Title: Half Blood (Covenant #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: October 18th 2011
Note: I bought this book myself. I was not asked for a review.
I hereby award this book 5 wings!
(and for the love of the Gods, I wish I could award it more)
Firstly, let me address the cover: I am an absolute purple addict, so this cover struck a chord with me. Not only for the colour though. Also, for the sheer beauty in it's simplicity. It has to be one of my favourite covers of 2011.
Now the book itself:
When I discovered this book through other blogger/reviewer friends on Twitter, I had to look it up and see what all the fuss was about. I will admit, I try not to read too many reviews before buying a book. I usually tend to catch one or two higher rated and one lower rated, just to have a comparison; to see what people loved versus what others disliked.
The general consensus of this book was that it has comparisons to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. For some, the comparison was too much and was what they disliked the most. For others, it didn't bother them so much and they could rate the book purely on it's own merits.
Now, I can honestly say that Vampire Academy is a series that's close to my heart. I will always be in love with Dimitri Belikov, my gorgeous Dimka. He was probably my first fictional true love. I adored that series for many reasons, that I am not here to discuss.
Upon picking up Daimon, the prequel to Half-Blood, I couldn't really make the comparison between it and VA. Yet upon picking up Half-Blood itself, I could see similarities. I won't go into exactly what these are. But I will say this: whilst I see where the similarities lie and how they may have bothered some other readers, for me personally it did not impair my enjoyment of Half-Blood based upon it's own merits.
For me, an avid VA lover, I did not have the problems that seemingly plagued other die-hard fans. Whether this is because I know how to compartmentalise and base my opinion of a book solely on it's own merits and others do not, isn't really for me to say.
So, comparisons or no, I picked up thihs book and fell head over heels in love. From the first word I was absolutely hooked. I was glued to the book every spare minute I had.
I love the fluid way in which Jennifer Armentrout writes. I sometimes find that some authors can be stilted in their writing and jump from place to place without much explanation. But Jennifer's writing is beautiful. It really flows into each part well. You never get left feeling like you don't understand where the story is going.
That is not to say that you see the end coming. Far from it actually. There are twists and turns aplenty.
I can honestly sit here now and say, I do not know what to tell you about the story itself. I feel like I could chatter away forever, but that would mean I give the whole plot away. I know I would never be forgiven for that. By you, or by myself. In my reviews, I always endeavour to tell as little of the plot line as possible, yet get across why I personally loved the book. Well in the case of Half-Blood, that could not be a more difficult feat. I want you as the reader to experience the journey that lies within the covers yourself. Then maybe come back to me and we can talk until our hearts are content. But as for right now, I will keep spoilers to a bare minimum and hopefully leave you feeling like you need to read it for yourself so you know why I had this experience from this book.
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
Alexandria is a 17 year old Half-Blood who lives with her mother Rachelle, a Pure. For the last 3 years, they have been cut off from the Covenant. Rachelle took Alex out into the mortal world, never giving her an explanation why.
<Spoilers Not Included>
Now Alex is back at the Covenant and is 3 years behind in her training. Upon her return, she is faced with a dilemma. As a Half, she faces a life of training to become a Guard or indentured servitude. I know which of these I would prefer and so does she.
Alex manages to convince the Dean of the Covenant that she can catch up on all she has missed. Aiden, a Pure, says that he will help train her and get her up to standard. It isn't like a Pure to offer to help a Half in such a way and Alex is shocked at the kindness of his gesture. But Alex doesn't want to train to become a Guard. That is not enough for her. She must become a Sentinel.
So Alex and Aiden begin to train. She must be caught up by the time school starts so that she can attend classes and graduate. It's harder for Alex than maybe she realised. Her body takes a beating and becomes one big bruise.
When Aiden offers to help apply a salve that will help her healing, Alex is shocked at the feelings that stir within her when he applies the salve to the bruises on her back. His fingers gently brush her skin and Alex gets a feeling that if I had been her I would describe it as 'my heart rate speeding up and butterflies in my tummy flying every which way and looking for escape'.
Alex is so shocked at this. Relationships between Halfs and Pures are utterly forbidden. But she's safe there. Aiden doesn't know how she feels and he doesn't feel the same. Does he?
There is one quote within this book, or at least one in particular, that made me melt.
"Alex?" I turned around, figuring he'd changed his mind and was going to order me to see Marcus in the morning and fess up to my bad behaviour. "Yeah ?" He brushed a lock of dark hair off his forehead and flashed that lopsided smile. "I remember you" I scrunched up my face. "What?" The grin increased to a full smile. And... oh, man. He had dimples. The air in my lungs died. "I remember you, too"
I can honestly say, by the end of this book, I was head over heels in love with Aiden. Also, I had a girl crush on Alex. She's feisty, sassy and kick-ass. She isn't the type to sit around moping and feeling sorry for herself. Rather she is the kind that takes the bull by the horns and runs with it. She's my kind of girl and I heart her - big time!
I reached the final word and like a drug addict, I was jonesing for my next fix. I cannot believe I have to wait until April 2012. I need it in my hands now! But I guess I need to be a good and patient little girl. Because good things comes to those who wait. Right? Right!
So off I go to wait til April. If you haven't already bought yourself a copy of Half-Blood, find it at these good retailers:
And while you are there, don't forget to pick up your copy of Daimon (Covenant #0.5)
Thanks for dropping by for my review, be sure to keep popping back for more.
Keren =) xo