on 17 June 2013
Half-blood is the first book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L.Armentrout. The story focuses around a female protagonist called Alexandria, who lives in a World where Gods from Greek mythology exist and is governed by the rules of the Gods. Her species are split into three types; the Gods, the pure-bloods and the half-bloods. Alex is a half-blood which is the lowest rank and considered inferior by some of the 'pures'. Alex escaped the Covenant as a child to go and live with the mortals who are unaware of the Gods' existence with her mother. After her mother's death - Alex decides she must return to the Covenant where her Uncle is now the minister. She is given two options - train hard and catch up with the rest of her students in the Covenant or fail and be forced to a life of servitude. Alex knows which one she would prefer, however there are obstacles in Alex's road.
Before reading this, I read the prequel Daimon which is set before Alex's return to the Covenant when she was living amongst the mortals with her mother. I'd recommend reading Daimon before Half-Blood as it seems to help fit the story together perfectly. At first, I couldn't fight comparisons between this book and Rick Riordan's 'Percy Jackson & The Olympians' series as they both center around the Greek Gods. However, once I got past the introductory part of this book, I was able to forget about the latter and enjoy the book in it's own right. I loved the story concept and the idea of Greek Mythology being a realist concept. I felt as though I could relate to the characters, and formed a strong character alignment with Alex and others in the story. There isn't much more that can be said without giving away spoilers, so I suggest that you read it yourself and form your own opinion. I can say however that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was well worth the read, as are the following in it's series.
on 26 September 2011
Exceedingly entertaining, Half-Blood is the perfect hit for those of us who have been ailing from Vampire Academy withdrawals.
Jennifer L. Armentrout has written a fast-paced, mythology rich, funny, passionate, violent and emotional adventure; an adventure that I literally HAD to blow through because I just didn't want to put my kindle down until the very last page. Even now I want to flick back to the beginning and start reading Half-Blood all over again.
My favorite kind of book, Half-Blood is not only plot-driven but character-driven. The main protagonist, Alex, is the best kind of heroine. She is sassy, strong, snarky and brave, as well as utterly stubborn and impulsive with just the right amount of naivety. I can see why parallels have been drawn between Alex from HB and Rose from VA; they are very similar characters, but since Rose is one of my favorite YA heroines ever, I'm certainly not complaining. I love Alex. I also love Aiden. He starts off very much the brooding badass, but Armentrout does a fantastic job of slowly unraveling his character. It's wonderful how Alex gets to see him in such a different light from everyone else. Aiden turns out to be incredibly loyal, strong and affectionate and I just... hmm... new crush for me I think. To make matters more complicated, there is Seth. I'm incredibly intrigued by Seth and love Armentrout's plot device surrounding his character - I thought it was so incredibly clever and I cannot wait for book two to spend more time with this wicked cool character.
The plot itself moves along at a quick, uncomplicated pace (again the author does a great job of revealing the mythology and plot so that it doesn't overwhelm), with smooth, modern prose, quick quips, an abundance of action and sizzling chemistry between the cast of characters.
Cannot wait for book 2, PURE.
Five Massive Massive Stars!
on 29 December 2011
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!
on 3 October 2012
Daimon is an excellent prequel to Covenant series! It was short but very enjoyable and eventfull story. My only regret is that I read it after the first book. If I read this before Half-Blood, I would probably enjoy it better. Thanks to this prequel, I respect Alexandria even more since it made me understand better what she had to go through in human world. Jennifer L. Armentrout is a master storyteller.
Half-Blood is the first full length novel in the Covenant series but the UK paperback version also includes the prequel novella Daimon. Although this novella is placed at the back of the book it is set before Half-Blood so I would recommend reading that first.
My review of Daimon (4 stars):
Alex is a half-blood descendent of the gods and has the extra strength and abilities that come with that. She grew up amongst others of her kind but for the last three years she has been hiding amidst the human population with her mother. Alex never really understood why her mother was so adamant that they left their old life behind them but she accepted her decision and has tried to make the most of it. Leaving her home and her friends was hard though and when they are attacked by daimons Alex's instincts send her fleeing for the safety of her old life. Can she return to the community safely or has she made the biggest mistake of her life?
Daimon is a great introduction to the series, it completely sucked me in and left me desperate to pick up my copy of Half-Bad to find out what happens to Alex next. Jennifer L Armentrout's writing style always draws me in and she makes it very easy for you to connect with her characters, you find yourself feeling Alex's emotions right alongside her. You'll experience her confusion, fear and heartbreak over the events that unfold and it is impossible not to root for her. We are given just enough information about the world the author has created to hook you in but not too much to overwhelm the story. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing the series, the best thing about waiting this long to start it is that so many books are already available and waiting for me to devour them!
My review of Half-Blood (3.5 stars):
Like everything else I've read by Jennifer L Armentrout I found Half-Blood incredibly easy to read, she quickly drew me into her story and I found myself enjoying it immensely while I was reading. I have seen a lot of people compare this to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series and while I noticed similarities in the prequel novella it was in Half-Blood that it really started to become obvious. I hate to compare series but I do think that anyone who has read Vampire Academy will be able to write a whole list of things that are the same in Half-Blood and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by that. I'm hoping that this series will really come into it's own in future books but I couldn't stop myself from making comparisons while I was reading this and that did reduce my rating for the story a little.
