Exclusive: Jennifer L. Armentrout Reveals the Cover of 'The Burning Shadow'

Posted by Marie on February 21, 2019
Jennifer L. Armentrout is the author of the New York Times-bestselling series Lux. Although the beloved YA sci-fi quintet is complete, Armentrout both revisits and expands her popular universe in a new series called Origin. Here she answers all our questions about Origin's second installment, The Burning Shadow, and shares an exclusive look at both the cover and excerpt.

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Goodreads: What do you love most about the cover?

Jennifer L. Armentrout: I really like the color. It's such a vibrant, fresh shade that immediately catches your eye.

GR: How is your Origin series related to your Lux series? Do you recommend reading these books in order?

JLA: Well, the Origin series takes place in the same world of the Lux series and readers will recognize familiar characters, including Daemon and his siblings, Dawson and Dee, Kat and Archer. But you do not have to read the Lux series to start The Darkest Star. The Origin series does stand on its own, but a lot of new readers have gone back and read the Lux series.

GR: How did it feel to return to the Lux universe?

JLA: It's extremely exciting and a little daunting whenever you return to a world readers are familiar with and have certain expectations or perceptions of, especially since so many Lux readers really connected with Daemon and Kat.

Sometimes it can be hard to introduce the new stars of the story, but I hope readers enjoy the glimpses into what Daemon, Kat, and crew are up to now. It's also like visiting friends or family you haven't seen in a while, so it's great to go back and expand on the world.

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GR: What can fans expect from The Burning Shadow?

JLA: Readers can expect a whole lot of answers to some of the questions that were raised in The Darkest Star, like what was done to Evie when her life was saved, what the government and President are really up to, and more really cheesy Luc pickup lines.

Readers will also see a lot more of Evie and Luc attempting to work out who they used to be and who they are now. The Burning Shadow is definitely not as light as The Darkest Star, so readers can also expect tears—tears of happiness and sorrow. Everything changes in The Burning Shadow for everyone.

Excerpt from The Burning Shadow

GR: What can you tell us about the following excerpt from The Burning Shadow?

JLA: This excerpt is from Chapter One of The Burning Shadow and takes place immediately after the end of The Darkest Star. It's written from Evie's point of view, and what you'll see is the internal and external conflicts surrounding Luc, Evie, and her mother as the three of them try to come to terms with their past while accepting people they don't necessarily trust are going to be a part of their future. A grilled cheese also makes an appearance, so you know Luc will be somewhat happy.

[Editor's Note: If you haven't finished The Darkest Star, please be aware that there are spoilers ahead.]

"Just put it in your mouth already."

Blinking rapidly, I lifted my gaze from the steaming bowl of tomato soup to where my mom stood.

That was a string of words I sort of never wanted to hear come out of her mouth ever again.

Her blonde hair was smoothed back into a short, neat ponytail and her white blouse was impressively wrinkle free. She wasn't so much staring as she was glaring from where she stood on the other side of the island.

"Well," came the deep voice from beside me. "Now I feel super uncomfortable."

The woman I'd believed to be my birth mother up until a few days ago appeared remarkably calm despite the fact that the dining room was still in shambles from the epic death match that had taken place less than twenty-four hours ago. This woman did not tolerate disorganization of any kind. However, the taut corners of her lips told me she was seconds from becoming Colonel Sylvia Dasher and it had nothing to do with the broken dining table or the shattered window upstairs.

"You wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup," she said, punctuating each food item as if they were a newly discovered disease. "I made it for you, and all you've done is sit and stare at them."

That was true.

"I was thinking." There was an elaborate pause. "That getting you to make me grilled cheese and tomato soup was too easy."

She smiled tightly, but it didn’t reach her eyes—eyes that were brown only because she wore specially designed contacts that blocked the Retinal Alien Check—RAC—drones. Her real eyes were a vibrant blue. I'd only seen them once. "Are you worried that the soup is poisoned?"

My eyes widened as I lowered the perfectly toasted, buttered bread and melted cheesy goodness to my plate.

"Now that you mention it, I'm worried there’s arsenic or maybe some random, leftover Daedalus serum in it. I mean, I feel like you can never be too sure."

Slowly, I looked at the boy sitting next to me on a stool. Boy wasn't exactly the right word to use to describe him. Neither was human. He was an Origin, something other than Luxen and human.


