Sunday, 8 September 2013

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

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.


I think (once again) I'm referring more to Covenat series rather than the first book of it, even though Half-Blood does have a special place in my heart for many reasons. First of the many reasons is that this book belongs to my list of books which have made me fall in love with YA genre.

Even though I've always loved to read, at some point during my teens I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Friends, TV shows and movies took the place of reading. But then when I finished high school and found myself quite lonely at my university campus, I started reading again. And one of the books that I picked up was Half-Blood

The book completely sucked me in. I couldn't help myself but read the whole book in one sit. I started reading when I woke up in the morning, and I didn't stop until I had finished the very last page. I kept gasping, snorting, laughing, sobbing, and gaping at the book as Armentrout really knows her business when it comes to action, romance and tormenting her readers with the plot twists.

First of all, the characters. I love all the character she writes, even the bad guys! Armentrout makes all her characters multidimensional and emotive starting with the main characters, but also continuing to secondary characters. None of her characters is purely good or evil as they all seem to have their virtues and weaknesses. One of my ultimate favourite characters of all time is Seth who is a secondary character in the series. He is first presented as a narcissistic and power-hungry teenager, but slowly but surely, the author let us see that there is more to him. He's funny, loyal to the end, insecure and sweet when he wants to. 

One of the things which I always list as my favourite things of Armentrout's writing is the chemistry between the characters. It is incredible! The electricity between Alex and Aiden almost is touchable and always presented in right quantities. The scenes make you all giggly as well as frustrated which ensures you are always coming back for more. Even though Armentrout is a fan of including love triangles in her books, they seem to work pretty well as the heroine is rather loyal to the primary love interest (which of course makes the underdog team a bit crazy). 

I've always been a huge fan of Greek mythology and I was just so ecstatic when I found out that some of the legends were incorporated in the storyline. It was so much fun to read how Armentrout had put a little of her own stuff to the legends and still made it work smoothly. Even though the first book doesn't have so much of the mythology included, the element becomes more prominent the further the story goes on. I loved how things start slowly to unravel and you find things that you thought would never happen.

I've heard tons of critics of Covenant as it is rather similar to Vampire Academy series. The forbidden romance, a boarding school, kick-ass heroine etc. I'm not sure if Armentrout got her inspiration from Mead's books, but let's face the fact: those elements arise almost in every fantasy YA book. For instance there is a boarding school in Fallen by Lauren Kate, there is a kick-ass heroine in The Hunger Games, there is a forbidden romance in Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Nowadays, it seems to be pretty rare not to find similarities between YA books. I want to make sure that I'm definitely not dissing those who claim that Covenant is a copy of Vampire Academy, but it is just my opinion that she probably didn't mean to have so similar elements in her books (or maybe she did, but I really hope not).

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