Having said that I do still think Half-Blood is worth reading and I am looking forward to continuing the series. I like the characters and I think the mythology has a lot of potential to become something that stands out on it's own merit rather than as a duplicate of the other series. Alex can come across as impulsive and she does make a lot of stupid decisions which could be irritating at times but she does improve in the second half of the book and I think she's a character who has a lot of room for growth. If we get to see her continue to grow up and learn to hold her attitude in check then I think I'm going to end up really liking her.
I definitely liked Aiden, Dimitri (from VA) is still one of my favourite YA heroes and Aiden didn't quite manage to knock him off the top spot but he's definitely not a bad alternative to spend some time with! I'm also really curious about Seth, I'm interested in the abilities he has and think he's going to be a fun character to have around. Seth seems to be the main deviation from the VA storyline and if his character continues to have a major role I'm sure that will help this series stand on it's own two feet. That, along with the mythology, is what really makes me want to read Pure and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this series will go from strength to strength. If you've been missing the VA world and looking for a new alternative then this series would be a good one to try but I do think that some people will be put off by the huge number of similarities. This didn't bother me as much as it could have because it's been 4 years since I read VA but considering how many things I noticed I think people who read it more recently will probably be able to spot even more. If you haven't read VA yet then I think I'd probably tell you to read that series first though since it is still hands down my favourite YA series.
on 4 April 2013
As a huge fan of the Lux series - also by Ms. Armentrout - when I first bought this I had high expectations. After reading some reviews, those expectations were drastically lowered, and I think that is one of the reasons I ended up enjoying this. I wasn't too disappointed, because I wasn't expected it to blow my mind the way the Lux series admittedly did.
Half-Blood is a lot like Vampire Academy, even more than Obsidian is a lot like Twilight. I am not sure how to feel about this, because this is two series wherein Ms. Armentrout has taken the basic structures or themes and used them to start a series. I'm a HUGE fan of Vampire Academy, and so reading this at first was a little disconcerting. Honestly, I don't know how to feel. I do feel very confused, and a little let down.
I didn't feel much for any of the main characters, although Caleb is a sweetheart. Alex, the main female protagonist, is okay. I think comparing the plot to Vampire Academy made me compare Alex to her counterpart, Rose, and so of course she wasn't all that amazing.
I didn't feel much chemistry between Alex and Aiden, her trainer. I know, I'm probably comparing their relationship to that of Daemon and Katy, and also Rose and Dimitri, but I guess it was inevitable. They just don't have that spark. Nevertheless, I do quite like them together, and Aiden is actually pretty cool. And he looks like Dylan O'Brien in my mind. (Every hot love interest looks like Dylan O'Brien to me.)
There is another character called Seth who turns up part way through the book. Is he going to be part of a love triangle? He's annoying and rude and I don't like him.
Deacon, Aiden's brother, is also annoying. Just thought I'd point that out, and I'm covering my bases when it comes to guys and potential love interests. Just in case.
Now, what I DID love was the Greek mythology aspect. GREEK GODS JDFLSJHGLDHGDHG *HEARTS* I've been obsessed with Greek mythology ever since I was little, and it is still so, so interesting to me. I love how Ms. Armentrout adapted it, and I love that the characters all know that the gods are real in this! EEP!
In conclusion, Half-Blood really bloody confused me. How am I supposed to feel when this book's base is the same as that of my favourite series? Especially since I loved the Lux series so much. Ugh. Anyway, this is enjoyable, I liked it, although it lacked substance. The characters were nothing amazing. BUT GREEK GODS.
on 7 June 2013
I read the four Covenant novels currently available before approaching 'Daimon', and I really, really loved it. I'll admit that i don't usually bother with novellas - they're far too short! But I think this is well worth a read, especially if, like me, you are impatiently waiting for the next book in the series to be released. It fits in snugly as a prequel to 'Half-Blood' providing new depth to the first novel and expanding on details alluded to throughout the series. I have also bought 'Elixer' and can't wait to read it!
One last thing: when purchasing and looking at price, remember that this novella is under 100 pages long.
on 9 January 2016
Review originally posted on my book blog: https://afrolicthroughfiction.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/half-blood-by-jennifer-l-armentrout/
RATED 3.5/5 STARS
Now, since I don’t usually like reading stories based mostly around a relationship, the synopsis made me hesitant to read this. Just judging from the synopsis makes me cringe slightly – it just sounds so cheesy to me. But I’ve read one of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books before that was actually a love story, and I really enjoyed it, so I was more interested from that. It’s been on my shelves for over a year, but I finally picked it up.
Ok the first thing I have to mention is the cover…LOOK HOW NICE IT IS! This series does have different editions – one with white backgrounds and flower designs (like the one seen in the photo above) and one that is the same design, but a coloured background. Both look stunning. PLUS there’s even a pronunciation guide in the front of the book, just to help you out. We’re off to a good start!
