Ads 468x60px

Friday, January 11, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout

Title: Half-Blood
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
Publishing House: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 9780983157205
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Could you kill the one you love?

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.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


With all the love Jennifer Armentrout's books are getting, I was naturally curious as to find out why the blogosphere remans in a tizzy over them. Add to the fact that my co-blogger has taken it upon herself to read the Lux series, I thought to myself, "Sure, why not?" and purchased my copy of Half-Blood, the first in the Covenant series.

Alexandria, for reasons unknown to her, has been led to run away from the Covenant by her mother. Out in the mortal world, they can both pretend that they're just normal mortal beings, but not for long. When Daimons started swarming their apartment, the Covenant's golden boy, Aiden, swoops in and takes her back to the institution against her will. Back in the Covenant, Alex is given a chance to possibly fulfill her dream of becoming a Sentinel, or be forced to submit to domestic slavery. Training with Aiden is hard, but remembering to keep her hands to herself is even harder - especially when he seems to be showing an interest in her as well. Toss in the fact that Alex seems to have something extra with regards to her capabilities, and you've got a girl who has a lot more potential than anyone thinks she is capable of having. And while Alex has plans to extract revenge on the Daimons who killed her mom, she is not prepared to face the Daimon who could prove to be a most difficult adversary. And this time? It's as personal as it can get.

With all the people out there commenting that Half-Blood was similar to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy, I thought nothing of it. After all, a lot of books have been touted as the next Twilight, or the next The Hunger Games. Initially, I thought that the Vampire Academy vibes I was getting was just something that would come to pass, but as I read on, I couldn't help but start comparing the two books as I went along. The only main difference between these two books would be that while Vampire Academy deals with (duh) vampires, Half-Blood deals with a race that has supposedly descended from the Greek gods. Reading this one was kind of hard without having to stop and jab fingers at characters who had the same characteristics and roles as Mead's characters.

The world-building is sketchy and poorly crafted. It felt like there was not much reading into that is required of the reader, as details and information are often passed out on huge silver platters, but even with the info dump, there were also a lot of things that I just did not find reassuring. Color me confused as to why "useless" half-bloods had to be drugged and be subject to domestic labor, or why Half-bloods and Purebloods just could not be together. 

The characters of Half-Blood were also indistinguishable and uninteresting. Alex was supposedly this kickbutt protagonist, but all I did was wince when I read her share of repartee. The way she was going, I could have sworn that the main protagonist was a raspberry-blowing thirteen year-old ("You're so tan I thought you were a leather chair." being the most horrendous one for me.) Aiden was no better. I was expecting at least a semi-swoonworthy male lead, but all I get is a guy who saves a girl, and then, of course, finds himself becoming enamored with her. I could not comprehend the attraction at all. Aiden was always going about how strong, how full of life Alexandria was. I don't know about you guys, but a guy complimenting me on how alive I am is not particularly romantic. As I said, everyone in the book is pretty much generic, and no one stood out particularly to me - not even Caleb, Alex's only friend, who somehow always shows up when Alex is down or in trouble. Even the Apollyon, Seth, who is supposedly this super special once-in-a-lifetime being irked me, especially when he seems to across as a super special jerk.

Fight scenes aren't memorable at all, and I can't stress how important this is, especially when the storyline demands a lot of it! Armentrout's attempts at making the rescues look mostly heroic and romantic only make clear to me that actions scenes are not her focus at all.

With the potential of a sharp-tongued heroine, a forbidden romance, and the promise of danger set in a supposedly well-ensconced boarding school, it's clear why Armentrout has a lot of fans clamoring for this series. Maybe because I read Richelle Mead's series firsthand, or maybe because I just wasn't the intended audience, I'm going to have to give the rest of the series a pass.



  1. When I saw your review title, I clicked on it immediately. Like you said, this series has been getting a lot of love. But I haven't read any of the books yet. After reading your review, I'm wondering what's so great about the series. It doesn't sound very original. However, I think I'm still going to read it for myself. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Thanks! I think it took every ounce of strength in me to write this review and not make a bullet-point comparison with Vampire Academy. If you do get a chance to read it, I would seriously want to know what you'd make of it.

  2. Aaaaww, I haven't read any of her books but I've been meaning to with all the love and buzz. I got a Cursed ARC here from a friend. I guess I'll just see for myself but I'm really scared that I'll just get disappointed. It happened more than once before.

    1. I know what you mean. I get excited about A LOT of books, only to find myself disappointed. Some books have really great summaries and/or premises, but when you get into the actual content, you get an altogether different thing! I do, however, have also found myself liking books that I thought I wouldn't appreciate at all, so what I'm trying to do now is approach books with an open mind. I guess sometimes, we do get too caught up in our own expectations after all.

      Thanks for leaving a comment! :)

  3. I haven't read this series yet but I always good reviews on it. I thought I'd like it because I really liked the way Obsidian was written. Your review definitely makes me second guess it. You made some good points and named things that usually bother me. Great, informative review!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland
    Also check out our new meme, the Leap Frog Follow Hop

    1. I saw the ratings too, and I thought that I would (hopefully) like it. But as my co-blogger smugly often points out, I am difficult to please when it comes to books.

      Regardless, I am glad to be of help - if any, at all. Thank you for reading the review and leaving a comment. :)

  4. I do enjoy this series but I really can't deny that so much about is similar to VA!

    1. The parallels are so astounding, I couldn't help but stop reading every time I read about a new character or a new development in the plot, and go all, "Hey, that sounds familiar..."