f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Review + ARC Giveaway: Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Review + ARC Giveaway: Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout

Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
Expected publication: 10.18.2011 (Spencer Hill Press)
Pages: 281
Series: The Covenant (1)
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Find the author online: twitter | blog
Further info: Goodreads | Amazon

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

{ This book was sent to me by the publisher, Spencer Hill Press, in exchange for an honest review.  No money changed hands.  I review books because I adore reading. }

My Review

Alexandria Andros is my kind of heroine: shoot first, ask questions later - a no-nonsense kind of girl.  And when she is dragged, half-gratefully, half-reluctantly back to the South Carolina Covenant her mother, Rachelle, took her away from three years ago, Alex, reeling from a tragic loss, needs every bit of her spunk to re acclimate to the world she left.  I liked Alex right away, for all the qualities I mentioned, and for the fact that her quirks only made her more human, and a incredibly sympathetic character.  In creating Alex, Jennifer Armentrout reaches out and grabs the reader, pulling you headfirst into the world she has created. 

Put on a sort of probation, Alex only has a few months to prove herself worthy of staying at the Covenant as a student.  Her other choice is a life of servitude, or living with her step-father - each are equally horrible to her.  Grieving her mother, drained by daimons, Alex sets her course: she wants to become a Sentinel, a half-blood who trains to find and fight daimons.  Half-bloods like Alex can see through the elemental magic that cloaks daimons from Pures.  And right away, I fell for her trainer, Aiden St Delphi, who vouches for the fact he can have her ready by fall term.  I loved their interaction and their exchanges, and the way Jennifer Armentrout slowly developed their relationship, showing us there is more to both characters, as individuals, and as friends and possibly more, than what meets the eye.  The two of them together, as partners in training, as friends, and as two people who are drawn together, was for me, the most genuine and heart-felt theme of the novel.

I thought the plot was solid, and I am definitely, definitely interested in the idea of absentee gods.  While some characters, like Alex, scorn the idea of being guided by them, others are still quite devout, and I admit, I am very curious as to see what, if any kind of role the gods will play in the second book. 

Things I was not a fan of: several of the characters seemed a little flat, like Lea, and Zarek, and the ones who I really craved seeing more of, like Deacon, and Caleb, weren't given near enough time or attention.  I especially found Deacon appealing, and feel like Jennifer only scratched at his surface.  

I also thought the book was too short.  The pacing was spotty in places, building a little slowly in the first half of the book, and then rushing toward the climax.  However I think this book has a lot of potential that I truly think Jennifer Armentrout will fully explore in the sequel, Pure.  And again, let me say, I adored Aiden, and Alex, and thought they were just truly amazing together.  I think Jennifer has created a (possible) couple who compliment one another very well.  And I am excited for the sequel, to see where she takes these characters! 

Memorable Quote

I shook my head, doubtful that I could believe in anything at this point, and started to slip away, but Aiden's hand tightened around my shoulders.  And instant later, he gathered me close to him.  I hesitated, because being this close to him was possibly the sweetest kind of torture.  

I needed to break away...move as far away as possible, but his arms circled my shoulders.  Slowly, carefully, I rested my head against his chest.  My hands fell to the curve of his back, and I inhaled deeply.  His scent, a mixture of the sea, and soap, filled me.  The steady beat of his heart under my cheek warmed and comforted me.  It was just a hug, but gods it meant so much.  It meant everything.  - Alex