Onyx was in many ways better than it's predecessor Obisidian. It took one of the bothersome aspects and made it useful as a plot device. Katy's trust issues with Daemon were honest and relateable. I believed she couldn't accept Daemon's claims that he was attracted to her. She was very hurt and angry from some of the things he had done. Nothing was swept under the carpet or as they might say in a TV show forum "retconned" into not happening.
Onxy took some of the cliches of Katy's favourite ya, paranormal and romance fiction and played around with it. Daemon was still too overprotective but it worked when Katy did stupid things and made mistakes. She did not wish to be a liability but stand as an equal. I applaud the use of the most cringe-worthy aspects of the last book being used to make the characters grow. No one veered into Mary-Sue terrority by being perfect. Katy made several realisations about her own character flaws that were believable from someone as well read as she was. I hate it when a supposed book nerd [read Bella Swann] never actually opens a book or doesn't jump to the right conclusions that are obvious in fiction.
The love triangle was not as it appeared on the surface either.
Katy describes the new guy Blake as safe which he was anything but. Blake's moments of recklessness were shown in glimpses but in a realistic way. Such as a pervert takes one or two steps forward then backtracks into gaslighting the victim. "I was only kidding."
She did the same thing in the previous book and chose to ignore her gut feelings. I'm personally more paranoid and trust my gut feelings, but we all have to learn to be mistrustful of everyone from somewhere right?
Katy wanted so badly to be as powerful and useful as her friends because of the events in the last book that she talked herself into trusting him. After her attempted date rapist, Simon, goes missing who can blame her from not wanting to tell Daemon some of the things Blake does? I didn't buy Blake as a viable love interest but I don't think we were meant to.
Onyx still had a few cliches thrown in but they were there as a homage to the genre. Katy bemoaned instalove for an example or the creepy mom's new boyfriend reminded me of the episode "Ted" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Buffy - I mean, so far all I see is someone who apparently has a good job, seems nice and polite and my mother really likes him.
Xander - What kind of a monster is he?
Buffy - I'm just saying, there's something a little too clean about this clown.
Willow - He's a clean clown! I have my own fun.
The mother dating a bad guy is the new evil step-mother. Buffy's mom, Scott's mom on Teen Wolf and now this book. There are probably countless others. I think it fits in with this series to use some aforementioned tropes.
Onyx was a delightful and entertaining read without creeping me out this time. I enjoyed Obisidian as I would any regular trash read or soap opera, but this one didn't leave me feeling guilty for enjoying it. It fits right there in the ranks of shows like Roswell or The Facualty in good clean fun.