The Burning Shadow by Jennifer Armentrout Book Review
Updated: Jan 18
The Burning Shadow
By Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Tor Teen
Book #2 in The Origin Series
When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux―only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.
Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is―and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.
Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.
And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul Language #YoungAdult Action
Some Steaminess #Romance Feel Good
Spoilers ahead. Read the book before you read my rambles.
The Burning Shadow is the second book in The Origin series, and we finally get some answers about Evie/Nadia, and what Micah was going on about with the coming war. I wonder how Micah became aware of the Daedalus being operational still, and this new ... species they created? A different, stronger hybrid? It's odd, as we didn't even get a full explanation of what happened to Evie/Nadia until the last chapter of the book, but I'm guessing we will find out more in October when the third book comes out. The fact that Micah, a pretty strong Origin, would rather have Luc kill him instead of being hunted down by these things is pretty telling, even before we see a bit of Evie's power.
I predicted in my review from the last book that Evie would get her memories back in this next book, and I was partially right. It seems that some memories can be triggered by experiencing similar stimuli. One of my favorite moments in the book was her remembering her and Luc's first kiss. It was a sweet memory, even looking back, and suspecting she knew that the newest serum he had given her didn't work, and she was still dying. The few flashes of memory she had regained afterwards were interesting. The memories of her being trained by the Daedalus give further proof to what Eaton was telling Luc and her in the end. I also predicted that the Arum would be heavily featured in this book. They perhaps were not featured in the book, but the every part of the book that had Arum, heavily foreshadowed what was to come. After Evie and Heidi's confrontation with April, I already started to suspect that there was now genetically modified hybrids with both Luxen and Arum DNA. Of course, I didn't get full clarification on it until the end, when Eaton lets the bomb drop that the code in these "Trojan" hybrids, that they are controlled by the one and only, very much alive, Jason Dasher.
As expected, Evie's and Luc's relationship has continued to get stronger, and I was glad it wasn't a drawn out affair. It didn't take long for them to decide to be more to one another. It's still hard to get used to seeing the all powerful Luc from the LUX series be truly vulnerable with Evie. His admissions that he has never been with another woman, because to him, he could only do that with her, was incredibly sweet. His retelling if the memory of their first kiss ... and much like Daemon, Luc is willing to do anything for Evie. Judging by Luc's guilt of putting Evie in the position to be injected with this serum that mutated her, I suspect as we learn more about what she is capable of, we may see him pulling away some.
And holy alien babies (haha, see what I did there?), Evie is capable of some serious shit. The fact that she hasn't even fully tapped into her power is just insane. It is mentioned a couple of times that the serum affects her differently, maybe because of all the other serums Luc had given her to try to cure her cancer. Whether or not that makes her more powerful than other Trojans, who knows? It for sure seems like she is, judging by the the utter destruction she causes when the SOJ group moves in, and she snaps to terminator Evie. The question really is, can she learn control? The other Trojan's seem to be able to control themselves somewhat, and use their power when needed. Eaton claims that Dasher is the only person who can control Evie ... but is that true? Luc almost killed himself doing it, but he was able to get her to rein in her power before she killed someone innocent.
The Daedalus being fully operational sucks, and their power seems farther reaching than ever before. I'm a little confused about Dasher's role in this. In the LUX series, Nancy seemed to be the head honcho, and the Origin project was her baby. Dasher seemed to be her right hand man ... but now he seems to be in a more powerful position, in a whole new branch of Daedalus. Why create hybrids and Origins if you want to eradicate them? I know in reality, Jennifer L Armentrout probably didn't intend to write a spin-off series, and maybe with the next book she could line it up with the LUX series so everything is more consistent, but right now its just confusing. And the whole thing about creating Trojans to dominate the universe? Weird.
One of the big things in this book, is seeing Luc in a much more vulnerable position than we are used to. In LUX, he is seen as a powerful leader. Daemon and Katy would have never been able to escape Daedalus, or secure the alliance with the Arum to deal with the invading Luxen, if not for Luc. In The Darkest Star, we see Luc is even more powerful. Anyone who messes with him is taken care of. Even Micah was an easy fight for him in the end. So its weird to see him in a position where he doesn't have all the information, which puts him in a weaker position. Eaton's theory that, much like Daemon and Katy, and Dawson and Beth's relationships, that Daedalus was still in control, and made things fall in place so Evie and Luc would meet, and eventually form a relationship, takes even more power away from Luc.
