Thursday, November 13, 2014

Audio Review: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch
(Dark Elements #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Release: October 21, 2014
Goodreads  Amazon
Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. 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. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…


Stone Cold Touch is the second in JLA's Dark Elements trilogy. I swear this woman can do no wrong. When I first heard the premise for this series involved gargoyles and demons I thought, meh. But then I listened to the audio of the first in the series, White Hot Kiss, and I was completely enamored. The book had everything a great paranormal should have: a ridiculous love triangle that makes readers simultaneously angry and eager to champion their hunk of choice, a teenage heroine with just so much going on, mundane besties that don't know the heroine's big bad secrets and go about high school life like that's all there is, and a fun and inventive paranormal element not yet overdone in the world of paranormal fiction. Does the Dark Elements trilogy have all of those things? Check, check, check, and check. Since I didn't review book one after reading it, I'm kind of folding a little bit of that book into this review...a two for one deal!

But, anyway, let's face it. I came for the paranormal elements but I stayed for the fellas. One fella in particular: Roth. He is a delicious character who teeters on the edge of good and evil on a daily basis. In book one his yummy bad boy side that melted for Layla absolutely won me over. But, if White Hot Kiss was Roth's book, meaning that we got to learn his story and see him interact with Layla often, then Stone Cold Touch is definitely Zayne's book. I like Zayne okay, he's hot and good for Layla and everything...but he's no Roth. So the only place where this book fell a little short for me was simply that Roth didn't adorn as many pages as he did in book one.

I find that Zayne often treats Layla as a child, and since he's a few years older than her I see that as a problem. He can be a jerk about protecting her sometimes and it rubs me the wrong way. Roth is such a complex character: the tortured anti-hero that's actually a hero but a tiny bit see where I'm going...complex. And some of the things he says to Layla are the hottest or most romantic or funniest lines I've read in YA. His line toward the end of book one during that epic closing brought tears to my eyes. The circumstances surrounding this line and the way JLA wrote his delivery of this line just tore me to pieces: “I lost myself the moment I found you.”

But, also the story is so great. Its not really a super outside-the-box line or anything, but JLA happens to be a freaking genius when it comes to creating teenage characters with miles of depth and multiple sides to them. She managed to make me like Zayne slightly more in this one, until Roth got himself together about halfway through the book and things started getting back to normal. And the plots of these books so far are fun, with emotion and romance and excitement all rolled into one neat little young adult package.

Stone Cold Touch also gives us some more information about Layla and what she can do, as well as what's going on with the demon world and the Wardens. There's a lot of angst and angry people *cough cough the Wardens cough cough* in this book and there was one scene in particular toward the end of the book that played with all my emotions, from horror to sadness to elation all in the span of a few minutes.

I wish this was going to be a longer series, but unfortunately its set to just be a trilogy. JLA even gave readers the option to vote for the hunk you want Layla to end up with in the final book - obviously I clicked on Roth's name about as hard as I could press down on my mouse button. The final book will either rip my heart out or make me jump for joy, but either way you'd better believe I'll be downloading that audio the first day that  I can!

Notes on the Narrator: I've now listened to both of the books in this series on audio so obviously I'm a fan. Saskia's voice for Layla is pretty good, occasionally she plays her as a little whiny but that's just sometimes. Most of the time I find her narration matches well with Layla's personality. I really enjoy Saskia's voice for Roth. Very smart ass and cocky but she manages to deliver the sexy and romantic lines spot on and sounding like a teenage demon boy. If you like audios I recommend trying this series on audio. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have Roth any other way.

Recommended for fans of: Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, JLA's other paranormal YA series, books about demons or Lillith, delicious demons, very large snakes, demon kittens.

  4.5 / 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I didn't like this one as much as the first, though I am a lover of Zayne and he was much more prominent in this one.


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