Series: Covenant #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on September 20th, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
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 feel… conflicted. Half-Blood was a pleasant read. There’s a lot of nice things, and well, there’s Aiden. But it definitely won’t be taking Lux’s place as my favorite series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Let’s focus on the elephant in the room for a second. A lot of reviewers have pointed out startling comparisons between Half-Blood and the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I have not read Vampire Academy. Why? Vampires just aren’t my thing. I can’t really put my finger on what exactly turns me off to them so much, but I have only ever liked a story involving vampires once, and that was the Vampire Diaries TV series. Admittedly I have not greatly explored the realm of vampire literature and media, but my few experiences with it aren’t exactly encouraging me to go back for more. So I can’t tell you if indeed there are so many similarities between Covenant and Vampire Academy (although a simple glance at the Wikipedia description of the series is quite worrying). In fact, to be honest, I couldn’t care less, hearing about it, because if the plot was similar but there just weren’t any vampires, I’d probably like it a lot more.
So I was excited. Vampire Academy is supposed to be a great series, with many fans out there, and this would be like that, but no vampires! Awesome. And then, in this series, there are daimons. Daimons are the evil creatures in the Covenant series. They are former pure-bloods (descendants from the Greek gods) that have turned evil because they got a taste of, and then became addicted to, “aether”. What is aether you ask? Some spiritual mumbo-jumbo, like the magic that flows through the veins of the descendants of the Greek gods. Thus, these daimons hunt pure-bloods, and half-bloods, to feed on the aether. Basically, they drain them of their blood (and thereby the aether). … That sure sounds an awful lot like vampires.
I could not shake that similarity. It was too blatantly obvious. I love books based on Greek mythology. Some of my favorite series are part of that sub-genre: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Everneath… But here I rarely felt the connection to Greek myths. And that was a bit disappointing. Really, it’s just that they’re descended from the gods, they therefore have magic (controlling the elements), and there’s evil creatures hunting them (
There. Elephant out of the room. Let’s talk about more positive things. I liked the main character, Alex. She was really different from most main characters. There is no Mary Sue action here. She is wild and reckless, which was refreshing to read. At the same time, she is strong and courageous. Jennifer L. Armentrout doesn’t disappoint when it comes to character creation. Each of the three main characters are interesting, distinctive, and understandable, which is already such a step up from other YA series out there.
Usually I don’t like love triangles, and I’m starting to get a bit sick of them, but Aiden and Seth are both quite charming. I can see the potential for both angles, but if I had to pick a team right now, it would be Aiden. I’m only scared of the pacing. In this book, I thought it was going to be a slow build up, and then it got super hot really quickly, and then the term “forbidden romance” comes into play. Knowing Jennifer, she won’t let that get in the way, and in the next installments it’ll just serve for an even hotter romance.
The plot was decent and enjoyable. It’s compulsively readable, like all of Jennifer’s books. I like the whole boarding school aspect of it – though we didn’t get to classes and such because the story all takes place over the summer. The action scenes were action-packed. The twists didn’t particularly wow me, but I think that most of the predictability was a given with setting up the rest of the series. I think ultimately my liking of the series will be dependent on how I like the next book, Pure. In all honesty, this book was too short to wow me with plot. 281 pages is not a lot.