Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Full Blooded Excitement! REVIEW: HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published October 11, 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
Get a copy at Barnes & NobleAmazonBooks-A-Million • and other stores

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.

Break out the foam fingers, pom poms and mega horns cause I am cheering for my author goddess Armentrout! **Go J.E.N. - whooo hooo! - doing split jump** I LOVE this woman!  Man! She knows how to write! **doing my happy dance**

I started with her Lux Series (which I have reviews on my blog) but just started the COVENANT Series. What the heck was I waiting for? This series is dazzling, captivating, and just plain awesome.

Before you start... yes... I know it has similarities to VAMPIRE ACADEMY. And no, I don't think that they copy off one another. Here's why. You have some similar mythology with half bloods training at a camp to defend the pure bloods, with the pures having extra talents. The pures who get turned becoming evil blood suckers. You have the student falling for the unattainable teacher. But that is all they have in similarity. The rest is a stark contrast and uniquely different. In HALF-BLOOD, the halfs either train to fight or are drugged servants. Either way they are treated with much less respect than in VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Second, the mother/father situation and the friendships are COMPLETELY different. Another main difference is that HALF-BLOOD is based on Greek Mythology.

Alex was such a riot to read. Witty, sarcastic, headstrong, brilliant and fallible, she captured me with her willingness to risk all for those she loved. Her life has never been easy but the past few years had been especially hard. With what happened in chapter one, she endures even more hardship. Those kinds of experiences either break a person or welds them into a character of true strength. I snarfed my drink a few times at her come back lines. Especially the umpa lumpa line. Sorry! Don't want to spoil it :)

Aiden St. Delfi is her pure blood trainer that makes every girl.. and some of the guys.. swoon. Dark, handsome and ready to kick butt. There is a softer side to him as well and I understood his character more as his back story unfolded. He truly cares for Alex and wants what is best for her. You can't help but admire that.  Alex and Aiden's interactions are sardonic, ardent, intense, amorous and mercurial and it is entertaining to follow along. The scenes between them are touching and the longing has your heart breaking and your blood singing. 

I am not sure what to make of Seth. He is an enigma. His emotions and feelings are kept tightly bottled, making him hard to understand. Seth is one of a kind, and that has to be lonely. Everyone treating him like Elvis...probably worse than that... has got to grate on one's nerves. My gut tells me we will get a lot more from him in book two and probably have more back story to fill in the personal information gaps as well.

There are several secondary characters that provide a range of relationships. From beloved mother to remote stepfather, from best friend to arch enemy. All of them are well developed and engaging. Caleb especially has a strong plot line and I am anxious to find out what happens to him in book two.

I found the use of Greek Mythology very creative in this book. There are a lot of GM books out there and this one had the gods/goddesses as distant entities and not prominent authority figures. The way the society lives is almost independent of the gods except for a few areas. But those areas are extremely important to how they function.

The ending has me running to get the next installment! You will love Alex and Aiden and all the yummy goodness this series has to offer! I highly recommend you get your hands on this book today!