Sunday, 19 April 2015

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood (2011) (Hodder)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Grade: B
Genre: young adult / supernatural
Source: bookbridgr
Covenant: (1) Half-Blood
General RBC 2015: A book based on a myth 

The Hematoi descend from the union of Gods and mortals. Children of two pure-blood Hematoi possess god-like powers and are like the royalty of their community. Children of a pure-blood and a mortal – not so much. They have two choices in life: become a slave in the households of pure bloods, or train to become a Sentinel and protect their community.

Three years ago, Alexandria Andros was taken away from the Covenant by her mother. Now that her mother’s dead, Alex has been returned to the Covenant and must fight for the right to stay – not easy given that she’s missed three years of training. The delectable Aiden has taken responsibility for Alex’s training and Alex is determined to prove that she’s got what it takes to become a Sentinel. Her journey isn’t helped by both others’ wish that she fail and her forbidden attraction to pure-blood Aiden …

I really didn’t expect to like this; I’ve more than grown out of the young adult supernatural/paranormal scene and have no real desire to actively seek out new material in this genre. Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised to see that that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying Half-Blood and the world that Jennifer L. Armentrout has created. An American import, this was first published in 2011 and has only recently been picked up and publish
ed in the UK by Hodder. Presented to the right following, this series has great potential to re-slake the thirst for YA supernatural lovers, moving away from the current trend towards contemporary.

For the most part, I liked Alex. She experiences considerable trauma over the course of the book and generally handles it well, channelling her anger towards her training, though she has a tendency to get side-tracked easily. Her friends mean a lot to her and she stands up for what she believes in, even if her opinions might be unpopular amongst her peers. Aiden is an incredibly patient teacher and though I admit to sometimes losing my patience with the repetitiveness of the book, there is great potential and Jennifer L. Armentrout has definitely set the wheels in motion for what will be an explosive series.

I am highly tempted to seek out book two in this series, Pure, and find out what happens next. Given that five full-length and two ‘half’ books have published before this series even hit the UK, this is some commitment. The fact that I’m tempted despite the ridiculous number of books that I’ve already started and am due to start, is a great testament to Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing, characters and the intrigue she’s spun. At this point, I don’t think it’ll take much to get me hooked onto the series.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction.

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