The Dark Elements Re-Read: Stone Cold Touch
For those of you who don’t know yet, this reread is being done in anticipation of the release of Every Last Breath on July 28th, the final book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements series! This past week, the two of us have been reading the second book, Stone Cold Touch. In celebration for second the first book, we’re having a fun Q&A and discussion together!
For those of you who haven’t finished Stone Cold Touch, not to fear! Questions #1-10 are SPOILER-FREE! And feel free to post your answers to these questions! We’d love to read them! :)
I want to welcome back to my blog Cody, from Literary-ly Obsessed. Ever since Cody and I met, we’ve been on a fast track of friendship that's only been going up. This is my first blogging event, and I honestly couldn’t have thought of a better person to do it with. We’ve spent a lot of time brainstorming and working on this together over the past two weeks, and we’ve shared quite a lot fangirling moments and laughs (ie. upon discussion of the ultimate Jennifer L. Armentrout boyfriend, our attempt to try to make a list of cons for any guy was a hilarious fail). Thank you so much, Cody! You're simply the best! I wouldn’t take back these past two weeks for anything, and I hope we do some more fun stuff together soon! xx
Now, on to our much anticipated Stone Cold Touch Q&A!
1. Who’s your favourite character? Least favourite?
Erika: My favourite remains to be Roth. Yes, he was a bit of a jerk, but he wasn’t a complete jerk to Layla the entire book. There was no I’m-avoiding-you-thing or if-I-do-see-you-I’m-going-to-only-say-mean-things. His reasons were valid. Least favourite would probably be the demons dubbed Sucky and Inky by Roth. They were seriously creepy.
Cody: My favourite would be Roth again, I absolutely love him despite his attitude in the beginning. He can really do no wrong and is completely devoted and loyal to Layla. My least favourite would have to be the majority of the Wardens, their attitude towards Layla was horrible and in some cases completely uncalled for, I felt so sorry for her having to live in that house.
2. What’s your favourite moment? Why?
Cody: When Roth takes Layla to the Demon club and Layla gets high from taking a soul. This moment is hilarious and Layla’s inhibitions are completely lowered so we get to see exactly what she’s been thinking and feeling since Roth’s return. Nothing to do with the steamy scene… Honest ;)
Erika: When Roth saves Layla from the Warden warehouse. I mean, he completely obliterated that place for her! He unleashed some serious power, all for Layla. Who wouldn’t want a Roth after that? <3
3. Top three favourite lines/quotes?
“We need to be friends. Or at least to get along to the point where you aren’t destroying perfectly good fast food when I open my mouth.”
“I love you, Layla. Do you hear me? I’ve loved you since the first moment I heard heard your voice, and I will continue to love you. No matter what. I love you.”
“Then why don’t you? You’re trained. You can fight. Do you really need their permission? I mean, really? Who’s here to stop you if you go out and hunt?”
“Are you...seriously growling at me, Stony?”
“I want you so badly it’s like hunger that gnaws at me endlessly. It doesn’t go away.”
“Because you were afraid I was going to throw myself at you again?”
The question burst out before I could stop myself. Roth cocked his head to the side.
“More like I was afraid you wouldn’t and that’s the problem.”
He went down a step and turned to me.
“I left you alone because if you woke up and you asked me to kiss you, I wouldn’t be able to stop a second time around.”
4. What would you have liked to see more of in this book?
Cody: More Cayman! We did get to see a little more of him in this book compared to White Hot Kiss but it wasn’t enough. Like Stacey he produced some of the funniest quotes and I would love to see more of his life as a an Infernal Ruler. Maybe a spin off series, please?
Erika: More Layla-Danika moments. Once they cleared the air between them, I found myself enjoying their conversations, how they both sympathize with one another. Also, I definitely think Layla needs more female Warden friends. Danika is trained to fight, and Layla is awesome, so together, I think they would make a great team!
5. What did you think of Roth’s sudden reappearance?
Cody: I was over the moon, like literally fangirling so bad but that only lasted about 5 minutes until he opened his mouth to Layla </3
Erika: I was so relieved! I mean, I knew there was no way he would stay in the Pits forever (*shudders*), but seeing him back in action made me so happy. But much like Cody said, then he opened his mouth, and all that stupid stuff came out.
6. What did you think of Roth’s sudden change of attitude towards Layla?
Erika: At first, I was all “Roth did what?” But I was sort of expecting it. This is a love triangle, after all, and I knew Roth would have to do something to upset/hurt Layla enough that she would want to get together with Zayne.
Cody: Majorly confused especially after his confession in White Hot Kiss. I didn’t understand what could have happened and then Zayne totally wormed his way in during her heartbreak which I was not happy with!