Grayson is a bit of an oddity to me. He didn't seem so hateful to Evie in the first book, but he is pretty aggressive in this one. Obviously he must not truly hate her. Luc wouldn't keep him around if that were the case. I do wonder what is going on there. Kent was such a lovable, fun character, and his death is a bummer. He was a great fit with Luc, with the same sarcastic sense of humor. The character I was surprised, yet not surprised with, is Sylvia Dasher. I mean, sure, she has a change of heart, actually ends up caring for Evie like a mother would, and knows she will be killed helping Evie escape ... but what the hell is a Luxen doing helping create a serum that will create a species that could wipe out her kind? I hope we are not done learning about her. I would love to know why she worked for Daedalus, knowing all the bad they are doing.
And because you know I am in love, I was so happy that we see Daemon and crew again this book. Almost had a mini heart attack when Evie attacked Daemon. But I gotta say, I love that Daemon, Katy, Dawson, Beth, Ash, Dee and Archer are all together still, and living close enough to be in each others business. I was kind of hoping Katy would have her baby in this book, but alas, we will have to wait till October. Hopefully when Evie is around. :) Speaking of babies ... Ash is definitely an odd little girl. I wonder why she argued that it was Nadia in front of her, and not Evie ... I feel like that is a very important moment that will come up in the next book.
The Burning Shadow was a great book that answered questions from The Darkest Star, but left so many more for the third book. The story itself was original, if a bit inconsistent with other books in the LUX universe, and pacing was a bit of an issue compared to the LUX series. I loved learning more about Luc and Evie, discussing the past, and learning about each other all over again. All in all, I totally recommend this series to you, and I can't wait till October 20th, 2020 for the next book!
***Hey, love the shout out to Buzzfeed Unsolved too! I'm with Evie ... one of my favorite shows :)
Where to Buy:
Paperback (Amazon Canada)
Sylvia - "Just put it in your mouth already."
Luc: "Well. Now I feel super uncomfortable."
April: "Hey, Evie! Want to join us?"
Evie gives April the middle finger while walking to her class.
April: "That's not nice. You shouldn't treat friends like that, but I'll forgive you. Because I'm nice like that."
Evie: "We're not friends, April. Not anymore."
April: "How are we not friends?"
Evie: "Are you serious right now?"
April: "Do I look like I'm joking?"
Evie: "You look like a bigot who's pulled her hair back a little too tightly. I've tried talking to you about the the horrible stuff you're saying and doing, but that was like talking to a brick wall. I don't know what's happened to you, April, who didn't hug you enough as a child, but whatever it is, it's no excuse for this crap."
Plus, almost dying made me realize how pointless grudges were while driving home the whole you-never-know-if-you'll-have-a-tomorrow kind of thing. Unless holding a grudge involved April. With her, I was going to cuddle and feed and water that grudge. - Evie
Evie: "Are you ET?"
Luc: "I'm way hotter than ET."
Evie: "That's not saying much, you realize that, right? ET is like this lumpy thing made from Play-Doh."
There was just this expectation that there could be more, there could be everything if I'd just reach out and take it. I wanted to reach, but I ... I was afraid. Afraid of Luc realizing what I feared I already knew. That he was in love with a girl who no longer existed, and ultimately, wouldn't he be disappointed? I was terrified of letting myself feel those kinds of emotions that could lead to a broken heart. Scared that I would always be second best, or worse yet, a cheap imitation of the real thing. Did Luc even see me when he stared into my eyes, or did he see the ghost of Nadia and didn't realize it yet? I wasn't sure if he even knew what he wanted, if he really wanted this with me, whoever I was. - Evie
Evie: "I want to take your picture. And I know that sounds creepy-"
Luc: "That sounds hot."
Luc: "I'm that special. Like a snowflake, unique and pure."
