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December 22, 2011

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)
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.

 Have you ever read a book that just blows your mind to the point where you don't even know where to begin? Half-Blood was one of few 2011 releases that left me with such a feeling. I had to wait a while to get my hands on a copy--I read the prequel Daimon back in April--but once I did, I was hooked. It took me all of five hours to finish, but the story remained ingrained in my mind for quite a while afterwards.

Alexandria Andros aka Alex is unlike any other seventeen-year-old. As a half-blood, or descendant of the Greek gods through marriage of a pure-blood to a mortal, Alex only has two possible paths from which to choose--either train to become a hunter of daimons, pures that have become addicted to the gods' essence aether, or live as a servant in the home of a pure. Alex's scenario is slightly different than those of fellow half-bloods, however. When she was just a child, her mother took her away for unknown reasons. Through a series of unfortunate events, Alex lands herself right back in the hands of the Covenant, where she grew up and should have stayed. Unfortunately for her, she's gotten behind in her training, and even worse, she has to once again deal with her long-time crush, Sentinel and pure-blood Aiden St. Delphi. Have I mentioned that relationships between half-bloods and pures are forbidden?

There's no better way to describe Alex than simply kickass. She's got attitude, spunk, strength, and just enough of a girly side to make me adore her like mad. Her personality is almost directly opposite to that of Aiden, who is reserved but an excellent fighter. When the two of them are together, the sparks are definitely flying. It's so much more intense yet delightful knowing that their relationship has to remain secret. One of the things I really appreciated aboutHalf-Blood was the introduction of a second significant male character without a love triangle. Cue Seth, who is downright gorgeous and powerful beyond belief. Seth is vital to the story, but it is always perfectly clear to whom Alex's affections are directed.

A few more things I really enjoyed about the novel include fabulous bouts of humor, an unpredictable plot, and an ideal ending. I didn't really know how the story could end, but it was nice to avoid a major cliffhanger while also being left unsatisfied and wanting more. Only the best authors can draw in a reader without stopping abruptly or creating a basic happy ending.

I absolutely cannot wait to read the sequel, Pure. So many questions, such little patience. Is it 2012 yet?!

Rating: 5/5 stars

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