Thursday, June 14, 2012

Video & Book Review: Half-Blood

LC's Summer Reads will be featured throughout the Summer of 2012-- These are books that I decided would be perfect for on the beach, in the sun, or pretty much wherever I happen to be this summer! Click on the button above to see what other books I plan on reading! :)
*****

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant #1
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Pages: 281
Source: The library

Summary: 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.

~Video Review~




LC's Take:

Half-Blood was one of those books that instantly pulled me into the story and had me hooked until the very end. I loved the setting, the characters, and all the twists and turns in the plot, and overall it was just a lot of fun. With that being said, there were a few things about Half-Blood that I wasn't totally a fan of, but for the most part I thought it was a very enjoyable read!

So first, I really loved Alex the main character. Alex is a "Half-Blood," which in the mythology world is basically the equivalent of being a second class citizen. Unlike Pure Bloods who are the elite and powerful descendants of Hematoi, Half Bloods lack godly powers and only have two options in life: Fight against evil daimons who try to kill Pures, or become life-long slaves in Pure households. Alex is clearly dead-set against becoming a brain-washed servant forever, so she's aiming at becoming a kick-butt Sentinel who protects the Pures. Problem is, awhile back she and her mother ran away from The Covenant and after a tragedy, Alex is back but far behind the rest of her class.

Enter Aiden: the Pure Blood sentinel ordered to help train Alex before school starts up again. Totally dreamy and insanely hot, Aiden is also off-limits to a Half Blood like Alex. But does that stop them from being incredibly attracted to each other? Of course not :)

It was a lot of fun to read through Alex's perspective throughout the story-- she was strong, snarky, with just the right mix of vulnerability and a sharp edge to make her a thoroughly likable character. As you may know, I hate whiny, weak female characters who obsess over guys who in turn walk all over them, so Alex was much more my kind of gal!

I also loved the three main guy characters in this book- Aiden, Alex's off-limits trainer, was just sexy as all get-out and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the tension build between them. Caleb, Alex's best friend at The Covenant, was loyal and always there when Alex needed him. And then Seth, the Apollyon who Alex finds herself irreversibly linked to, provided a lot of the romantic conflict, once again being a very interesting type of character to follow.

Along with characters, I HAVE to mention the huge surprise for me in this book, which was that there was not only a character named Lea-- spelled just like my name-- but she had red hair too! I couldn't even believe it. Now, in the book, unfortunately she was a major biotch who you want to slap a dozen times, but still, she added a fun element to the story as she and Alex squabbled back and forth.

So what didn't I like so much about this book? Well, I guess my biggest issue was similar to a lot of other people's-- it is extremely reminiscent of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Like, to the point where you just can't deny it. The dynamics that play out between Alex and Aiden are pretty much identical to those between Rose and Dimitri-- Dimitri and Aiden are both off-limits instructors who get romantically (and sexually) caught up with the main female lead. The daimons in Half Blood acted almost exactly like Strigoi in VA, and both evil creatures are out to get the more elite and powerful. Both Alex and Rose have big conflicts going on with their mothers, both are going to a secret school to learn fighting, both are extremely sarcastic and snarky, honestly-- I could go on but I won't!

Now these similarities did not ruin Half-Blood for me, because I really liked both it and Vampire Academy, but it did impact my experience reading it and how I ended up rating it. Another thing that bothered me about this book was that I never felt any true close connection between Alex and her mother, which was actually crucial to the story. I would have liked if there was more history and emotion revealed there, because I wasn't able to feel totally invested in everything that was going on with Alex and her mom.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Half-Blood and am happy to finally see why everyone has been raving about it for so long! Let me know in the comments below if you have read Half-Blood, or plan on reading it, because I'd love to hear your thoughts on it too! ;)

~Cover Talk~

Oh. My. God.  I know that I gush about A LOT of book covers, but I kid you not when I say that this one is one of my all-time favorites. I mean, it is just drop-dead gorgeous! From the second I saw it, it caught my eye with that purple flower made out of flames-- the colors, the design, everything about it is just amazing!

LC's Rating:
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Thoroughly enjoyable with a fun and fast-moving plot, Half-Blood was a great read in the mythology genre. My only major issue with it was the numerous similarities to Vampire Academy! Still a great book though ;)

Check it out!

Amazon | Goodreads



11 comments:

  1. "it is extremely reminiscent of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Like, to the point where you just can't deny it." - LOL. I've heard that quite a bit.

    Fun review. Yay for having a twin character, haha :)

    Is it bad that I want to read this one precisely because I want to see how similar it is to Vampire Academy? I'm curious :D

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

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  2. Haha, it's true that this totally is like Vampire Academy. In the sequel, things become more original and extremely interesting.

    Great review. :D And your eye makeup is so pretty in the vlog!

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  3. I haven't read this yet and don't know if I will, but I must agree that the cover is STUNNING. Great review.

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  4. So similar to Vampire Academy ... not sure I like that, I mean from an originality perspective.

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    1. I agree and I was really torn! I wish it had been more original, even though the story and characters were good and I enjoyed reading it... everyone is telling me the second one gets much more original, but I'm on the fence still :/

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  5. I just received my copy in the mail last week, and I am SO excited to read it. I loved your vlog for your enthusiasm about the book, but also because my internet kept freezing and so you'd freeze with an intense "I loved this book" expression on your face, while your voice kept talking. It just made the whole experience that much more entertaining =)

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    1. Hahahaha that's funny! I hope you like it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it ;)

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  6. There are some world-building similarities, but the Covenant series takes things in a really different direction in the subsequent books.

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  7. I haven't read anything by Jennifer yet, but I did just buy Obsidian for my Kindle, I can't wait to read it. I've been kind of on the fence with this book. Sometimes when I think about it, I do want to read it. But then I'm not so sure.

    I may give it a try someday, maybe after I read some of her other books, but right now I don't think it's the book for me.

    Great review! Thanks for being honest! As always. =)

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  8. both book 1 and 2 have been on my shelf unread for a while now..thanks for reminding me to go read them. great review!

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