Monday, 17 October 2011

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout

Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 18th October 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads description:

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.

My thoughts:

The first thing that struck me about this novel was its similarity to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. It’s fairly similar on several counts; the three species, all separated from general humankind and existing within a hierarchy (Pures, Halfs, Daimons); the main character, Alex bore a resemblance to Rose Hathaway; her trainer Aiden, a younger, non-Russian Dimitri Belikov;  the school where the pures and halfs were taught side by side being the main ones. Not to say that’s a bad thing, I’d personally rather an author took inspiration from such an amazing series over ones more readily used.

I found the concept really interesting, the idea of the descendents of the demi-gods  still existing and still obeying their long-absent gods. In fact, this is definitely my favourite mythology-based book to date.  It wasn’t too overly reliant on any particular myth yet it exploited the nature of the mythology perfectly, and built on it to create a believable and realistic world.

I found Alex kind of annoying initially-the first thing she does when she gets back to the Covenant is start a fight despite being threatened with servitude-something she claims to fear yet is constantly on the brink of as a result of her behaviour.  Her overconfidence in her abilities was also really irritating- but like all similar characters she quickly became someone you loved and rooted for. Alex’s relationship with Aiden developed nicely, again reminiscent of Rose and Dimitri’s relationship. I’m always a fan of the exploitation of the tension that arises from physical activity between a couple who had an instant attraction-I think it’s a very believable way to develop a romantic plotline, along with the fondness and inevitable closeness that comes from a mentor mentee bond. Aiden and Alex were very much the stars of the show, the other characters felt underdeveloped in comparison, though I would like to see more of Deacon in the later books.

The romantic plotline was clearly central to the book, but I really enjoyed the non-romantic side of it. Aside from some overly-obvious foreshadowing which gave away a key plot point I found the rest to be interesting and attention grabbing and I was desperately reading this to find out what happened. There was a great sense of tension and anticipation that resulted from reading this book, which, despite the flaws mentioned, made it a gripping read. It’s hard to write that level of suspense into a book and Ms. Armentrout did it spectacularly. The plot itself was satisfying, plenty happened, it definitely didn’t suffer from first book syndrome and yet it’s clear to see where the rest of the series will go, without it being too predictable.

If you’re a fan of the Vampire Academy series, you with either love or hate this this book as a result of its obvious similarities-even though I did notice them (which is probably just down to my familiarity with what is one of my favourite series’) it definitely didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book at all.
I definitely give this 5/5 and I cannot wait for the next instalment, Pure. 

To celebrate the release of this fantastic book, I have a set of SIGNED bookmarks to give away! The winner will get a Half-Blood, Daimon AND Pure bookmark, as well as a bookmark for Jennifer's 2012 release CURSED.

Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will close on 24th October! To enter, simply leave a meaningful comment about this review along will an email address/twitter username to contact you on if you win!


  1. Ooh I downloaded this one a few weeks ago, although I wasn't too sure about it. Now I'm dying to read it! LOL.

    I haven't read Vampire Academy yet either, but I think I'll be reading Half-Blood first anyway.

    Great review Cait.

    Twitter: @slowestbookworm

  2. I have yet to read a bad review for this book. Every single person has gushed about how amazing it is and seriously, it is doing NOTHING for my patience levels! Normally I'd be hesitant of reading a book that has many similarities to one of my favourite ever series (VA <3) but from everything I've read, it stands on it's own as an incredible start the series and VA fans seem to love it.

    Yet another amazing review! So so so excited to read this!

    No need to enter me in the giveaway, I'm terrible with bookmarks. Have a hundred, but instead I use random objects to mark pages in books LOL.

  3. Omg, you have no idea how much I want to read this! It sounds so good, plus I'm a huge VA fan so I'm bound to like it :P. Glad you enjoyed it! Can't wait to read it :).

  4. I loved this novel. I haven't read VA, but I've seen so many comparisons to it. Not really enticing. I hate similar plotlines, but I'm hoping I will enjoy both series! I wasn't annoyed with Alex, but I completely understand your initial view of her. She was hilarious. LOVE AIDEN TO PIECES! <3

    Totally can't wait for the next book.


  5. no way! I totally thought that this series would be more similar to the percy jackson one but I am really glad to hear that it is similar to VA! This is definitely moving up on the TBR pile for sure! Great review!

  6. It seems like everyone really loves this book! I will definitely have to buy a copy of it. I love how you compared it to the VA books because I adore that series. Hopefully I'll enjoy the similarities like you did. =)

    And thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to be entered -- asherz86 at gmail dot com

  7. I have not read the Vampire Academy series so that might be a good thing to not do until after I read Half Blood, which I'm dying to read. I am noticing a lot more the main characters being more annoying and it seems Alex is no exception but it also seems that she is confident which is good, especially since she is a girl and a trained fighter. I will just be happy she has skills and knows how to use them. Go her lol. I am also excited to meet Aiden even though he and Alex are pretty much suppose to hate to each. That is usually the best and funny parts when two people are attracted to each but won't admit it so they act mean to each other. This has been a great review and it definitely gives me all the more reason to read Half Blood.
    twitter name is a_cattie

  8. Thank you for giving away bookmarks from this book :D I have not read it yet, but I am dying to. It really does sound great :) And your review is awesome. I have not read The Vampire Academy books yet, and I am not sure I'm ready to yet.. because of the love triangle later on. Don't really like those (A) Hih ;p

    Love, Carina ~

  9. I have this for review and I think I'll have to make it one of the next books I read. Everyone seems to have really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read about Alex and Aiden! Great review :)

  10. Now, one of my favorite parts of the book is all the fighting. The scenes are amazing. Emotional. Real. I'm stopping there.
    Overall, this book is the best book I've read this year. I've loved so many out there, but this story just took a place in my heart and won't leave. Jennifer is a genius with words. Her sense of humor is fabulous, and the conversations these characters have will go down in for their epic-ness in the Book of Epic. She weaves a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, leaving you begging for more the moment you stop reading.


Thanks to blogger making it easy for us to reply to comments I will now be replying where possible, so if you comment be sure to check back! =]