Young Adult Fiction

Book Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)Half-Blood

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Covenant #1 & #0.5

The Verdict: ★★

For: Lovers of Vampire Academy

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Mythology, Fantasy, Young Adult fiction

Publication details: Originally published October 18th, 2011 by Spencer Hill Press. Republished with prequel novella Daimon August 14th, 2014 by Hodder

Format: Paperback, 383 pages

 All images link back to their respective Goodreads page

Book Synopsis: 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 review: If there’s one thing that really gets my goat, it’s books that read the same as other books.  Now don’t get me wrong, it happens sometimes where authors have similar ideas and they’re published but there’s always that one little thing that sets them apart to other authors and books of that type.  I unfortunately didn’t feel that from Half-Blood, if anything, I felt like I was reading a book I’ve read before.

If you’ve ever read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and then read Half-Blood you’ll see what I mean.

The characters and plot line were pretty much exactly the same as Vampire Academy just with a different name:

Alex –> Rose

Aiden –> Dimitri

Seth –> Lissa

Caleb –> Mason

Deacon –> Adrian

Half-Blood –> Dhampir

Pure-Blood –> Moroi

Daimon –> Strigoi

In with these different names was basically the same plotline – Alex leaves the Covenant (a large school for half-bloods where they train to kill the Daimons and pure-bloods to learn their element magic, once again very very similar to Vampire Academy) for a while and only comes back because her mother dies and she gets found by the Sentinels (Aiden) and taken back to the Covenant.  She then proceeds to be put on probation and put back into training with the “sexy” trainer (Aiden/Dimitri) and ends up kicking butt and getting put back in school.

One of the students parents gets eaten by the daimons much like in Vampire Academy, one of their won is turned into a daimon once again, much like Vampire Academy.

In a nutshell – Half-Blood is Vampire Academy written 4 years later. I wouldn’t say it was word for word but it was pretty damn close when you consider the two side-by-sides.  I mean, I read Vampire Academy in ’07 when it was published and back then I thought the idea was unique, after having read Half-Blood I decided not to read the rest of the series as I couldn’t get on with it.

Alex’s character grated on my nerves something chronic. After losing a parent young you tend to grow up pretty quickly, quicker than you should do and I got that feeling from Aiden who had lost his parents at a young age but Alex who watched her mother die comes across as very spoilt and very childish. She was like that throughout the entire book – her “species” are basically the bottom of the food chain but because her step-father is the Minister and her Uncle is the Dean of the Covenant she expected to be given special treatment.

A lot of the half-blood students came across as very shallow – which considering that the pures can put them into servitude with a click of their fingers – you’d think they’d be a bit more considerate and less up their own rears.  I liked Aiden’s character more than I did anyone else in the book – he came across a very stern but also with a softer side that came out in the worst possible situations especially considering that relationships between Pures and Halfs are forbidden.

It was a good idea, but would have been better if it was slightly more unique and not a near carbon copy of another book. It wasn’t badly written but I didn’t like its flow – it stopped and started a bit too much for my liking and the descriptions gave me a juvenile feeling. I’m aware the book is a Young Adult book but there’s an invisible line in the sand that says “do not cross”, Half-Blood not only crossed that line, it obliterated it.

I can’t bring myself to read the rest of the series right now if ever but for a teenager it isn’t a bad little story. I’m too old for the majority of young adult fiction to do anything but irritate me now I think.

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