So I’ve had these books for a while, 2014 actually but like a good portion of my library I had not yet read them. I got them back before YALLfest when I was determined to read all of them and more, seriously my amazon bill around then was insane! I didn’t make my goal and they have been waiting to be picked up for some time. So now as I am attending ApollyCon2017 in March and the third book in the spin off Titan series is going to be released I figure I should catch up so I don’t get spoiled. Side note, anyone attending ApollyCon let me know I’d love to make sure we met up! So here are my thoughts on book one in the Covenant series, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Basically this is a world of Pures’ who have a type of elemental magic thanks to their originating from Gods and mortals making babies; and Half-Bloods, the product of a Pure and a mortal, who have no elemental control but they have the added benefit of being able to see through daimon covers. This along with their strength to fight make them valuable, but not equal. Oh yeah daimons are evil ones who search out Pure and Half-Blood to suck out and feed on their either in a very painful way. Pure’s rule things and Half’s either train to be guards or sentinels or becoming doped up servants. Our MC Alexandria, Alex, wants to fight daimons not waste away as a servant but that is always a possibility if you break the rules. Several rule their lives but the most important rule of all is to know your place below all Pures’ no relationships between the groups what so ever among other things. So that makes things difficult when Alex has to train with her long time crush, super-hot Pure Aiden. She has to catch up and stay alive while avoiding breaking too many rules.
So I’ll go ahead and say first thing I did see a lot of similarities in some parts with another book/series I LOVE, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. And you know what? I didn’t mind. I loved Vampire Academy and while some things seemed somewhat similar they were different and unique to this story. Plus come on it’s very rare to find a book/series that doesn’t in some way remind you of something else if you read the same genre a lot. It’s about making your book/series stand out and Half-Blood did that for me.
Alex is a strong force of nature whom we meet in a pickle. We learn about the world rather quickly and it develops overtime and I love how we were taught about the world in a way of others reminding Alex the way of things. The world isn’t fair. Half’s are royally screwed. Become a fighter to risk your life daily or become a slave. What are those options? That is something that really drew me in. Then adding in another, Seth the Apollyon, a Half with power over all elements making him more powerful than a Pure. Still because he is a Half he is treated like one. This whole Half/Pure dynamic is really intriguing to me. I don't agree with it and some of the "rules" really hit some buttons for me but that is what brought it world to life and differentiated it.
I love Alex's strong willed and stubborn nature even when at times I feel she is a bit to stubborn about the wrong things. She is wild and over the course of the story and working with Aiden who is much more by the book. He has his own dark past and his own issues but it's fun getting to know him as Alex does, as more than the obscenely hot Pure training her. He has depth. I like the combination of them together.
Another character I just adored is Caleb. OMG he is so much fun. He is the best friend who is strong and solid and down for anything and will stand by you. But best of all is that is all there was. Friendship. No undertones of romance between them on either side. I liked that they were straight up friends only, brother and sister vibes going on. And then we have Seth. He is not my favorite. Maybe because he just knows how to push Alex's buttons and as we see from her perspective if feels like our buttons as well. Maybe I was just on edge the whole time because of the rules, I would be royally screwed let me just tell you.
The overall story, I feel like we covered so much. There are some developments and things that happened I did not see coming. And some things I saw I didn't see happening in that way which shocked my socks off. I loved the action and pacing of the book. There is always something keeping you going and unable to stop from the character conflicts, romance, tension, action, and intrigue you stay keyed up. Just when you think you get a moment of rest it knocks you with something else to keep you going in a different way. I loved it. I literally dove into book two as soon as this ended. I only took long enough to make a note where it ended and my final thoughts so I would know where I ended and where to begin my next review which I should have up before long. Highly recommend.
Until next time…