Daemon: "Which is why I'm lingering up here. I'm too lazy to put the contacts in."
Luc: "Or too afraid. You should've seen him the first time he did it. I thought he was going to vomit."
Evie: "I can't stand the idea of contacts, either. The whole sticking my finger in my eye - no thank you."
Luc: "That's because you're not supposed to stick your finger in your eye, Peaches."
I immediately pictured Daemon snuggling an infant, and my ovaries might have exploded a little. - Evie
Daemon: "The way he reacted to us seeing you, to us learning you existed, I knew right then and there, Luc and I had something in common."
Evie: "What? Mind-numbing good looks?"
Daemon: "Well, we do have that in common, but that's not what I was thinking. Can I give you some unasked-for advice?"
Daemon: "Luc and I would do anything to protect the people we love. I would beg, plead, barter and kill to protect Kat. Nothing in this world would stop me, and there's nothing that I wouldn't do - and it's the same for Luc when it comes to you."
Evie: "If Luc was the mastermind behind you all getting captured by the Daedalus and for people dying, then how are you friends with him?"
Daemon: "Friends with Luc? I think you mean, how can I look past the fact that he almost got Kat and me killed? Easy. Because I would do the same thing if those shoes were on my feet."
Daemon: "Damn straight. If it were Kat who was dying and there were a chance I could save her, I'd throw everyone in this building under the bus, including you. Luc and I have an understanding."
Daemon: "Kat has disappeared on me before. Nothing like what happened to you and Luc, but time apart doesn't make that kind of love lessen. Just makes you more protective of it and makes you willing to do things others won't to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. And here is where my unsolicited advice comes into play. Whether you believe Luc is still in love with you used to be or who you are now, it doesn't matter. He will do anything to make sure you're healthy and whole, and that means you need to be careful."
Evie: "Why would I need to be careful?"
Daemon: "People like Luc and me? We aren't the bad guys, Evie, but we aren't the good guys, either. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Evie: "Not really."
Daemon: "You have power over him and his actions, and because you don't even realize it, that makes him dangerous."
Evie: "I don't see how I have any power over him, how that would make him dangerous, or how what he does or doesn't do is my responsibility."
Daemon: "I'm not saying it's your responsibility. It's not. What Luc does is all on him. What I'm saying is you need to be aware of what he's capable of."
Evie: "I'm aware. I've seen it firsthand."
Daemon: "You've seen a little of what he's capable of. So have I, and I like to think I'm a badass. My legion of fans would agree. But he could take this whole block down with a snap of his fingers."
Evie: "I don't know how she doesn't lose her mind and flip a table."
Daemon: "You've met me, right? She's had twenty-two years of practice dealing with someone who continuously interrupts her."
Evie: "You must've prepared her well."
Daemon: "Looks like it."
Evie: "Luc, it's a ... It's a rock, Luc."
Luc: "His name is Diesel. Don't judge him for the shape and form that he comes in."
Evie: "Was he attacked by Voldemort?"
Luc: "Maybe. He's lived a very interesting life."
Evie: "You made me leave school early because you had a rock for me."
Luc: "Now, Peaches, he's a pet rock, and I didn't make you do anything. And where was I supposed to keep him while I waited for you to get out of class? The trip to school already scared him since I was moving so fast."
Evie: "I don't even know what to say right now. Thanks?"
Luc: "You're so very welcome."
Evie: "What did I say to you? After I kissed you?"
Luc: "You said, 'Don't forget this.' How ironic is that? Like I would ever be able to forget what it felt like for your lips to touch mine. Like I could ever forget you."
Evie: "It was me who forgot. I'm sorry."
Luc: "For what?"
Evie: "I don't know. For all of this? Because it seems easier to not have these memories.
Luc: "No. Not at all. I cherish every single memory I have of us. Even the sad ones. I wouldn't trade a second of them for anything, because I had my memories, and you had a second chance. You lived."
Evie: "And you lost me. I lost you."
Luc: "Did we lose each other? You and I are here right now, aren't we? Somehow, you found me, and I'm not someone who believes in happenstance. I don't think it was a fluke that you walked into Foretoken with Heidi. I think it was something that was bound to happen and I ..."
