Thursday, May 30, 2019

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed...


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I was so, so excited when I stumbled across Storm and Fury by JLA. I've really enjoyed her books in the past, and this one was no different. However, after reflecting on the story and my feelings, my initial rating of four stars dropped down to a three. I don't do half-star ratings, but if I did, this one would be a solid 3.5. 

Okay, so to start... the dry-humping. I don't like it when a character is overly concerned with someone's virginity. Trinity mentions that it wouldn't have been a big deal, because she'd assumed Zayne had been with other people before, but she liked him more when she discovered he was still unfucked. I don't think that should matter, if you really want to be with someone. It's fine when people want to be handsy and take things slow, but they had no intention of taking things slow. They simply wanted to swim without diving into the deep end. Really, that's fine, but it was weird to read about. Honestly, at one point I thought they'd decided to just go ahead and do it, but no, it was just excessive grinding in all the right places. I think it would have been more realistic for them to just boink.

Secondly, Trinity is a really confident character, but she puts herself down a lot. She thinks she looks like a bug being squeezed whenever she's surprised and her eyes get large (something that's mentioned more than once). She claims her friend looks like a goddess while she looks like a dirty dryad, and it was frustrating to read about. I wish she'd been happier with herself and her appearance. 

Thirdly, there's a lot of repeated information, but that could change before this is published. Trinity would look at the stars and claim she could only see four, but then she would close one eye and see three (she does this a few times). Also, Trinity is 18 and Zayne is in his twenties, but the language didn't reflect that. 

A few examples:
  1. "That was utter crazy pants with a side of dangerous sauce."
  2. "...that flipped my bitch switch into power on like a mofo mode."
  3. "Holy crap on a cracker the size of Texas..."
Additionally, Trinity's blood is supposed to attract demons, and the clan has gone to great lengths to make sure that doesn't happen. However, she's an adult female, so she's going to have a monthly period. What do they do then? It's not like they can stop that from happening. No one mentioned monthly demon attacks, and very few people know what she is, so I'm assuming that detail was overlooked. But then... "I bit down on my lip until I tasted blood..." Why would she do that knowing it would bring a horde of crazy demons to her location? At least, that's what I assumed would happen since her blood has been such a big issue from the start (nothing actually happened). Yes, she could have been on birth control, but that wasn't mentioned, and swallowing the blood from her lip may have negated the effects, but it wasn't clarified. 

Everything surrounding Misha was anticlimactic. I was expecting something... more from the story. It's hard to elaborate on without being spoilery, but I was disappointed with how certain issues where resolved. 

Gargoyles! Storm and Fury is about gargoyles! Did anyone else watch that 80's cartoon? I really liked JLA's spin on them, and how they were actually living creatures made to fight demons. The angels and demons trope isn't usually my thing, but this was mostly about gargoyles and demons with a dash of angels. Of course, all of the gargoyles are sinfully attractive, but it was interesting that they could shift forms whenever they wanted to. I think they all had red hair, but I don't know if that was intentional. Wait... maybe Zayne was blond... hmm.

The book mainly focuses on Trinity, and there aren't any secondary characters worth mentioning, besides Zayne the love interest and Misha the best friend. I wish Zayne had been more honest with his feelings and whatnot from the start, but he isn't, which causes a lot of unnecessary drama between the two. I did like him as a character, and thought he had an interesting backstory, but wish that had been elaborated on. 

Roth was awesome, and I loved his familiars, but he's just there in the background to help the story along. Someone else mentioned that he was in another series, but I haven't read it. Maybe I would have felt differently if I had?

I'm curious what's out there killing both Wardens (the gargoyles) and demons, and what role Trinity is supposed to play. She and Zayne have a complicated relationship, which only gets worse as the story progresses. I hate that they fought their feelings the entire book, briefly gave in to what appeared to be a glorious grinding session, and then went back to not touching one another (because of his perceived feelings and the fact that it's maybe forbidden). 

It was an enjoyable read overall, and I read it in a single day, but it was also ugh. I was so frustrated with the characters and how they handled their feelings, but also with how disappointing the ending was. At the end JLA mentions that she shares the same degenerative eye disease that Trinity has. It was interesting to read about something the author similarly struggles with. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to have limited eyesight, and to know that one day you might lose it altogether. 

Storm and Fury wasn't the epic adventure I was expecting, but I did have a lot of fun with the story.


  1. "just boink" lol

    Her books are always iffy for me.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. It's essentially what they did anyways. Neither of them were against sex, but they decided against it for reasons that weren't explained. I've really enjoyed some of her books in the past, but I'm starting to lose interest. I'm reading Unchained right now, and it's also about Nephilim, but ugh. We've talked about this... when a female character says no, but the guy keeps going anyways, and then she's okay with it because she secretly likes it.

  2. I definitely think you would have liked this one better if you had read the previous ones. It explains a lot more about the demons and the gargoyles and would probably make Trinity's role more clear for you as well. Glad you still liked it even if you were frustrated at times.

    1. I don't know... my issues stemmed from a lot of things that were wholly dependent on this book. The withholding of feelings, how Trinity felt about herself, the repetitive nature of the story, etc. I think I may have had a better understanding of the world and what was happening, but I thought all of that was decently explained. I understood what her role was, and why she was needed, if not the specific details. Despite my negative comments, I did enjoy it overall. :)

  3. I don't like it when characters are all down on themselves.

    1. I like for them to be confident and happy with how they look. I understand that's not always realistic, but it's obnoxious when they're constantly putting themselves down.

  4. Sorry this one didn't work better for you! I wonder if you would have felt any differently had you read the original series? I loved the Dark Elements trilogy and thought Storm and Fury was a great start to the spin-off series. I don't know if knowing Zayne's history with Layla helped but I could appreciate the tension there and how it affected things between him and Trinity. Speaking of Trinity, I didn't really pick up on her putting herself down and it wasn't something that registered with me. Having been firmly Team Roth throughout the original series, I loved the scenes with him. And Layla and Cayman and Bambi. Gave me all the happy feels. Mostly I just thought the book was a totally good time. Sorry it missed on a lot of fronts for you! :(

    1. It's okay! I don't think it would have made a difference since I had some pretty big issues with this one. For example, the way Trinity talked in this book had nothing to do with the previous series. Also, the inconsistencies were in this book, and they also didn't reflect a previous series. I don't know... maybe I would have enjoyed it more since she revisits characters people are familiar with, but I also believe books should be able to stand on their own.

      The tension with Zayne and Layla could have been avoided if he'd just been more honest with Trinity from the start. If he still had feelings for someone, even if they weren't reciprocated, he should have shared that before things became serious. She talked about looking like a bug a lot, and she compared herself to that other girl... her best friend? I cannot think of her name at the moment, haha. She was with Ty? Jada?

      I'm so happy this book was a good time for you! I would really love to read a series with Roth, because he sounds like a hilarious character. :)

  5. As the leading female character is only 18yrs old, I would have skipped this book anyway. The points that you make would have driven me bat-shit crazy and it's the sort of thing that I find a lot when I read books about younger main characters.

    Thanks for posting such an honest review, you've saved me time and money. x

    1. See... I like books with older characters, because they're supposed to be smarter and less angsty. That wasn't the case with this one! I like stories that can be classified as NA, because they are typically more mature than YA, but with less sex. ;) I don't mind books with sex, and sometimes search them out, but sometimes I want something that feels more college-aged.


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