Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.
When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
It’s really no secret that Jennifer L. Armentrout is my favourite author probably of all time. There’s just something about her books and her writing that really gets me and gives me everything I want out of a book, regardless of the genre. She knows how to write the type of characters that I want, knows how to make stories that I’m interested in, and most importantly she knows how to develop characters the way they deserve it without disrespecting them or throwing their entire arc out the window. She did it before with the Titan series, taking a character I despised the most out of all of her characters probably and made me love him, and she did it again here. I was excited for her to revisit the world of The Dark Elements because it’s one of her lesser known series, even though it was a bit post-Lux, but it’s also probably one of her weaker series, in my opinion. It had a lot of issues, and used a lot of popular tropes from the 2013 era that don’t really fly today, and even though it was published after Lux it still didn’t have JLA’s typical magic. So I was happy she was giving the world a second chance and letting new readers discover this world and “improve” the mistakes she made before. I was so happy with what she did with this new spinoff and loved how we’re expanding the world we knew, with new characters and creatures, but also learning about the aftermath from what went down before and where to go from there. I thought the story itself was solid, the characters were great, and the new relationship blossoming is, dare I say, becoming a new favourite of mine. JLA really killed it here.
- I think the biggest thing about this book is how much of an improvement it is from The Dark Elements, which doesn’t often happen with series’ spinoffs. There have been times where I’d be excited for a spinoff of a book that I loved and it ends up being completely shit. It’s like, just because the author had success with the one series doesn’t mean they can do the same with a spinoff. I’ve witnessed it many times. But here, I think because The Dark Elements wasn’t as good as her others series to begin with that JLA had a lot of room for improvement and to kind of fix past mistakes and write the world the way it deserved to be written. What bothered me about Storm and Fury’s predecessor was the messy love triangle that was the central focus for majority of the series and how poorly Zayne was written. He played a big part in belittling Layla’s character, especially in the second book, and while you were expected to see him being good for her he was the complete opposite, which she eventually realized but still. He was possessive and overbearing and because he saw things as being so black and white, it was hard to be around him, if that makes sense. But after everything that happened with Layla and the death of his father, he finally realized that maybe the world isn’t quite as black and white as he thought, and he finally began to see things differently. And that was most evident with this book and it was beyond necessary for JLA to write this, mainly for Zayne, I think. I liked seeing how he’s become more of a morally grey character as opposed to the character/person he was brought up to be. I liked seeing how he chose to distance himself from the clan and not take on the leadership role because he needed to think about who he was and about his life and really see where he stood in this world. That was important for his character and it made me see him in a new light, a light that I actually like. It’s funny how much we end up liking characters when they’re out of their respective love triangles. It happened with Seth in Titans, and again with Zayne. I think JLA is finally realizing that the popular love triangle trope from 2013 and prior isn’t as popular in 2019. And getting these characters out of their triangles allows them to meet their full potential as characters and just be better. I love that we’re actively erasing love triangles now and maybe without them we wouldn’t have hated these characters in the first place. But that’s why we learn, to be better. And this was so, so much better.
- It’s pretty easy for me to love all of JLA’s female protagonists, since it feels like they’re catered to me and me only, and Trinity is no different. I adored her character and everything about her. I know that Trinity is extremely important to JLA because she has the same degenerate eye disease that she has and I loved that she’s using her platform here to bring awareness and education to her very own disease. I can’t imagine how hard that was for JLA to do but I’m proud. I loved that we have Trinity, who is essentially a weapon from birth because of her parents (or one in particular), and has been trained to fight like a Warden, but she still has this eye disease because of her genetics, something she can’t help. But what’s important about Trinity is that she learns to adapt to her disease and refuses to let it hold her back from being who she’s supposed to be, and I personally think that speaks volumes about her character. I loved her curious nature and how she loves to rain down questions on Zayne constantly and how she’s just always wondering about what else there is for her to learn. And I love how that she might be questioning everything she previously knew about demons and Wardens and moving into that grey zone as well. She has a good mix of strength and vulnerability and I just really enjoyed her character.
- I think I’ve already stated how I loved the romance here, and not just because Zayne is away from Layla like he’s supposed to be, but I like how both Zayne and Trinity seem to have something to learn from one another. I felt like their chemistry was palpable and they had almost an instant connection (though finishing the book we all know why), but it wasn’t so instant that the relationship turned into some kind of instalove thing. They annoyed each other equally, yet they were still intrigued enough to stay in each other’s company. And I felt like Zayne became so much more vulnerable with Trinity than he had in the past with Layla, and that says a lot. I think he needs her more than she needs him and I’m excited to see where else their relationship will go.
- Just to quickly mention the plot and that twist at the end, I think it might be one of JLA’s best yet. I don’t want to say the plot of The Dark Elements was weak, though it had its moments, but it did strictly stay within the whole demons versus Wardens thing, which was fine, but I like how in this new spinoff we’re expanding on that world and showing how it’s more than just the demons and the Wardens in a war with one another but how so many other elements and creatures are involved. I want to complain that we spent too much time in the Potomac community, but we needed to establish Trinity’s character so that’s fine, but I liked how we relocated back to DC where everything started and got to see the big power players come back, especially Roth. I was counting down the minutes until he would return and he did not disappoint at all. And I really like how the demons and the Wardens now have this common enemy in the Harbinger and how they’ll probably need to work together to take whoever that is down, which I’m excited to see. But the twist of who was working for the Harbinger was something I really never saw coming, and it’s been easy for me to figure out twists like that in the past, so I was pleasantly surprised at my own shock. I feel like we’re at a good place for setting up the big climax of the rest of the series and I can’t wait to see where we go next.
- Even though I loved the book, I have like the teeniest, tiniest complaints. The first is more of a personal thing but I wish that we had a bit of explanation of Trinity’s eye disease from almost the get-go because if you didn’t know that JLA wrote it for a reason, you’d be beyond confused about what’s going on with her and why she can’t see. And I understand that it’s not something that Trinity wants to talk about or let it define her, but a little info at the beginning of the book wouldn’t have hurt and it would’ve been a good point of reference for all the times she’d talk about not being able to see anything that well. The second thing is that I wish that this book was a dual POV book because I would’ve killed to be in Zayne’s mind. I want to know what he’s thinking about all of this, especially Trinity, and just see how he’s really doing. I’ve seen him through Layla’s lens, which was pretty annoying, and then through Trinity’s lens, which was great, but I want to see his OWN lens and what’s going on in that pretty mind of his. That’s all.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- To say this is an improvement from The Dark Elements is a vast understatement, but I am so glad that we’re returning to this world and getting a chance to explore it the way it deserves. I was so happy with how everything turned out, and JLA’s writing is as stellar as always, and I can’t believe I actually have positive emotions and opinions on Zayne. That woman is a miracle worker. I can’t wait see where the next book takes us but I’m ready to ride it out as long as I can.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Pages: 512 (Hardcover)
Until next time,
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