Title: Half-Blood (Covenant, 1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Mythology, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (14th August 2014)
The Hematoi descended 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 pure.
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, 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.
And discover the very beginnings of Covenant in the prequel novella . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
HALF-BLOOD is the first book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s COVENANT series which follows the story of Alexandria Andros, a half-blood who isn’t a big fan of rules but who is determined to do her duty. In a society where few things have changed since the gods walked among them, Alex is in a dangerous position as half-bloods have little power. This review is also going to cover the prequel novella DAIMON, as my copy of the book also including the novella.
Going into HALF-BLOOD I was a little nervous. I had heard such good things both about the COVENANT series itself, and the author too, that I was wondering if the book could possibly live up to the hype. Everyone seemed to be in love with the series – though I’m sure that there must have been a few dissenting voices out there – that I was worried the whole thing could be a bust. I saw the book on BookBridgr and on the off-chance decided to request it. I am so glad I did. HALF-BLOOD was a really enjoyable read that no matter how many times I had to put the book down and walk away from it, I always found myself coming back for “just one more chapter”.
I read HALF-BLOOD before I read the novella DAIMON, and for me this worked quite well. I only read them in this order because that’s the order that they are presented in my copy of the book. I am glad that my copy came with the novella though as I don’t think I would have read it otherwise, especially if it had only been available in ebook form. In DAIMON we get to see the events that lead up to HALF-BLOOD, and we’re left in the dark as much as Alex is as to the why – however, this is explained in HALF-BLOOD. I really enjoyed reading Alex as she tried to fit in, and I loved the way Armentrout wrote her relationship with her mother – who seemed like a really cool mum.
HALF-BLOOD deals with the fallout of events after DAIMON, and in fact begins not long after the novella leaves off. I think Armentrout did a really good job with the world building in the novel, especially as it is the first book in the series. There is enough information that you know kind of what’s going on, and you can understand Alex’s frustrations, but at the same time you know you don’t know everything (if that makes sense?). Armentrout uses greek mythology in a really interesting way and I look forward to seeing it (hopefully) explore more in the rest of the series.
I really enjoyed Alex as a main character, and I think she is a pretty good narrator too. One of the things I most enjoyed about her was her friendship with Caleb. Their friendship seemed really easy-going and comfortable, and it was nice to see that although there was romance Armentrout also focused on friendship too. I also have to confess that I really enjoyed Alex’s feistiness too – although this didn’t always serve her well. Armentrout also did a great job with the secondary characters, especially Caleb, Aiden, and Lea.
If you are looking for a good young adult paranormal romance then I suggest that you consider this book and series. HALF-BLOOD is a really great beginning to what promises to be a brilliant series. Don’t let the hype put you off.