by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult
Format Read: eBook
Published by Spencer Hill Press on September 19th 2011
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.
Yes, I’m pretty late to the game with this series, but I picked up Half-Blood over the Easter break because I wanted to read something mindless and quick. I’ve never read an Armentrout book before, but a lot of my friends seem to love her writing and paranormal plots.
Before you say anything, yes I am aware that the author has pretty much ripped off Vampire Academy. I haven’t read beyond the first Vampire Academy novel, so I’m not the best person to judge just how alike these two series are, but it was different enough for me to enjoy Half-Blood. Plus, I do prefer to read about Greek gods and mythology — although this book lacked much of it — over vampires.
We have Alexandra (“call me Alex”) as our main character, who embodies a lot of the kick-ass heroine traits that we young adult readers have come to except in out leading ladies. Alex was spunky and cool, but also a little hot-headed at times. As a half-blood, she was completing her training and studies at the ‘Covenant’ when her mother suddenly pulls her out of school and the both of them runs away from the life they had always known. The book opens with Alex being caught and brought back to her old life and school, following the death of her mother.
It irks me a little that despite being away for three years, when Alex heads back to school all her old friends and enemies seem to pick up their relationship with her as if from the point where it was left off. Her relationship with Caleb was a little unrealistic…and I find it unbelievable that he wasn’t even a little bit miffed about her disappearance. They just fell back into being best friends…
And don’t get me started on Alex’s relationship with her ‘arch-nemesis’ Lea. The amount of slut shaming that goes on between them is borderline atrocious. Seriously, was that really necessary?
The overall story was riveting enough that I managed to finish the book in a day or two. One thing that I gotta say is Armentrout’s writing is very addictive. She knows how to pace a story out, and doesn’t tend to drag on scenes where it’s not necessary.
While Vampire Academy and Half-Blood is very similar, I must say I definitely have a preference over the love interests. I just…couldn’t get into Dimitri. He was significantly older than Rose if I’m not mistaken…which made it quite weird. Wasn’t she 16 or something? Is that legal?
Aiden on the other hand, was only one or two years older and a lot easier to like. He was the typical broody instructor, helping whip Alex back into shape in order to catch up from all the lessons she’d missed in the three years she was a runaway. I enjoyed their chemistry and much prefer him over Seth.
Overall, I enjoyed Half-Blood. It was a quick, fun read and while it is very similar to Vampire Academy, I found it different enough to enjoy. Granted, it’s been a few years since I’ve read Richelle Mead’s book, so that may have played a large part in my enjoyment of this novel.