Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal YA
Excerpt: Free Prequel
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sex. Scenes that allude to sexual activity.
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.
The first few chapters of this book rubbed me the wrong way, but never have I been so glad that I kept reading past those initial growing pains as when I finished HALF-BLOOD. The opening of this story felt like a recipe for drama and disaster: forbidden love, bad attitude, mean-girl nemesis and evil step-father. While the world of the Hematoi never gets any kinder (the treatment of half-bloods goes beyond “second class citizenship” to just plain horrific), and destiny definitely has it in for Alex, but by book’s end I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Covenant book two, PURE.
My change of heart is definitely due to the way Alex develops. In the beginning, she was a painfully mouthy girl, with no self-control and penchant for catty dialog. After her behavior during the inauspicious opening, I was resigned to an entire book filled with bad decisions and eye-rolling behavior. Even when destiny was lining Alex up to be the instrument that could win justice for half-bloods, her initial behavior had me expecting nothing more than a pawn of destiny that is moved by powers beyond her comprehension (which would fit the “lack of self-control” issue quite nicely). Alex blew my expectations away, however, becoming an active agent in her own success and a big part of what I loved about this book.
The first trials that Alex faces and overcomes are both emotional and significant, but there’s definitely storms ahead for her in book two. Both her magical legacy and the ruling class will complicate her love life, and the battlefield between Hematoi and daimons has become more dangerous than ever. The romantic elements of HALF-BLOOD are pretty advanced for YA (Alex and her friends are really written more as college kids than high-schoolers), and it’s apparent that things are just going to get steamier and more complex in book two. Even knowing the difficulties Alex will face, I can’t wait to pick up PURE and see what more she can accomplish and how much more she will grow.