Three letters, no last name, and pronounced like 'Luke,' he was an utter enigma to me, and he was…well, he was special and he knew it.

"Your food is not poisoned," I told him, inhaling deeply as I tried to interject some common sense into this rapidly deteriorating conversation. The nearby candle, one that reminded me of pumpkin spice, almost overwhelmed his unique, outdoorsy scent that reminded of pine needles and fresh air.

"I don't know about that, Peaches." Luc’s full lips curved into a half smile. Lips that I had recently become well-familiar with. Lips that were as completely distracting as the rest of him. "I think Sylvia would love nothing more than to get rid of me."

"Is it that obvious?" she replied, her thin, fake smile narrowing even further. "I always thought I had a rather good poker face."

"I doubt you could ever successfully hide your rampant dislike of me." Luc leaned back, crossing his arms over his broad chest. "I mean, the first time I came here, all those years ago, you pointed a pistol at me, and the last time I came here, you threatened me with a shotgun. So, I think you've made it pretty clear."

"We could always go for a third time," she snapped, her fingers splaying across the cool granite. "Third time's a charm, right?"

Luc's chin dipped and those thick lashes lowered, shielding astonishingly jewel-tone eyes. Amethyst. The color wasn’t the only thing that gave away the fact that he was rocking more than homosapien DNA. The fuzzy black line surrounding his irises was also a good indication that there was only a little bit of human in him. "There won't be a third time, Sylvia."

Oh dear.

Things were…well, awkward between her and Luc.

They had a messy history that had everything to do with who I used to be, but I'd thought the whole grilled cheese and tomato soup thing was her waving a white flag—a weird offering of truce, but an offering nonetheless. Obviously, I'd been wrong. From the moment Luc and I had walked into the kitchen, things had gone downhill fast between the two of them.

"I wouldn't be too sure of that," she remarked, picking up a dishcloth. "You know what they say about the arrogant man."

"No, I don't." Luc dropped his elbow to the island and plopped his chin onto his fist. "But please enlighten me."

"An arrogant man will still feel immortal." She lifted her gaze, meeting his. "Even on his deathbed."

"Okay," I jumped in when I saw Luc's head tilt to the side. "Can you two stop trying to out-snark one another so we can eat our sandwiches and soup like normal human beings? That would be great."

"But we're not normal human beings." Luc sent me a long side look. "And I cannot be out-snarked, Peaches."

I rolled my eyes. "You know what I mean."

"He's right, though." She scrubbed at a spot on the island only she could see. "None of this is normal. It's not going to be."

Frowning at her, I had to admit she had a point. Nothing was the same from the moment Luc entered—actually, reentered—my life. Everything had changed. My entire world had imploded the moment I realized just about everything about me was a total lie. "But I need normal right now. Like really, badly need normal right now."

Luc's jaw clamped shut as he returned to staring at his sandwich, his shoulders unnaturally tense.

"There's only one way you’re going to get normal back in your life, honey," she said, and I flinched at the endearment. It was something she always called me. Honey. But now knowing she’d only been in my life these last four years made the simple, sweet word seem…wrong. Unreal, even. "You want normal? Cut this one out of your life."

I dropped my sandwich, shocked that she would say that, not just in front of Luc, but that she would say that in general.

Luc's head shot up. "You already took her from me once. That’s not going to happen again."

"I didn't take her from you," she shot back. "I saved her."

"And for what, Colonel Dasher?" Luc’s smile was razor sharp. "To give yourself the daughter you lost? To have something you knew you could hold over my head?"

My heart squeezed painfully in my chest. "Luc—"

The dishcloth wrinkled under Mom’s fingers as her hand balled into a fist. "You think you know everything—"

"I know enough." His voice was too soft, too even. "And it's best you don't forget that."

The Burning Shadow will be available on October 8, 2019. Don’t forget to add it to your Want to Read shelf!

