Monday, January 28, 2013

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

Goodreads rating: 4.26
Paperback281 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press

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.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for a while (I actually remembering getting it online with a Barnes & Noble gift card just before Christmas in 2011), and I honestly have no idea why I was putting it off. I love JLA's other YA series, starting with Obsidian. But I knew this was a completely different series, and I think that's what was scary. The synopsis doesn't tell you much except a little history and about how the romance is going to go. But there's a lot more than just the romance in this book. It opens with Alex fighting off daimons, and people from the Covenant coming to her rescue. You see, her mother took them both away from there in secret for reasons unknown to Alex. But Alex's mother was killed by a daimon (which she thinks is her fault even though she has no training) so she's been wanting to get back to the Covenant anyway. But going back there is much more than she bargained for. Her stepfather and uncle (who both have powerful roles in the Covenant now) aren't exactly appreciative of her running away with her mother and then, of course, going back to her old ways and disregarding the rules. I loved this element of the book. She has family left, but it makes her miss her mom even more, and they're not exactly acting like family. And her stepfather has an agenda of his own involving Alex.

Well, Aiden is as hot as everyone else said he was. But not like Daemon-hot (from the Lux series) where he's a total asshat for most of the first book. Alex had a crush on Aiden before she left with her mom. When he's one of the people that comes to her rescue from the daimons, all she can think is, why him? But when she gets back to the Covenant, he stands up for her, and he's why they let her stay (numerous times I might add) and he's amazingly protective. But he never has time to enjoy himself either, and that's where Alex seems to come in. Even when they're training, he eventually gets closer and closer to Alex. But there's a tiny little problem: as it says in the synopsis, relationships between pures (Aiden) and Halfs (Alex) are forbidden. It doesn't get rid of the fact that they're very attracted to each other though and things happen... But there's another snag that comes later in the book, involving a half named Seth. He is something called the Apollyon, and Alex can always tell when he's near, and can see tattoos on him that no one else can. You know what this means.... love triangle! But not in the sense that she really likes Seth. In fact, she doesn't like him very much at all. But they're connected, and I get the feeling in Pure that Seth is going to fight for Alex to love him.

Behind all this sexual tension with Aiden and Alex, there's also the issue of Alex trying to get back into Covenant life. Since she's at a boarding-school-like place, there's always that kind of drama. There's this one girl who's name slips my mind that really hates Alex, and the feeling is mutual. But Alex is getting in a lot of trouble because she realizes that the Covenant went on without her. She's a year behind (though I'm sure she doesn't mind that it's Aiden catching her up on the combat stuff), and all she wants is to be a Sentinel, the highest ranking you can have as a half. But Alex has much more to worry about than getting expelled. Someone is after her and this daimon will stop at nothing until Alex has joined them. And Alex, being Alex, won't have anyone get hurt because of her "mistake". The good thing is that she has a best friend who's there for her when she needs him and he helps her through a lot and saves her butt a couple times. So many layers to this book, and I loved every minute of it! I ordered Pure and Deity and they're sitting back home, all alone! Luckily, I'll be going back home on February 4th for a signing, because I cannot wait to see what happens next!!!! This was definitely worth picking up, especially if you love JLA's other books. 

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