and contentedness about him but his sarcasm and wit were sharp as a whip! It was fun watching his banter with Daemon and I always knew he was going to be a good guy, I just hope he keeps it up in Opposition. I also really liked Archer and I'm so happy about this thing he has with Dee. She deserves this, you all know I love her character! He's one of the good guys. I didn't suspect he was an origin but I did know he was Luc's inside man, being an origin was just an awesome twist!

Even with everything going on Daemon still manages to be cocky and... well just Daemon. I really liked hearing his inner thoughts - even they were sarcastic! This also goes along with what I said about Katy not losing herself as she matured. The same can be said for Daemon, he's still how he was in Obsidian but the growth he has gone through since meeting Katy is phenomenal.

Now for the world building: It was amazing! I had high expectations when I realised that this book would be in a completely new area which meant that JLA would have some serious world building to do throughout the entire book and hell if she didn't deliver! I'll never get over how well the author can create this whole new place and give me such a clear image in my mind. She didn't just say they were in a new place. Every room, tile, reflection and colour was described to build the government facility - I could actually picture the rooms with the black dots in the ceilings and the shiny, black doors rigged with onyx.

THEY EXPOSED THEMSELVES. I absolutely did not expect this. It knocked me flat on my ass when Daemon came up with the idea. I didn't even dare put the book down from then on because all they wanted to do was create a diversion... Well they certainly did that. I am constantly in awe of the author's imagination, she obliterated the Vegas Strip and it. Was. Awesome. It kind of changed the book genre a little, because now this is an AU where everyone knows about aliens. I just cannot get enough of these crazy-ass stories so keep 'em coming!

And for the finale *drumroll* There's gonna be a baby alien! Well, a baby origin because Dawson is a Luxen and Beth is a hybrid. I didn't suspect pregnancy at all which I probably should have as soon as Beth got 'sick'. I'm so relieved that it wasn't Katy that got preggers because it just seems a lot less cliche for one of the supporting characters to go through the whole baby situation. This also means Katy will not be getting knocked up in Oppostion, I just know that JLA wont have 2 of the characters pregnant at the same time. It would totally take the focus away from the story I've been waiting for; the war! So... We may have a little mind-reading, brain melting origin on our hands pretty soon. I really don't think the kid will be as bad as the ones in the Daedalus facility, I mean those were creepy as hell. That Micah kid? He sounded like he'd stepped right out of a horror movie, you know, the ones where the kid is possessed by another kid and all they wanted was the play. *shudders* I think, with actual parents, the origins wouldn't be so bad - so fingers crossed for Dawson and Beth!

Now for the cons of this book - which aren't many compared to the pros! First and foremost:
THEY GOT MARRIED?!?!?!? I mean, I understand why they did it - because they don't even know if they'll have tomorrow so they're seizing the moment and whatever but it felt kind of... wrong. It just felt too rushed and it sucks that they had to do it under false names and different identities and in Vegas. I totally get the whole reason they did it but I wish this had been left for the epilogue. A proper wedding. I don't mean a big, fancy event, just a real wedding under real names. But Daemon did say it wasn't a real wedding because of the whole name thing which is redeeming. He's also totally adorable when he's all glowy and happy.

And finally; there was so much death, I still want to cry about who we lost in Origin. Ash and Andrew and Paris. All gone in one fell swoop. A whole family is now gone! Ash and Andrew were complete douches most of the time but they didn't deserve to die like that and they definitely did not deserve to have their bodies left behind in the chaos of what happened. They were left as just one of many bodies, one of the many innocent people killed because the government didn't want anyone to know about the Luxen. Without Ash, Beth wouldn't be alive and neither would her baby. Paris grew on me over the course of the book and just as I came to really like him, BAM, dead. I remember just kind of sitting there, staring after that chapter ended. I'm still not over it.

Now for my favourite part of reviews - the quotes I loved!

This first one was when Katy saw the Luxen who wanted to kill all of those humans. It was probably the MOST powerful quote I've come across in a long time - “You can’t judge an entire race based on a few individuals.” 
So true and I'm not sure if Jennifer meant it to have underlying tones but it clearly does. It's a very powerful sentence.

"Was I totally against the idea of having kids with Kat one day? Other than breaking out in hives at the thought of that, the idea wasn’t too horrible." Oh Daemon you charmer, you. This is what I meant when I said I liked seeing Daemon's inner thoughts, we got to see how much Daemon truly cares about Katy and how he wants a future with her.

"Spending the rest of my life with Kat was something I planned on. There was no question or doubt when it came to that. I saw her—only her—in my future."

"Luc let out a strangled, hoarse laugh. “Oh shit. ET so phoned home, kids.”" THIS IS WHY I LOVED LUC.

Okay, so the review is pretty much over. I'm still waiting for the fifth and final book to arrive at my door and I'm pretty sure I'm about to go into full breakdown mode where I just sleep until I get my grabby little hands on it because I need to know what happens! It's very bittersweet though, I obviously don't want to let Katy and Daemon go but I can't wait to see how everything ends.

What do you think of the Lux series? Are you sad to see it come to an end? We'll survive this together *group hug*

Happy reading!

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