Luc: "I was just waiting."
Evie: "Just so everyone is on the same page, if anyone throws a chair leg at the head of someone I care about and I can intervene, I'm going to intervene. I'm not just going to stand there."
Evie: "Except for you. I'm going to let it hit you in the head because you have a thick skull."
Luc: "I'm okay with that."
Luc: "Are you a magician?"
Luc: "Because when I look at you, everything else disappears."
Evie: "Oh my God."
Luc: "Someone needs to call the cops. Because it's got to be illegal to look as hot as I do - wait. I meant you. Got to be illegal to look as beautiful as you do."
Evie: "You're a dork."
Luc: "Got an even better one. Was your father an alien?"
Evie: "I don't want to see where your going with this."
Luc: "Because there's nothing like you on earth."
Evie: "Please stop,"
Luc: "Never. You must be a broom, because you've swept me off my feet."
Evie: "You're a cornball of epic cornball proportions."
Luc: "But you miss me when I'm not here. I miss you when you're not here, Peaches."
Evie: "I miss you."
Those eyes. The violet color was startling, no matter how many times I saw them. He was -
Luc: "Extraordinarily handsome? So much so that you find yourself wondering how such a perfect specimen could be sitting in front of you?"
My jaw unhinged as heat infused my cheeks.
Luc: "So hot that you almost can't believe I'm real? I know. I have a hard time believing I'm real, too.
Evie: "I was not snuggled against you."
Luc: "You were wrapped around me like an octopus."
Evie: "I'm going to throw this hamburger in your face."
Luc: "Please aim for my mouth."
Luc: "Hand to God, I'm telling you the truth, my sexy little Big Bird."
Evie: "For the third time, I'm not dressed up as Big Bird! I'm a minion."
Luc: "You're a sexy minion."
Luc: "The first Halloween, you dressed up as Princess Leia, and I went as Han Solo."
Evie: "For real?"
Luc: "Yep. Except you demanded to have a light saber."
Evie: "Leia should've been a trained Jedi. Fight me."
Luc: "That's not a fight I will win."
Wait. Was I planning to get involved with Luc? Well, I'd just told him I was trying to figure out what we were, and that was the truth. Maybe I hadn't realized that until this very moment. Plus, a couple of minutes ago, I'd been willing to wrap myself around him like a horny octopus, so ...
Luc slowly turned his head and looked over his shoulder at me, his eyebrows raised as he mouthed, Horny octopus?
Oh my God! - Evie
Kent: "I think she might be a zombie. Get ready. Head shot, guys. Head. Shot."
Kent: "I've seen this in movies. I'm telling you, if she gets up after that, this is some kind of zombie thing, and she's going to be fast and she's going to eat my face, because I'm the cutest, and the cutest always get their faces eaten off first."
Luc: "She's not his daughter. She's had nothing to do with them, man. You need to calm down or I'll have to make you calm down. You feel me? I'm hoping you do, because I really don't want to make Bethany a widow and little Ash fatherless."
Evie: "Luc! Jesus. That's a bit much."
Evie: "You don't trust her at all, do you?"
Luc: "Not even remotely. I wouldn't trust her with a lab mouse. I wouldn't even trust her with Diesel."
Evie: "Diesel is a damn rock!"
Evie: "You're being ridiculous."
Luc: "I'm being smart. You should try it."
Evie: I am! And maybe you should try not being a demeaning asshole."
Luc: "I'm not being-"
Evie: "Think really hard before you finish that statement, because you just said I was being stupid."
Luc: "You're right. That was wrong. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, and acknowledging that doesn't change who she is. You might have forgotten that she lied to you and what she took from you, but I haven't."
Evie: "You lied to me, too, Luc, or are you conveniently forgetting that?"
Luc: "I haven't forgotten anything. She took the life you knew from you."