7. What did you think of the romance between Layla and Zayne?
Erika: After reading about Layla and Roth in White Hot Kiss, I wasn’t sure how a relationship with Zayne was going to work out or even compare to what Layla and Roth had. I wasn’t completely sold on her being with Zayne, but as I read more, it began to seem like they’d be able to make it work, that they could be right for each other. But...I don’t know, there are a few issues in their relationships. Like trust issues, as Layla has run off with Roth a few times (which, to me, is all the more reason for her to end up with Roth). There’s a lot of angst on Zayne’s side, which is understandable, but at the same time a little annoying. Zayne just doesn’t have the same chemistry with Layla as Roth does, which is why though as great as Zayne becomes in this book, I’m still Team Roth.
Cody: In White Hot Kiss it was clearly unrequited love between Layla and Zayne and Zayne only ever saw Layla as a sister. However in Stone Cold Touch he clearly starts to show an interest and it wasn’t until the end of the book, in Zayne’s POV that we found out he has actually liked Layla and has done for past 2 years. While this is all cute and cuddly, for me the romance was basically the result of Layla’s heartbreak over Roth, a rebound of sorts. Even though I hate to admit I really did start to like Zayne but it’s just nothing compared to the way I feel for Roth and Layla.
8. How would you have reacted if students and teachers began acting strange, and eventually some dying, at your school?
Cody: I would be gobsmacked if students and teachers just randomly started fighting and most probably stand and watch haha, but if someone was to die I would definitely need some therapy.
Erika: Short and simple? I’d run around screaming. Ambitious and possibly over-reacting? Transfer schools. Maybe move countries. Completely illogical? Become a detective and try to figure out what’s going on.
9. At the end of Stone Cold Touch, are you Team Roth or Team Zayne?
Erika: TEAM ROTH TEAM ROTH TEAM ROTH
Cody: TEAM ROTH FOREVER <3
10. Lastly, overall thoughts/comments/rating?
Cody: I loved this book, love triangle aside.. 5 amazing stars! You can check out my review Here x
Erika: Another easy 5 stars for me! You can check out my review here :)
These next questions contain spoilers!
11. What did you think of the way Abbot treated Layla? Did she deserve it?
Cody: I wasn’t too keen on Abbot in the beginning and my dislike only seemed to grow with how he treated Layla, it was clear he didn’t want her living in his house but instead raised and kept her because of her parentage. When he finally showed his true colours I was a little relieved because Layla could finally get away from him but when we saw what he planned for Layla I was completely shocked!
Erika: After reading White Hot Kiss, I wasn’t exactly Abbot’s biggest fan. I mean, he lied to Layla about lots of things. And then at the end when he locked up, chained, and talked about getting rid of Layla...in a way, I sort of understand why he did it, but it still doesn’t make it any better. I’m sure there was a less extreme solution, but he chose to play the mean guy until the very end. He has no sympathy from me.
12. Do you think the actions of the Church of God’s Children against Layla, Roth, and Zayne are justified? Are they right to attack them, in a vain hope of protecting their world?
Cody: I understood their reasoning for disliking Wardens and Demons but they’re methods were a bit extreme. I still don’t understand how they were actually aware of Demons? Hmm.
Erika: I get that they’re trying to protect their world, as it’s not just a human’s world anymore. But they went from preachers/members to stalkers and assaulters really quickly, which isn’t exactly necessary…
13. Locker after locker was filled with Nightcrawlers in the lower gym. If time was on your side (aka they didn’t awaken and try to kill you) how would you have dealt with them?
Erika: I don’t know about you guys, but ectoplasm and fire sounds like a great combination. Meaning I would have happily torched them all with a flamethrower, and then sweetly called the Wardens to ask them to come clean the remaining Nightcrawlers (and the mess I made) up :)
Cody: I don’t think I would, there would be no way to deal with that mess and stay clean! Could you imagine going to classes covered in gunk? Ew!
14. Apart from gargoyles and demons, we’re introduced to witches and exorcisms. What do you think of them? Does their appearance in the book fit the story?
Cody: I loved the idea of witches but I really wished we would have some element of magic but they did fit in with the story. I don’t think you can have a paranormal book series without some form of witch or magic. I didn’t like the idea of exorcisms, they’re just not my thing but I can appreciate in this because it was briefly mentioned and explained and didn’t take up a lot of space.
Erika: Well, we already have gargoyles, angels, and demons. So why not? Might as well throw in witches and wraiths too. The world’s a big place, so there’s bound to be other supernatural species in existence in the book…
15. Did you believe it was Layla’s restraint that allowed her to kiss Zayne? Did you know it was Bambi?
Cody: I would have never suspected Bambi! I love their relationship together so I was completely oblivious of the effect Bambi had on Layla’s abilities. I did think that Layla being able to kiss Zayne had something to do with her not being able to see soul’s… which turned out to be because of Bambi also.
