Tuesday, January 29, 2013


covenant series #1
jennifer armentrout
spencer hill press
published 2011

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 pure-blooded 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.

Sooooooo.....I got to page 18 and almost put it down for good.  I found myself constantly rechecking the front cover.  Was I reading a Vampire Academy book without knowing it?  It was really hard to stomach the blatant rip off this book was.  I thought I couldn't possibly be the only one who thought that the similarities between Armentrout's fictional world and Richelle Mead's were one too many.  On Goodreads the reviews were about the same.  Some even claiming this couldn't be legal, but there were a couple that claimed while the book bore stunning similarities at some point Armentrout branches off into her own world and it was actually really good.

There were very few good reviews for the book from people I suspect read the Vampire Academy series, but the few there encouraged me to read on so I did.

If I had never read the Vampire Academy series I probably would have loved this book, but the fact remains that I did and so I struggled with Half-Blood.  Alex is Rose.  Plain and simple.  You could insert each into the other's book and there would be no difference.  Both half-bloods ran away from their respective academies (where they were training to become some sort of assassin) and lived in the mortal world until the guardians catch up to them and bring them back to the school.  There they are judged to be hopeless, too far behind in their training so they will be sent off until one guardian volunteers to train them personally on their own time.  That guardian is also the person that Alex/Rose is in lust for and completely forbidden.  Aidan is Dimitri.  Plain and simple.  Even the Daimons/Strigoi are strangely alike.  They were always solitary hunters until recently they began hunting in groups!

And at some point she does begin to branch off into her own story.  Alex is special, unlike the other half-bloods (although, Rose too was special being shadow-kissed and unnaturally bonded to Lissa - which now that I think about it is VERY much the same as Seth & Alex) and she has a great purpose.  But before all this really needs to be dealt with she must do something she never thought she would have to do.

Armentrout can write a good book, but a book that is so steeply based in someone else's world it's hard to judge.  Half-bloods, pures, Daimons, Strigoi, mastering the elements, Aidan, Dimitri, Alex, Rose, Caleb, Mason.....there were just too many.  I probably won't read the rest of the series, though I won't say I definitely won't, but reading the synopsis for the next book in the series I still find it too much like the plot from another Vampire Academy book and that's just disappointing.

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