Series Review: The Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Huzzah! It's another series review! I recently (okay, not that recently) re-read Jennifer L. Armentrout's The Dark Elements series, in preparation for reading Storm and Fury, which is the first book to the spinoff series about Zayne. Yes, that Zayne. And yes, I know, the covers have changed like 3 times (I own a mismatched set, which is every reader's worst nightmare because they. Don't. MATCH. *painful shrieking*), but here's the second version, so hopefully most(?) people will be at least familiar with it.
Let's get to it!
So, because I am a horrible person, I'm using the original covers of the books I physically own. Because it feels kind of weird not to, like I'm trying to review a book with a cover I don't recognize and don't recall reading. I apologize in advance. ANYWAY.
White Hot Kiss:
So, the first and most important thing I need to say about this book is: ROTH. Also, Bambi. Did I ever mention I'm terrified of snakes? I'm terrified of snakes. But in books? Less so. And Bambi is almost enough to cure me of my phobia (I said almost. I am still very much definitely and in no way will ever be NOT afraid of snakes. They terrify me. Period. End of story.) Anyway. This book was just as good as I remembered it to be. Roth made my heart squeal, the love triangle grated a bit on my nerves, Sam and Stacey were hilarious, Zayne freaked out over Layla's secret interactions Roth, the plot was suspenseful in all the best ways, and the ending left me in shreds. I still love this book!
Stone Cold Touch:
The love triangle develops! Given that this was a reread, I couldn't help but cringe a bit whenever Layla and Zayne had a intimate moment. Layla obviously belongs with Roth (yes, I am very biased, don't judge me!), so it felt kind of off-kilter to see her together with Zayne. But at the same time, it kind of made me feel really sad for Zayne, knowing he was putting his heart out there and trying to fight for Layla when I knew she wasn't going to choose him. Back to the plot. I was definitely a fan of the ending, because it definitely pulled on my heartstrings. The whole clan finally turning against Layla, the unfairness of it all, then how Roth and Zayne rushing to try to find and rescue her, and then that reveal. Also, ROTH. The fact that he made some unknown sacrifice to save Layla (not even known to him) just slew my heart. Again. Every Last Breath:
The conclusion! The epic conclusion! I distinctly recall how the author actually LET the readers choose who Layla ended up with. There was an online voting poll, and at the end of the timeframe, whoever had the most votes was who the author wrote Layla to end up with. That was definitely a unique experience! I obviously voted for Roth. From multiple devices. Did I mention I love Roth? As the conclusion of the series, this was the book that answered a lot of questions. What was the sacrifice that Roth had Cayman barter in exchange for saving Layla's life? When Layla shifts, why does she look so different? What about Sam and Stacey? Questions and answers! And of course, tons more of Roth. Plus we get to meet Thumper and Robin! As for the ending, the self-sacrifice trope was a bit on the heavy side for me, but at the same time, it was uber cute to see Roth wallow in his grief. My heart. It just died. Because the demon prince loved Layla so much and he wasn't doing well at all and ROTH <3 Of course, the book ended a bit abruptly in regards to Zayne's own healing from Layla's rejection. Which, now looking back, was on purpose as a means to pave the way for Storm and Fury to come out. The other question I have: who, or what, on earth is Morris??? In conclusion: the love triangle definitely is way outdated and I could have done without it, but Roth makes up for everything. Despite the whole love triangle, I definitely felt bad for Zayne, especially since he didn't really get much closure. But at the same time, failed love interests that suddenly are able to move on at the end of a series also feels a bit forced, so in a way, it was good that Zayne didn't really get much closure. It's especially good since his lack of closure has now stemmed a spin-off series, where we get to see him be happy (hopefully) in all the ways that he deserves with Trinity. Though the series actually has to come out first, but I'm going on a limb here to assume they're going to get their happily-ever after! And thus, I present you my final verdict of the series: