Storm and Fury
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I had previously read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and rather enjoyed myself. So when I saw she had a new series coming out, and the first book was on Netgalley, I pounced to snag a copy. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read this, but because I did I was able to read it as an audio book from my local library, using Libby.
Somehow between the years of reading Obsidian and Storm and Fury, I forgot that Armentrout was a paranormal romance author. This became abundantly clear about 20% through this book, and I strapped myself in, readying for an emotional roller coaster.
Our main character, Trinity, is not like anyone else. She lives with Wardens, aka living gargoyles who hunt and fight demons, but she’s not a Warden or a human. She’s a secret that must be kept at all cost, her life depends on it. She’s bonded to a Warden who is her protector, but pretty early on it’s clear that things are not working out as they should be. Then she meets Zayne, a Warden from another community.
At this point during the novel I began snooping on Goodreads to get the detes. As it turns out, Storm and Fury is a spin off of another series (Dark Elements). I quickly read the synopsis of those books, deciding whether I wanted/needed to back track and read those before continuing with this one. The original series is set around a love triangle, which is honestly the bane of my existence. I read through enough reviews to piece together any background information I thought might be pertinent, and continued on reading.
As the book continued, the general plot of the Dark Elements series is uncovered in such detail, that it wasn’t necessary for me to have done the extra research myself. I can definitely see how exciting it will be for fans of the Dark Elements series to get to catch up with their favorite characters and see what they’ve been up to. With each new introduction in Storm and Fury, it was like a little jolt of butterflies, knowing this had been such a major player in the previous books.
Armentrout knows how to write a paranormal romance. Hook, line, and sinker. I was in it to win it from the moment Zayne and Trinity started saving each other’s lives, taunting the hell out of each other, and shamelessly flirting themselves hoarse. It was. Hot. I was so into this book I stayed up all hours of the night just trying to see what would happen next, who would make the first move, and what disaster would befall them around each corner.
The one thing I don’t love about Armentrout’s books is how juvenile the dialogue can get. I mean, some of the stuff Trinity says could be heard coming out of a six year old’s mouth, not an eighteen year old who’s about to be naked and on top of an equally naked man two chapters later. The immature dialogue, when it appears, always takes me out of the story and makes me groan in frustration (and not the fun kind). Is she trying to prove her characters are innocent? There are other, better, ways to accomplish that. To take her male characters from saying the word ‘freaking’ to ‘f*ck’ by the end of the novel, is not great character development but a lazy cop-out.
There was an okay balance of romance and action, but at times the pacing felt just a smidge off. Sometimes Trinity would get lost thinking about Zayne, to the point where I was like, okay, something attack her already. But other times I appreciated how Armentrout actually took the time and had the characters actively working on their relationship, instead of just skirting around some of the bigger issues. This relationship, to me, was in no way problematic, which was really nice to see in this genre especially.
I did enjoy the actual plot of this book, besides just the romantic elements. While none of the creatures are novelty or unique to this story, I still considered the action, mystery, and descriptions of the metamorphosis of characters to be well done. It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite series growing up: Sweet by Wendy Higgins.
I think if the dialogue matured in the next book, this would be a no brainer 5 star review from me. But having read Obsidian in 2014, and not seeing much of a difference in her writing style now in 2020, I’m not going to hold my breath. This is a fun book to binge read, and is awesome for escapism. I felt fully immersed in Zayne and Trinity, and was rooting for these two from the moment they met. I was thrilled with how their stories ended in Storm and Fury, and will probably be picking up Rage and Ruin (which is slated to be published June 9th, 2020). What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment, and this is my kind of torture.