The actual book was a fun and easy read. The love story aspect wasn’t cheesy at all, but instead seemed to develop naturally and realistically. The fantasy plot line wasn’t overwhelmed by the relationship, which I was glad to see. I enjoyed seeing how the story was based on mythology – but this wasn’t mentioned much considering. It’s nothing like the Percy Jackson series.
The main character – Alexandria – seemed to be a lot like the stereotypical teenage girl. She worried about what people thought of her (but not too much, thankfully). She would argue with people and have petty fights. Sometimes she needed to sort out her priorities, but even she acknowledged that. It was all pretty evenly balanced out by her determined tough side that would lead the fantasy aspect of the story into chaos, with the events she has to go through.
Speaking of events – they were all quite dramatic. Something would go wrong, and before that is sorted…another bit of information would be uncovered that just makes it ten times worse. I enjoyed this, but I did have a problem with predictability. While reading the book I did manage to predict nearly all of the main events before they happened. I think this is because a small snippet of random information would just appear somewhere and I’d think “Why is that here? Something’s going to happen.”
The overall story was fast paced and quick to read, with it being just over 300 pages. I did like seeing how Jennifer L Armentrout handles fantasy writing, and I believe it was carried out well. The ending was definitely satisfying, with there being a hint to so much more yet to come, making me want to get the 2nd book :D
Rated 3.5//5 stars
on 31 May 2015
I didn’t expect to enjoy Half-Blood as much as I did. I’ve read Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Cursed but that’s as far as my reading of this much-loved author goes, so I wasn’t fully aware of the addictive characters, swoon-worthy romance and well-rounded worlds she creates. But just like with Cursed, I found Half-Blood, the first in the Covenant series, to be fast-paced, fluid and easy to read in a day or two.
One of the things I loved most about Half-Blood was how great the romance was, although I should note that it’s not believable and real like you’d get in a contemporary but rather that urgent teenage love/lust you get from fantasy novels. It’s a sexy kind of romance with our heroine Alex playing the part of the quirky, feisty character and Aiden playing the dark, mysterious bad boy. The chemistry is fantastic and I was routing for their forbidden romance the whole way through.
I’m sensing a bit of a love triangle emerging, but strangely I’m fine with that. I know a lot of people are bored of love triangles now but in a series it’s a fun way to spice things up a bit. It’s just when the successful romance is the one that I wasn’t routing for that I get annoyed (I’m looking at you, Requiem), so we’ll have to see how this one goes.
But it’s not just about the romance in Half-Blood. If you’re looking for action you won’t be disappointed as there’s plenty to be found in the form of badass daimon hunting.
I really enjoyed finding out about Alex’s past, and there’s a twist in the middle that feels like a knife to the heart. Alex is brave and I found her to be a brilliant main character, but damn she’s stupid sometimes, wandering off in the dead of night trying to fight against forces she has basically no chance against.
If I had one complaint about Half-Blood it would be that there are some repetitive bits. She feels a smile tug her lips a lot, for example, and she gets shivers down her spine all the time. And lots of reviews on Goodreads seem to suggest that it is very similar to Vampire Academy, but I haven’t read Vampire Academy yet so I can’t say I noticed! Haha.
I know it’s naughty but I didn’t read Daimon, which is the novella included in the back of the UK paperback of Half-Blood. I’m not really a fan of novellas as it is, and when I realised this one was a prequel I decided to skip it. If you think I’m missing out let me know and I’ll read it, but for now I’m looking forward to reading book two in the series, Pure.
on 24 April 2015
Check out a full review of the Covenant series at treasurecovebookreviews.com
I bought Half-Blood at the same time as I bought the Vampire Academy as I had heard that the story lines in these two books were virtually interchangeable. Having read Armentrout’s Lux series (I seriously LOVE this series!!! Lux review to follow shortly. . .) previously I predicted that I would prefer Half-Blood over Rachel Mead’s VA. Alas, this was not to be the case, in fact to be completely honest I felt kind of let down after reading the first chapter of Half-Blood; it felt a bit empty and just didn’t grab me (this upset me greatly and my faith in Armentrout’s writing took a blow), therefore I chose instead to read VA first (Vampire Academy review will be available soon). However, once I had finished the VA series I decided to give the Covenant series a fair chance and, because I’m a curious being, investigate the rumours about the similarities between Armentrout’s and Mead’s work.
Conclusion of investigation: The rumours are true – to an extent.
Half-Blood does appear to almost borrow entire scenes from VA, particularly at the very beginning of the book. And if I’m honest the reason I didn’t chose Half-Blood over VA to begin with was because it’s not as well written as VA, which is a humongous shame because the Covenant really is a great series! Half-Blood should be read, in my humble opinion, as background to the main story that really begins in Pure – it also felt a lot shorter to me than the rest in the series as I was able to skim through most of it due to the quality of writing.
HOWEVER (and this is a big however!) I have to say that after about half way in Half-Blood takes on a life of its own.
My advice: stick with it and it will be worth your time!