So, this series is a little old by YA standards (I feel like after a couple of years, the majority of books are just forgotten in this community… but that’s a discussion for another post), but it’s getting the comeback it deserves with the release of Storm and Fury!!!
Anyway, before I go into my review- I need to admit my bias here. This is one of my all-time favorites from High School. That said- if I started it now, with no built-in biases, I probably would not be so kind. My standards have changed a bit, but this book series is still too special to me to not adore.
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Jennifer L. Armentrout writes 1 type of book: the swoon-worthy, light-hearted, banter-filled romances that you can’t put down even if you know exactly what’s coming. If that’s what you’re looking for- you’ll find it in The Dark Elements Series.
“People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils.”
Read more for my thoughts on this series!
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Mature Content, Addiction, Slut Shaming //
The Dark Elements series begins with White Hot Kiss, which follows Layla, who dreams of being an average high school student. Except, that’s impossible, because she was born half demon and half Warden (a race of gargoyle created to protect the world from demons). Raised by Wardens, she has been taught to hate her demon side. But then she meets Roth, a demon who tells her things the Wardens never told her. When he tells her about trouble brewing in Hell, she knows helping him could get her branded as a traitor to the family that raised her, and ruin her chances with Zayne, the off-limits Warden she’s been crushing on, but if Roth is telling the truth, then her help might be necessary to prevent an apocalyptic scenario.
White Hot Kiss: 4.5/5
“I lost myself the moment I found you.”
White Hot Kiss is just a really fun book. It’s such an entertaining paranormal romance, with plenty of high school drama and some fun action scenes that make the pages fly by. The plot is fun, and while it feels familiar and typical occasionally, it manages to always deviate from what I expect. Meanwhile, the writing is exactly what I have come to expect from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Theres humor, heart, and plenty of odd but entertaining one liners and pop culture references. Sometimes, they can take you out of the book, but most of the time they’re just fun.
The main character, Layla, is interesting but overall nothing extremely memorable. She’s kinda your basic paranormal romance protagonist. Stubborn, reckless, just wants to be normal but has some special thing about her that makes that impossible. However, where she does stand out is with her inner battles, what she was raised to believe and the reality of what she is.
The two main love interests, Zayne and Roth, also fall into your basic love interest types (Snarky and rebellious vs sweet and noble) but where they shine is in their personal journey’s over the course of the series. In White Hot Kiss, Roth really undergoes some amazing character development, which gets better and better with every reread.
[ Related: The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Review) ]
Stone Cold Touch: 4/5
“Love is a strange creature one thinks one has a grasp on and understanding of, only to discover later that it was only the barest taste of the real thing.”
Stone Cold Touch is probably my least favorite of the series, but that’s only because it has the least amount of Roth in it. That said, it’s still great. This book really helps solidify the side characters as whole people and has a lot of great moments. Stacey and Sam both step it up in this book, getting some moments in the spotlight, and, as you can probably guess, Zayne really takes center stage. Which is nice– his character gets some more development and he definitely became more interesting to me– but he’s no Roth.
The pacing is good, with only a couple of lulls. But oh my god are there some twists in this. This book really did get me on a roller coaster of emotions. You never know what’s true.
Every Last Breath: 4.5/5
“When is there ever a right time to fully give your heart to another? There are always going to be obstacles. You just have to decide which ones are worth it.”
Every Last Breath is a great conclusion to this series. When it comes to endings, for me, they can be very hit or miss, but this one was a definite hit.
The beginning has a little less action than expected, with a slightly slower pace as the drama and romance plot lines are resolved, but it really picks up in the last half of the book. The stakes are high and everything that has been built up in the previous books comes together so well.
Pros – Fun, lighthearted, adorable and sexy romance, really thoroughly entertaining
Cons – This isn’t a dark and gritty, realistic story. If you’re looking for something life changing, you won’t find it here.
Overall – 4.5/5 stars.
The Dark Elements series is pure fun. It will make you laugh, it might even make you cry. One thing is for sure: you’ll never be able to put it down.
Okay, so these weren’t as “mini” as I planned, but what do you think of this format for series that have already been published? I love writing full reviews, but they take a lot of time, and in situations like this… I get lazy. Let me know if you think I should do more like this!
Also, have you read The Dark Elements? Are you going to read the new spin off book, Storm and Shadow? I’m about 400 pages into it and I’m loving it so much!!