Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Half-Blood (ARC)

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

Series: Covenant, #1
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA PNR
Features: Daimons, gods
Publisher: Spencer Hill
Publication Date: September 15, 2011
Source: Publisher for review
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
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.
Wowieeeee. I was instantly hooked by this book when I read the synopsis and saw the gorgeous purple cover, but that's nothing compared to what's actually inside the book. Jennifer Armentrout creates a butt-kicking, crime-fighting, people-protecting tough female protagonist that you just can't help not liking. One of my top favorite female main characters ever? Heck, yes. And I don't even want to go on about Aiden, because I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop. Two words: He's. Amazing. (Or is that three words, because the apostrophe takes the place of a letter...?) Poor Jace and Prince Ash. This guy can give them a run for their money.

I loved this book because while it had quite a few romantic parts, it fits and is written in a really enjoyable way. Armentrout creates a romance that seems completely real and not at all like that "soul-mate" stuff we get a lot. Alex and Aiden start off as really good friends, and it always melts my heart when Aiden says "Do you trust me?"

We have also have some pretty great supporting characters. Caleb is such a funny, supportive guy that is a good best friend. Lucky Alex gets two great guys in her life. And of course, every organization needs their queen bee, who in this case is Lea, a total b with an itch with stunning looks and a big head (figuratively speaking). While I felt like slapping her sometimes, she's not a complete terrorist all the time. I guess if you lose some really important people that happens to you. Marcus doesn't seem like an important character in the novel, and while he isn't actually in the book all the time, he kind of gets onto my good side in the end. I can't tell you how, though.

I was not disappointed at all from the beginning to the end. This book has everything: the scary monsters, the dangerous quests, the annoying family members, the steamy scenes... I just couldn't get enough of it. Talk about frustrating when I reached the end. I really hope Pure comes out soon, because I don't know how much longer I can hold onto my sanity. Guys, read this book. It's worth it. 

Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
OMFG. AIDEN. IS SOOOOO HOT. Sorry. *hides*

Beginning Excerpt:

(As the first section can be found in Daimon, which was available for free, this is the beginning of the second chapter.)
Whatever my head rested on felt firm, but oddly comfortable. I snuggled closer, feeling safe and warm- something I hadn't felt since Mom pulled my butt from the Covenant three years ago. Jumping from place to place rarely afforded such a comfort. Something wasn't right.
     My eyes flew open.
     Son of a bitch.
     I jerked back from Aiden's shoulder so fast I cracked my head against the window. "Crap!"
     He turned toward me, his dark brows high. "Are you okay?"
     I ignored the concern in his voice and glared at him. I had no idea how long I'd been out of it. Judging by the deep blue of the sky outside the tinted windows, I guessed it'd been hours. Pures weren't supposed to use compulsions on halfs who were't in servitude; it was considered highly unethical since compulsions stripped people of free will, choice and everything.
     Damn Hematoi. Not that they ever cared about ethics.

Favorite/Teaser Quotes/Excerpts: 
He placed his fingers against my skin and I nearly jumped off the table. Not because the salve was cold-don't get me wrong, it was freezing-but they were his fingers moving along my back. A pure never touched a half this way. Or maybe they did now. I didn't know, but I couldn't imagine the other pures I knew seeking to ease a half's pain. They usually didn't care enough to.
     Aiden silently worked the thick balm across my skin and then up. Eventually his fingers brushed the edge of my sports bra. My skin felt strangely warm, which was odd to me since the stuff was so cold. I focused on the wall in front of me. There was that picture of Aphrodite perched upon a rock. She had this lusty look on her face and her boobs were hanging out for the world to see.
     That was so not helping.

I headed for the doors.
     My stomach tightened. "Yeah?"
     He stood a few feet away. "I think it would be a good idea... if you don't wear that to practice again."
     Oh. I'd forgotten what I was wearing. It was a pair of questionable shorts Caleb had picked up for me. I hadn't even thought he'd noticed. Looking at Aiden now, I realized he had noticed. I fixed an overly innocent look on my face. "Do you find these shorts distracting?"
     Aiden gave me one of his rare smiles. Every cell in my body warmed. I even forgot about the terrible thing I was training for. His smile had that kind of impact.
     "It's not the shorts I find distracting." He brushed past me, stopping at the door. "In our next practice I may let you train with the daggers if we have time."
     My distracting shorts and everything else were forgotten for the time being. "No way. You're being serious?"
     He tried to look serious, but his grin looked a bit mischievous. "I think it wouldn't hurt, but only for a little bit. I think it will help... you get a feel on how to handle them."
     I glanced back at the wall of weapons. I wasn't even allowed to touch them, and now he was going to let me actually practice with them. It was like graduating kindergarten. Hell, it was like Christmas Eve.
     Without thinking, I closed to distance between us and hugged him. Aiden immediately stiffened, obviously caught off guard. It was just a simple hug, but the tension racked up several degrees. I suddenly wondered what it would feel like if I rested my head against his chest like I had when he'd come back from Lake Lure. Or if his arms came around me and he held me, but not out of comfort. Or if I kissed him again like I had that night... would he kiss me back?
     "You're far too pretty to be dressed like that." His breath stirred my hair. "And you're entirely too excited to be working with knives."
     I flushed, stepping back. What? Aiden thought I was pretty? It took me several moments to work past that. "I'm bloodthirsty. What can I say?"
     Aiden's eyes dropped, and I decided I needed to go to the store and find as many pairs of minuscule shorts as I could get my hands on.
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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