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

by Jennifer L. Armentrout;
Editions: paperback, ebook
Published October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
Source: own copy
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.~ Goodreads Blurb

Wow! I had so much fun reading this book, all dynamic and super full of action and cool spins on mythology, awesome entertainment! Awesome entertainment!

1. What were your thoughts on the world-building?

The Half-Blood world was really interesting. The whole notion with pures and half-bloods and how the species mix was not only discouraged but punishable was a bit…I dunno. I’m not necessarily a fan of things put quite like that. It was a great tool in the story, don’t get me wrong, but as a personal point a world where purity of race or whatever is such a main concern sort of gives me the chills. So I can’t say I enjoyed that part, in all honesty.
Sure, all the different qualities the pures and the half-bloods had were fun to read about, and the way they mingled (or more like didn’t, much), that was interesting to read about, but I kept getting the chills about it all, you know?
A fascinating world put together, but a frightening one – and that makes for very prolific plot grounds 😀

2. Did you feel you could relate to the characters and connect with them? Had a favorite?

Alex and Caleb were awesome, of course I loved them. Well, Alex more 😀 She was lovely, fun, stubborn, strong, sort of kickass but vulnerable in places too. She was exactly the kind of character I enjoy reading about…though considerably more when they’re mature, in all truth.
Aiden was the good guy that can kick your ass when the situation calls for it, he was nice. I wouldn’t say I connected with him much, his whole safety-first attitude is sort of the opposite of the sort of character I generally like, lol, which was the category Seth fell into more.
Yeah, I’m really team Seth here, haha. He was cool, totally closed up and mischievousness and stupid-powerful, really cool guy. We didn’t get to know as much about him as we did Aiden, and it was such a pity because I totally do want to know more about Seth. Here’s hoping I will in book #2, har~har.
By large, the characters were very age-group appropriate, cool and powerful and fun but at the same responsible and sort of looking out for the best outcome of any situation. They were nice to read about, but honestly I didn’t get a lot exited, just entertained, you know?

3. What did you think of the plot?

Really smart plotting, I loved it. There was a bit of everything in it, drama, action, romantic elements, conflict – a plentiful mix. Now sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I felt here it worked like a charm. Everything felt well tied together and all the connections and situations felt natural (except one particular aspect), it all flowed well together and I had a lot of fun watching it all happen.
I found the romantic angle of it to be frustrating, in fact even more frustrating then I usually do in YA. I don’t get the whole attitude Aiden got there towards the end, and Alex’s reaction to it was peculiar to me. But that comes from a very mature point of view, because I never really had that whole idyllic view on love and caring, I’m the more down to earth sort of person. That part of the plot, the romantic angle, didn’t make a lot of sense to me from about the half of the book onward.
Everything else worked like a charm.

4. How did you feel about the writing?

As with many successful novels, YA and mature alike, it had that humorous take on things, not by going comedy but by featuring strong characters that have a healthy sense of humor. That tone in writing is beautiful because it allows you as a reader to go through all the tension of the plot and all the conflict without making you feel squished under all that tension.
The action scenes were vivid without getting all in your face, the more descriptive passages were beautiful and suggestive without clogging your mind’s eye or over-stuffing the scene.
And yet again the first person narrative made a hit, I’m pretty sure I can say I enjoy first person more then third when reading this type of book.
All in all, really good writing, gripping and suggestive.

5. What was the strong point of the book, for you? What about the weak point?

The strong point for me here was the plot and how the mythological elements were featured but not exploited; it’s one of those books I would love to read again, because despite the whole almost-romance thing and the dramatic twists and turns, it had a pretty strong plot with interesting ramifications.
Another strong aspect was Alex’s character, she was very likable and conducive to my emotional involvement, she’s the kind of character I just want to read more about, I want to know what happens to her next and I want to be here and see it, you know?
As I’ve mentioned above, the part didn’t make it on my favorites list was the romantic angle. Hope it will in book #2 😀

6. On a scale of 1 to 5, what would you rate this book?

On all objective accounts it’s a 5 butterflies, all was awesomely done, entertaining and well put together. Regarding my personal reaction to the story, the characters and everything that happened or was hinted at, it’s more like 3 and some, because I’m the type of reader that enjoys better a bit more intense characters. It’s an overall 4, a really entertaining and gripping read, if you’re into YA you should definitely read it!

Read it already? What was your favorite about this novel? Would you see Alex with Seth or Aiden ?

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