Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review - Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Date Published: October 18, 2011
Date Read: June 27, 2012
Amazon Link: Half-Blood (Covenant)

Covenant Series: This is one of my favorite book series of all times. I am not going to lie, it has a lot of similarities with Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. Guess what? I love BOTH series! Similar or not, both authors have great writing style, different characters, and the books start to drift apart in similarities after book 1 anyway. So if you love one, then you will probably love the other.

Jennifer Armentrout, in my opinion, dominates both the YA and adult book series circuit. Her critically acclaimed Lux series seems to be a fan favorite, but I don't know what it is about the Covenant series that puts it ahead of the game just a bit for me. Maybe it's the Greek mythology tie in, maybe it’s the sassy female lead with a rebellious attitude, maybe it’s the male lead who is rule-abiding enough to not quite be an ALPHA male, but still be a total badass, and maybe it’s the “I’m-going-to-string-you-along-with-a-kind-of-love-triangle-but-in-your-heart-you-know-it’s-not-a-real-love-triangle” aspect.

Either way, this is a book series that I will keep re-reading, over and over again, when I find myself in need of something fun, swoony, adventurous, and a wee-bit torturous.

Summary from Goodreads:
"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 (Alex) is a half-blood Hematoi, who are descendants of the gods. A half blood occurs when a pure blood Hematoi and a human pair up and reproduce. Hematoi are basically the rulers of their society (which are assimilated with human society, but tend to live in separate areas), whereas the half-bloods only have 2 choices: to live in servitude of the Hematoi (no thanks), or to become trained bad-ass Sentinels and fight/kill daimons. Daimons are Pures who have tasted the aether that runs through the veins of other Pures, become addicted and basically turn into “vampires,” letting the cravings for aether turn them into killing machines. Luckily, half-bloods have this nifty sense where they can see though the glamour that daimons have, glamour that can fool pure bloods to lure them in. Because, with any superior race, there needs to be some kinds of checks and balances (Right Stephanie Meyer, with your perfect vampires with no real flaws or known enemies to hold them back, yet somehow still decide to live in secret from the humans, who they could easily take over with their only risk being sparkling them to squintyness??….but I digress...). In addition, not only do half-bloods have to fight daimons or serve pure-bloods, they're also forbidden from having relationships with pure-bloods.

Any who...Alex is a free spirit, who happens to live in a society dictated by ancient rules, and she generally goes beyond stupidity to break these rules. In fact, she's sometimes frustrating in her attempts to break rules but she's also endearing so I kind of forgive her. Aiden is a smexy, bad-ass, rule abiding pure-blood, who also happens to be training as a Sentinel. He is burdened with the duty of catching Alex up with her training, after she returns to the safety of the Covenant, from 2 years living on the outside with her mother. She and her mother escaped the covenant together (for reasons which you will discover when you read the book!), but when daimons attack, killing her mother, Alex has no choice but to return the Covenant.

This is where our story begins. Follow the beginning of Alex’s journey, as she struggles to catch up with her former classmates (I mean, she used to be better than them, but egos and hiatus don’t mix!), battles with her increasing feelings towards Aiden (and his inner conflict to stay good in the face of ultimate temptation), discovering that she is more than just a lowly half-blood, and learning there is far more at work in her society then she previously knew.

This is a YA book, that is a part of a 5 book series, so don’t expect anything conclusive to happen for at least the first 3 or 4 books. Jennifer Armentrout is the queen of stringing you along (Will they? Won’t they?) but her writing style is the kind that make you blush with a simple eye contact, or innocent finger brush. You know it’s good writing when a YA book with limited SEX can still make you swoon and get all the feels. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hot scene every now and then, but it’s a testament to a true writer who can make you feel stuff without all that. I swear, some of these scenes turn me on more than blatantly written scenes of a more amorous and obvious nature (EHEM, 50 Shades of Grey).

Anyway, if you like fantasy, YA, action, a teeny bit of love-triangle, and fun, then the Covenant series if definitely for you!

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