Erika: I did not suspect Bambi at all! I absolutely bought Zayne’s “Layla, you’re good, so you wouldn’t take my soul” speech. Not once did it cross my mind that Bambi could affect Layla’s abilities. Though now I’m wondering whether or not she affects Roth…
16. Did you believe that Layla was the one taking people’s souls?
Cody: At first I refused to think it was Layla, I mean she would never hurt anyone intentionally but as more and more people around her were being infected I thought maybe she was influencing the Lilin due to their shared blood.
Erika: Originally, I thought that there was no way Layla was the one influencing people. I mean, there was a cocoon in the gym! Gross, but still. Clearly, something had been in it. I wasn’t completely sold on the idea that it was Layla doing all the bad stuff, but I didn’t see any logical explanation of why it couldn’t be her…
17. Did you ever suspect Sam of being the Lilin?
Erika: No. I did NOT see that one coming at all!
Cody: Not at all but because this was my second time reading it, I was able to see all those pesky, minute hints JLA left along the way.
18. In the event Layla truly was the source of all the chaos, Roth was ordered to take her out. Similarly, Abbot will do the same thing, and goes as far as to actually try. Though it is an extreme solution, do you think it is justifiable?
Cody: Oh this is tough, only if they have concrete evidence would I consider taking care of Layla and even then I would look long and hard for other options… but I suppose if she remains alive then the Alphas are going to intervene and then no one will be left standing.
Erika: I hate to say it, but I fully understand their reasons for wanting to...end...Layla. She’s a clear threat, yes, but there had to be another way! It’s her abilities that were dangerous, not Layla herself. Couldn’t they have decided to find a way to put her powers to sleep instead?
19. Do you think Layla should keep Bambi, who inhibits her soul-seeing abilities but allows her to feel emotions/kiss people, or without Bambi, allowing her to see souls again?
Cody: This is really hard because with Bambi she can’t see souls but if Layla was in trouble Bambi would protect her and Bambi also makes Layla stronger. But if she didn’t have Bambi then she wouldn’t be able to spot Wardens/Demons/Lilin… I’d go with keeping Bambi, it’s always better to be stronger and also have someone to help you fight your way out of a bad situation.
Erika: I think this is more of a question of which one is safer for Layla. I think that her ability to see souls allows her to see who’s a demon, and thus protects her. I mean, it was because she could see souls that she found out Sam was the Lilin! But on the other hand, Bambi can protect Layla, evident by her eating Tomas. And with Warden, demon, and Lilin trying to gun her down, she’s going to need all the help she can get to watch her back. I think she should keep Bambi, but I also think that she needs to keep her soul-seeing abilities, as she can see danger and steer clear of it. Agh, the conflicted thoughts!
20. Predictions for Every Last Breath?
Erika: I feel like Elijah is going to make an appearance again. He’s been missing, which makes me uneasy. I haven’t the faintest idea of what’s going to happen to Sam the human (I mean, the Lilin is obviously going to be stopped, but I’m more concerned about Sam). I also feel like there’s a chance Lilith might break free to add even more chaos, but I’m not completely sure how that would work. There will be battle for sure, either a three-way battle of Warden vs Demon vs Lilin-and-Wraiths, or it will be Warden-and-Demon vs Lilin-and-Wraiths. I’m also very afraid of what Cayman promised the witches in return for the cure for Layla… Hopefully it doesn’t end bad for Roth *gulps*
Cody: I’m thinking *and hoping* for a standoff between Layla and her mother; Lilith. Surely she’s got to meet her mother right? I also think we’re going to be seeing A LOT of Thumper due to the all out war between Demons, Wardens and the Lilin. The fact that Layla has black feathered wings still has me confused? I really don’t know what this means but I’m hoping this means she’s more demon because of the colour and I’m hoping that could mean she’s maybe a Princess in Hell ;) This is all very farfetched I realise but hey you’ve gotta dream! Also the black feathered wings came from the first 2 Chapters of Every Last Breath incase anybody is confused. Lastly though I have to agree with Erika, the deal struck between Roth and the witches is bound to bite him in the ass and I just hope the price of his favour isn’t too steep!
Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for the read along, we hope you all enjoyed the series! If you’re like us, then you’re probably getting super excited for the release of Every Last Breath tomorrow. Our event will conclude with the release of it tomorrow, so thank you for sticking with us from beginning to end! Go forth and get your hands on a copy!
Don’t forget to tell us which team you’re on/thoughts/predictions in the comments, we’d love to know! :) And for anyone who will be reading Every Last Breath on release day be sure to let us know. We would love to discuss/fangirl no matter the outcome!
Happy reading, and thank you all again for joining us!