Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant, #1
Blurb: 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.


I was very wary to begin reading Half-Blood for numerous reasons. The biggest reason being that I had heard a lot of wonderful things about it, making me desperately want to read it but afraid I would be disappointed. And then I had also heard bad things about it, like how it was a Vampire Academy rip-off and how the book shouldn't have even been published. Well I finally gave it a shot, and what did I discover? While there is truth that Half-Blood had a few similarities to Vampire Academy, it wasn't as much like it as some people claimed it to be. Yes, the main character had similarities to Rose: her attitude towards authority and getting into trouble, being on the run in the beginning of the book, falling for her instructor, a close friend who was a guy (a huge difference being that in VA the guy is in love with the main character, while in HB he's more like a brother). 

Another thing that I found to be similar yet not was the caste system: Daimons are creatures addicted to the aether (what is in the blood of a Hematoi that makes them the descendant of the gods)  the Hematoi are demigods with magical elemental powers, and the half-bloods are the children of pure-bloods and mortals. The way a Hematoi becomes a daimon is by having their aether drained from their body and then the daimon "kisses" them, turning them into a daimon. Daimons are creatures addicted to the aether (what is in the blood of a Hematoi that makes them the descendant of the gods). The daimons have a hunger can only be sated by aether. This hunger completely controls the daimon and makes them a little more than crazy. A pure-blood can become a Sentinel (someone who hunts and kills daimons) but most don't. It's usually the half-bloods who choose to become Sentinels; they can also choose to become a Guard, however those who don't pass their training become servants of the pures. And that is what Alex, the main character of this story, is trying to avoid by training with a sexy, pure-blooded Sentinel named Aiden. What's so wrong with thinking a pure-blood is sexy when you're a half-blood? The fact that it is strictly forbidden, and if a relationship is discovered between the two, the half-blood will be sent into servitude while the pure gets a little slap on the wrist. You can see why Alex should avoid the feelings she has developed for Aiden, but he's just so darn irresistible. 

I could go on and on about the politics and plot-line of the story and how it isn't like Vampire Academy, but I really think you should decide that for yourself if you haven't read it. The story is fast-paced, with lots of action and lots of forbidden romance and mysterious secrets. If you begin the story thinking it's another Vampire Academy, I assure you by the end you will be thinking the opposite. Yes, the story starts out on a similar note but it takes a completely different turn. I will admit that at the beginning I was focusing a little bit on the things that were similar to VA, but I think that's because of the fact that so many people had said it. However, as the story progressed, it became less and less like VA and took on its own unique plot. Not to mention a majority of the story has to do with Alex's mother and her relationship with her and the fate the gods have bestowed upon Alex. It's very easy to see that there is going to be a rather big love triangle to this series, and I admit I'm kind of balancing on the fence with this one. I like both Aiden and Seth, and I'm not entirely sure who to root for at this point. I guess I'll just have to finish the series before I make my decision! And trust me when I say, I really wish I had the entire series in my hands right now because I'm pretty sure I would finish it in only a couple of days. Yes, it is that good. If you had any reservations about reading this series, I would suggest pushing those aside and reading it. I really don't think you'll be disappointed.


I rate this book:

The Covenant Series


Novellas

Sentinel is expected to be released November 2, 2013


Spoiler Time

NOTE: This is a place for me to freely discuss the book without spoiling the book in the review. If you haven't read this book, I suggest skipping this section as it does contain SPOILERS.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"There's nothing like a bunch of catty teenagers who could either kick your ass halfway across the country or set you on fire with a mere thought. That alone changed who people picked fights with or became friends with. And at the end of the day, it was always good to have a fire starter in your back pocket."

"You need to know about love. The things people will do for love. All truths come down to love, do they not? One way or another, they do. See, there is a difference between love and need. Sometimes, what you feel is immediate and without rhyme or reason." She sat up a little straighter. "Two people can see each across the room or their skin brushes. Their souls recognize the person as their own. It doesn't need time to figure it. The soul always knows... whether it's right or wrong."

"Did you think he was just some lazy pure-blood who needed protection?" His voice dripped sarcasm.
"Well he looks like one! How was I supposed to know he was secretly Rambo in Dockers?"

Without thinking, I moved again, reaching out and touching the hand resting near my thigh. Call it an experiment, but I wanted to see what would happen.
Seth's head whipped in my direction.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing." And nothing was what happened. Confused, I wrapped my fingers around his.
"Doesn't look like nothing," His eyes narrowed on me.
"I guess so." Giving up on my impromptu test, I lifted my hand. "Should you be-" Whatever I was about to say died on my lips. Incredibly fast, Seth grabbed my hand and threaded his fingers through mine.
"Is this what you wanted?" He asked, ever so casually.
It happened. Being so close to him this time, I could see where the markings came from. The thick veins in his hand were the first to darken, branching out before spreading up his arm. Mesmerized, I watched the inky tats cover every piece of exposed skin. Before my eyes, they shifted away from his veins, swirled around his skin. Breaking off into different designed as he--we--continued to hold hands.

Everything could come to a crashing end for us if we were caught, but it didn't matter. Right now, being with him seemed worth whatever consequence could come from it. This is right, like it was meant to be. There was no logical explanation for it.


2 comments:

  1. I LOVE this series! I could not put it down. And I liked Vampire Academy too. So many books are similar or have similar characters, but the stories are different. It will not get any easier to decide between Aiden and Seth :) They are both so fantastic in their own ways. I can't wait for Sentinel to come out.

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    Replies
    1. I've read all the way through Deity. I'll be reading Apollyon soon and I STILL have no idea which one I like better! I'm trying to put off reading Apollyon since it's such a long time before Sentinel comes out, but I don't think I'll be able to wait too long after that ending. Crazy!

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