Evie: "You took it from me, too. You cannot put it all on her. You made the choice to give me to them. You-"
Luc: "How in the hell can you say that? I didn't give you to them, Evie. Do I need to remind you of that? I did the only thing I could do to save your life. You were dying, and that bastard Jason Dasher had a cure. It was Sylvia who demanded that I stay away from you afterward. That was a deal she forced me to make, because if I didn't agree, you would've died. I didn't abandon you. It killed me to walk away."
Evie: "I like him, Heidi."
Heidi: "I know."
Evie: "Things with him are complicated. I like him. I can feel it in here. I like Luc and his stupid shirts and his really dumb pickup lines, Heidi. They're so bad, you have no idea. And I like the way he looks at me like- He looks at me like you look at Emery. And I like the way he makes me feel special. I like that he's funny and that he's super smart. I even like how ... unrepentant he c an be, even though that's wrong. I don't even care. I know that I like Luc, and now he's mad at me."
Heidi: "That's all good, Evie. Not the Luc being mad at you part, but everything else."
Evie: "I know I like him for who he is, but he likes me for who I was."
Evie: "This would stop an Arum? I was picturing something ... bigger and thicker."
Luc: "That's what she said."
Luc: "I mean, you kind of set that one up perfectly."
Luc: "I saw this nearly four years ago. It had only been a few months, maybe four, since ... since you'd become Evie. I'd never seen you in a dress before then. I thought ... you were so pretty."
Evie: "I'm not sleepy. Are you?"
Luc: "Not even remotely at the moment."
Luc: "There isn't a tiny part of you that's actually sorry."
Luc: "I want you so badly it hurts to breathe sometimes. There is nothing I want more than to lose every part of me in you. Nothing. And yeah, that's not an exaggeration. Screw world peace and fucking harmony for all species on this planet. You are all I've wanted for what has felt like forever. If I give you what you want, there's no going back. Are you ready for that? Because I've already waited forever for this - for you. I've done nothing but watch and wait, and I am not walking away again. If I kiss you, if I touch you again, I will not be able to go back to the way things are now. I won't be able to pretend that you aren't my everything. That you'll always have me. That you'll always be mine. Are you ready for that? Because it's intense, I know. I'm a lot to deal with. You think I'm a handful now? You haven't seen anything yet, Peaches. I'm needy when it comes to affection - your affection - and I've been starving for it. So, tell me, please, did you really have a moment of clarity, Evie, or is this just a moment of need born out of a desire to distract yourself?"
Evie: "I want you to kiss me."
Luc: "Is that all you wanted?"
Luc: "What else?"
Evie: "What? I want to tou-"
Luc: "God. Don't finish that sentence. You're killing me."
Evie: "I don't have to finish the sentence. Just let me finish what I want to do."
Luc: "You have no idea how much I would love to let you finish me."
Luc: "Please don't thank me for that. I know it was amazing. I could tell. I watched you the whole time. But it was my pleasure."
Evie: "Wow, Luc. I was going to say that was something special."
Luc: "Oh, yeah, that too."
Luc: "I like it when you order me around. Especially last night when you were like, 'kiss-'"
Evie: "Get in the car, Luc."
Luc: "Yes, ma'am."
Luc: "Bloodthirty. I like it."
Evie: "Luc's been shot."
Grayson: "So? Wouldn't be the first time."
Evie: "He's been shot multiple times in the chest, you asshole!"
Grayson: "You should've said that first."
Evie: "Luc's been shot. Like, three times."
Zoe: "I can see. Can't believe you let yourself get shot. Again."
Luc: "You guys are so sympathetic."
Evie: "Why do you all keep acting like this happens often. *turns to Luc* Does this happen often? Do you get shot a lot? *turns to Zoe* Does he get shot a lot?"
Luc: "Don't answer that."
Clyde: "I'm going to do my first autopsy."
Kent: "In the kitchen? Where I make myself fritas in the morning?"
Clyde: "Well, yeah, I mean, it's the perfect place."
Kent: "No. It's the exact opposite of the perfect place.
Clyde: "It's a clean, flat surface that offers privacy and many bowls."
Kent: "I do not want to know what you plan to put in the bowls I use for my salad and cereal!"
Emery: "Why are we doing an autopsy? I mean, is it really going to tell us what she is?"
