Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsession by Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Entangled: Embrace on May 31st 2013
Pages: 254
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This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.
He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.
Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.
Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.
Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

The bizarre, violent death of a friend sends Serena Cross reeling. What she first believes to be a hallucination or a trick of the mind is in fact, a confirmation that aliens – at least in the world that Jennifer L. Armentrout has constructed in the Lux series – do exist and have always been among mankind. Her reluctant, love-deprived protector is an arrogant, not-quite human smirky male, appropriately named Hunter, who simply does what his name actually suggests, except that he hunts, kills and feeds on another alien species that has for eons, threatened life in the galaxy. Hunter is in fact an Arum, a shadowy species slated to continue the tradition of blasting their enemies back into cosmic oblivion. In the bigger picture, Earth is merely another stop for them and now stands at the brink of being overrun by the evil beings known as the Luxen.

Touted as a standalone, ‘Obsession’ seemed like a sensible start to a wildly popular series that I wanted to jump into immediately without having to read the past few installments. I did find myself lost at times, hungry for the world-building and the mythology of the Luxens and the Arum, but somehow fell short of being satisfied each time Hunter made several piecemeal revelations. The idea of vampiric beings caught up in some epic battle with another race intent on galaxy-domination is an enthralling one and I lapped it all up even if it started to read very much like a cagey version of Men in Black, done slightly off-pitch with characters (both alien and human) who somehow fall within the ‘hot’ and ‘beautiful’ categories too easily.

In many ways, ‘Obsession’ falls both within and without the syfy-fantasy genre but not living up to its potential is perhaps the most disappointing takeaway I’ve had in a while. If I loved the set-up and the richness of the backdrop, I was equally let down by how it never seemed to reach its potential. The world-building never seemed incomplete and took a back seat to the overwhelming, uncontrollable lust that plagues both characters, overshadowing even the conflict at the end which faded off in a whimper than the almighty bang I thought it would be.