Synopsis: Alexandria has finally returned to the covenant after spending the past three years living among mortals. Because of her long absence, Alex has fallen behind in her studies and she has only been given the summer to catch up on her training towards becoming a sentinel. If Alex doesn’t succeed she will be forced into servitude, so she has to find a way to stay focused and stay alive. Alex soon finds herself crushing on her trainer, but he’s a pureblood and it’s against the rules. But then, Alex has always had a hard time obeying the rules….
Author: Though Jennifer L Armentrout has already released an ebook prequel to the Covenant series, it is Half-Blood that is considered her debut novel. Frequently found on twitter and blogger chats, Jennifer is actually living in West Virginia.
Writing Style: This book has a very accessible quality to it as well as a rather cheeky tone, making it a wonderful mix of emotion, seriousness, and humour. For those of you who know and like the author, you will love her book because within it you can definitely catch an overall essence that is Jennifer.
Plot: This story-line quite literally picks up where Daimon left off, with only minutes passing rather than a greater length of time. This book skimps on the details of what occurred before, but reiterates the necessary information needed within this novel. The story is filled with physical action, internal debate, and disobedient hearts.
Pacing: The novel never drags, but neither does it overload the senses. The text seamlessly transitions between mental and emotion struggles alternated with wicked fight scenes or witty repartee.
Character: Caleb is Alexandria’s best friend, even after years apart. He stands by her side no matter how angry she gets, how stupid she acts, or what rumours are circling about her. He keeps her secrets, gives her support when she needs it, and would follow her into danger.
Character Development: Alexandria is the protagonist and as such she changes the most. In the prequel she is essentially the usual selfish teenager, but her growth continues further in this next book. Alex starts off rather cocky and confident, believing that she doesn’t need to rely on anyone but herself. Then she starts to realize that it is okay to need help, okay to lean on someone, okay to show emotion. The more her inner strength grows, the greater her physical power becomes.
Romance: The pureblood offspring of two Hematoi are not supposed to fraternize with the half-bloods, making Alex and Aiden’s budding relationship take on the appeal of a forbidden love. While most would consider the idea of a daily @$$kicking rather unromantic, the personalities of these two protagonists would cause them to be unable to respect anyone who could not fight and thus making their training sessions the most logical way for them to bond.
Quote: I stared up at him, entertaining a vividly wild scenario in which he pulled me against him and kissed me like the barrel-chested men in those smutty books my mom used to read.
Sidenote: While the pronunciation guide is helpful, it would have been more so as a glossary by including the definitions of the words and phrases.
The Verdict: Half-Blood is one of those can’t-put-down-and-really-want-the-rest-of-the-series-now type of book. It is a fantastic combination of paranormal, romance, and action that will satisfy any reader. The novel is available this month so keep an eye out for it in the bookstore, because you will not want to pass this book by.