Clyde: "I want to see what her insides look like."
Evie: "I'm pretty sure that's the first statement every serial killer makes when caught."
Luc: "Careful. I am not in the mood to explain how unwise it would be for you to irritate me right now."
Evie: "Whatever. I'm not talking to you."
Luc: "Actually, you are talking to me."
Evie gives him the middle finger.
Evie: "Talk to that."
Luc: "That's really mature."
Evie gives him the middle finger with her other hand.
Evie: "Two-for-one special."
Evie: "You told me that you weren't going to leave me. Not ever again."
Luc: "And I haven't."
Evie: "But you have. Mentally and emotionally, you've totally left me, and I don't get what you want from me. You say that there can only b e me. Like I am the one-"
Luc: "You are. You are the one for me; you've always been. We were made for each other."
Luc: "I should've known."
Luc: "I should've known when I saw Diesel. I should've known then that you loved me."
Luc: "I needed your help. All of you. I don't ask for that often. I've never asked, to be honest."
Daemon: "And that's why we're here. Plus, Kat is excited that she's going to get to see you."
Luc: "It will be cool to spend some time with her. Can't say the same about you."
Daemon: "And here I thought you loved hanging out with me."
Luc: "I'd rather watch C-SPAN than hang out with you. Not you, Dawson. I like hanging out with you."
Archer: "What about me?"
Luc: "I can't even look at Olive Garden because of you, and I loved their stuffed mushrooms, so no, I'm not happy to see you."
Kent: "Just so everyone knows, your eyes are really starting to freak me out, Evie Beanie."
Evie: "Sorry? I honestly have no control over it. I have no idea why they're like this."
Luc: "Oh no. Not you. You're staying out here with me for a moment."
Zoe hesitates, worried about Luc.
Evie: "It's okay. He''s just going to yell at me-"
Luc: "Damn straight."
Evie: "And I'm not going to kill him."
Zoe: "You sure?"
Evie: "Yes. I'm sure."
Luc: "You have 205 bones I can break, and you have a lot of tissues that I can liquefy with a touch. So you wanna try answering that question again?"
Daemon: "I'm kind of hoping he doesn't answer. I have some pent-up aggression I would love to really work out."
Dawson: "What is it with the Greek names?"
Luc: "I'm literally in the worst possible mood you could ever imagine right now."
Daemon: "So? I'm in a bad mood, too. In case you forgot, your girlfriend just tried to kill me after you tried to kill me. And I just learned that the organization responsible for every one of Kat's nightmares is still functioning."
Luc: "I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have stopped Evie."
Daemon: "Nice. That's really helping with my mood."
Luc: "Are you sure you aren't having twins?"
Kat: "Good God, don't say that, Luc. Not exactly prepared for a two-for-one special."
Luc: "I'm sure Daemon is."
Daemon: "Actually ... The mere idea gives me a series of heart attacks."
Luc: "Man up, Daemon; you could be getting ready to have triplets."
Daemon: "I'm so glad I came to get you. So glad."
Zoe: "That should be illegal, shouldn't it? A guy that hot holding a kid."
Beth: "Okay. It is way past your bedtime. I let you stay up to see your daddy, but it's time for you to snuggle in with the bedbugs."
Ash: "Bedtimes are stupid. And I don't want to snuggle with bugs."
Dee: "She can read thoughts. But Ash is ... very different. Sometimes creepy, but in an adorable way."
Evie: "That explains why she loves Uncle Luc."
Kat: "Come on, I'm sure you guys are hungry and exhausted. I can show you the house we have ready."
Dee: "I'll do it. Daemon, get back to bed before she gives birth in front of us and traumatizes everyone."
Kat turned to Dee slowly.
Dee: "Just looking out for you."
Kat: "Uh huh."
Daemon: "Perfect. I want to get Kat in bed."
Dee: "No one wants to know that. TMI."
Luc: "You asked what we do next? We find the people responsible for this, and then we burn down their entire world. Nothing will stop us."
Check out the rest of the Origin series below!
#friendstolovers #secretidentity #alien #touchheranddie #trauma #secondchance #loveatfirstsight #firstlove