Weekend Reads: Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted June 27, 2020 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Weekend Reads: Dark Elements by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Dark Elements: Complete Collection by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen on 2016-04-11
Length: 1092 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons in the New York Times bestselling series The Dark Elements.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal—fit in at school, and go out on a real date with the gorgeous Zayne. Trouble is, Zayne treats Layla like a sister—and Layla is anything but normal. She's half demon, half gargoyle, with abilities no one else possesses. And even though Zayne is a gargoyle, Layla's kiss will kill anything with a soul—including him. Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know her secrets. Trusting Roth could ruin her chances with Zayne—and brand her a traitor. But as Layla discovers she's the sole reason for a violent demon uprising, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the looming end of the world.

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could. But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla's powers begin to evolve, and she's offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.

Every choice has consequences—but Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city from destruction. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

Last year I read Jennifer L Armentrout‘s Storm and Fury not realizing that it was a spin-off series until I was nearly finished with the book. All year I debated going back and reading the series that started it, but I kept putting it off. I love Zayne and Trinity, and based on what I’d learned about Roth and Layla from the book, I didn’t want to know about them. Y’all in this instance, peer pressure was a good thing. I devoured The Dark Elements over about five days. I loved every word and have had a book hangover ever since finishing (it didn’t help that I immediately reread Storm and Fury and then its sequel Rage and Ruin). The Dark Elements is a heart-breaking read about accepting who you are and leaving those that try to change you behind. 

Layla isn’t your average 17 year-old. She’s half-demon, half-Warden (the gargoyle like protectors of humanity). Raised by the leader of the Washington, D.C. Wardens, Layla has learned to despise her demon half. Insecurity rules her actions. She’s an outsider in her own home. Attending high school is the only normal thing about her life, and even that isn’t normal. She can’t have a normal relationship with anyone because her demon half eats souls. Her friends don’t really know her, and her crush (ZAYNE) treats her like an annoying little sister, not that anything can come from crushing on a Warden with the whole soul eating thing. Then Layla meets Roth.

Roth is not at all what I expected. For one, he’s a demon. I didn’t expect to fall for a demon! Jennifer L Armentrout is a genius when it comes to writing her love interests. She holds nothing back. Their flaws and everything you could possibly hate are on display from the start, but so is the charm and all the good. Roth may be a demon – he IS the crown prince of Hell – and yet I love him. He’s perfect for Layla. He pushes her past her insecurities and shows her there is a world beyond what she believes. He helps her see the moral grey area and break out of the strict black and white teachings of the Wardens. 

The plot of the series follows Layla and her self-discovery. Her unique heritage allows Layla to see souls (kind of like auras). Human souls range in color from pure white to black and every color in between. Wardens’ souls are pure white, and demons do not have souls. This gift allows Layla to give her clan an advantage. She can touch a demon and leave a trace on it so Wardens can hunt them down to kill them. This has been Layla’s life up until she meets Roth. Roth shows her that not all demons are bad, just like not all Wardens are good. This crisis of conscience leads Layla down a new path as she discovers what life could be. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this series. I know I was a bit vague above because clearly I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The Dark Elements is a completed series that follows Layla and her relationships to Roth and Zayne. One guy is her best friend and confidante, but he’s never truly seen her. The other is new and exciting and sees her for everything she is and could be. It’s an interesting dynamic. I’ve never cared for love triangles, but this one works beautifully. While the story focuses on Layla, there are so many wonderful side characters. If you enjoy urban fantasy with a heavy dose of romance, I highly recommend it!

About Jennifer L Armentrout

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo, six judgemental alpacas, two rude goats, and five fluffy sheep. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications.  Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

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