Comments Showing 1-50 of 88 (88 new)

message 1: by kelly (new)

kelly {BookCrushin} so excited to read that excerpt!

message 2: by Emmyjo (new)

Emmyjo Omg I can't wait for this book.

message 3: by Lyndi (new)

Lyndi Ayer Oh man, is it October now? 😏

message 4: by Ahana M Rao (new)

Ahana M Rao (Heart’s Content) Oh. My. GODDDDDDD.

message 5: by Vivian (new)

Vivian I need this book!

message 6: by emily knitter (new)

emily knitter I can't wait for the book

Poulett | Book Lovers Always OMG! I need it now!

message 8: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Can't wait!

message 9: by Jean (new)

Jean Boyd Such a good story, roll on October!! Can't wait for more

message 10: by Yasamin (new)

Yasamin omg..... my is made thanks to this!

message 11: by Kayleigh (new)

Kayleigh L can't believe we actually get another one in august

message 12: by Mortisha (new)

Mortisha Cassavetes I can't wait to read it! So excited!

message 13: by Shakara (new)

Shakara Ahhhhhh, why is october so far away from now?😥😭😂

message 14: by Davina (new)

Davina Herondale MY! BOY! LUC! loml right there😍😍

message 15: by Anna Lynn (new)

Anna Lynn Portwood ITS NOT ENOUGH!!!! NEVER ENOUGH! lol. I love Luc!

message 16: by Alexandria (new)

Alexandria  St Delphi That was...intense. And totally not enough to satiate my hunger for Luc and Evie

message 17: by Are (new)

Are Toloza Y quiero leer estás historias. Super amo la serie Lux

message 18: by Kayla (new)

Kayla Perfect start to the day! Loving the sass. Can't wait.

message 19: by Georgia (new)

Georgia Evans Love it! I’ll suffer through until October. Somehow. Thank you for this honor.

message 20: by 3moopydelfy (new)

3moopydelfy Love it.

Kat valentine ( Katsbookcornerreads) Sounds awesome!!! Can't wait to read shared on FB and twitter!!💖😉

message 22: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Can't wait for more of Luc and Evie.

message 23: by Geo (new)

Geo Marcovici OMG!!! I love it! It is just awsome!

message 24: by Anna Belle (new)

Anna Belle Can’t wait to read !!!!!

message 25: by Alessia (new)

Alessia Non vedo l'ora che esca

message 26: by Nhavie (new)

Nhavie So excited for this!

READINGISMYHAPPINESS Can’t wait to read it!!

message 28: by wendy (new)

wendy Ok, now that you have my interest peaked.. I am forced to wait until October?!?!
This will be difficult..

message 29: by S (new)

S Knoll Amazing. Can’t wait for the release and the cover is gorgeous.

message 30: by Serenity Dawn (new)

Serenity Dawn (The Story) So excited for The Burning Shadow!!! 😀 🌠🔥🖤🔥🌠

message 31: by Jae (new)

Jae I'm dying to read the whole book. Dont make me wait until October! 🙏

message 32: by Bookeando_ando (new)

Bookeando_ando Wow!! Im so excited!!

message 33: by Valeria (new)

Valeria I need this book!! 😍😍😍

message 34: by Tengku Farina (new)

Tengku Farina Fariman Can’t wait!!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

message 35: by Keiko (new)

Keiko Cam I want it so badly

message 36: by Z (new)

Z Somani I need to read this before I die!!!!!!

message 37: by Lexis (new)

Lexis Wemyss So excited for this to come out! And after reading the excerpt I wish I had the whole book rn!!!!

message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Friend Is it October yet?!

message 39: by Marauder (new)

Marauder Fatima No. Strong Disagreement! I want this book today! Give it to me now, Aunt Jenn!
Or else I'll b knocking at ur front door in coming few days.
(Please, give it to me now!!!!)

message 40: by Sapphire (new)

Sapphire BNHA season 4 is airing in October and The burning shadow is coming out in October, i would love for it to be October right now but sadly my exams start in October T^T definately still going to buy it though!!

message 41: by Sentranced (new)

Sentranced Jem October?! But that's ages away! 😭

message 42: by Emma (new)

Emma It’s painful for the soul to have to wait 7 months and 13 days for this book 🥺😢😍🥰❤️😇

message 43: by Maria (new)

Maria Ancuta I'm so excited...Can't wait this book...I like you Jennifer, i like your book

message 44: by Andieka (new)

Andieka I can’t wait ❤️

message 45: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Gutierrez Wow, I can’t wait to read the book!!! 😍

message 46: by yasemin (new)

yasemin So excited!!!!

message 47: by Donna (new)

Donna Sweeney Unbelievably exciting!!!! I cannot wait x

message 48: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Sooo need to read this!! 😍

message 49: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine I know they say don't wish your life away...But I find myself not being able to control it! Can't wait for The Burning Shadow's release date!!!

message 50: by Luana (new)

Luana I want it now 😭 October has never been so far away

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