Book Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout

HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant, #1
Publication Date: October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
Rating: |

Summary: “Could you kill the one you love?”

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.

Review Overview:

  • To be honest, the similarities to Vampire Academy made me suspicious.
  • Aiden is so freaking hot; love the tension and build up between Aiden and Alex
  • Finally, a YA Greek mythology-based series that can be held in the same light as Percy Jackson

There’s more than a handful of positive reviews for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s HALF-BLOOD and I didn’t believe they hype until I read this book for myself. The reviews don’t lie; this book is made of awesome. Finally, there’s a fantastic Greek mythology series for young adults that’s at the same level of greatness as Percy Jackson. Yes, I said it – and I can’t believe it myself.

While HALF-BLOOD really entertained me, it’s far from perfect. I guess I can’t help but find some faults in a book and nitpick. I felt like the climax of the book was really rushed. What was hours for Alex only translated to a couple of paragraphs and it made me feel disconnected from her as a reader. Because her struggles were written in a matter of paragraphs, the intensity of her pain and suffering were diluted to me as a reader.

However, I loved that this book had a beginning, middle, and an end – despite the fact that it is a first in a series. The ending was enough to leave me satisfied as a reader, but there were also enough loose ends to make me crave the next book. Yes, I can’t wait!

I think what kept me from fully enjoying HALF-BLOOD is the fact that now I really can’t help but compare it to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. When I heard that HALF-BLOOD was Vampire Academy meets Percy Jackson, I didn’t believe it until I actually started reading. There are just so many elements in the book that reminded me of Vampire Academy, and at first, it wasn’t a good thing. I’d hate to say the P-word so I’d rather not, but the fact that the beginning of HALF-BLOOD was so similar to the beginning of Vampire Academy bothered me. I was even tempted to pull out a copy of Vampire Academy and do a line-by-line analysis. (Okay, I didn’t end up actually doing this, and I’m not making any accusations. But yes, the beginning of HALF-BLOOD felt like ad lib.)

But of course I can’t forget the fact that this is a different magic system altogether. What makes HALF-BLOOD stand out against the recent surge of popular Greek mythology-based YA novels is the fact that this novel isn’t based on one certain myth. Armentrout takes the idea of demi-gods and their offspring and creates a fascinating world complete with a caste system. While I wish that it could have actually incorporated a bit more mythology into the novel, it was also refreshing that the storyline wasn’t following one of the Greek myths. In the end, I love that Armentrout did something different with Greek mythology than all the others in the market.

I have to keep reminding myself that is a different book altogether, and I should stop thinking that Rose or Dimitri wouldn’t act a certain way in Scene A or B because they don’t exist in HALF-BLOOD. Alex and Aiden are both kick-ass characters that deserve my respect and admiration.

But, oh my gods, this is a four-star review, so what is up with all the complaining? Okay, I can’t help but point out the obvious similarities with Vampire Academy but I should not let this stop my from actually praising Half-Blood. From the very beginning, I knew I would love this.

Aiden really is swoon-worthy and Alex is so so lucky. I’m a sucker for forbidden love – done right, mind you – and Armentrout really knew how to build up the tension between Alex and Aiden. Aiden had been easily inducted into my Epic List of Hot Book Boyfriends (a mental list – this doesn’t really exist anywhere else but my head). Silver eyes are a definite plus, and I love that he’s all broody and mysterious. And super hot and muscular. Okay, he reminds me a lot of Dimitri Belikov, minus the Russian part. I wish that the romantic tension would have been drawn out even more. Even though it was great seeing some progress between Aiden and Alex, I felt that it would have been more satisfying if less had happened between the two of them and the tension was left unresolved until the sequel.

I love the world building in HALF-BLOOD. I really learned about the different caste systems of the pures and halfs, and I love the dynamics between them all. They create some interesting conflicts in the novel, so the focus just isn’t on romance. Thank gods.

I feel like I complained more than praised in this review, but don’t get me wrong: this is a must-read. Don’t discriminate HALF-BLOOD because it’s published by an indie. This is a gem and Spencer Hill Press is so lucky to have found it.


Other Reviews:
Candace’s Book Blog
Sniffly Kitty’s Mostly Books

About the Author

Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. Well, mostly. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads


  1. I haven’t read Vampire Academy, so if I picked this up I don’t think I would have the same problem you did. Half-Bloods sounds really good and I am interested in reading it now. Thanks for the honest review, and I am glad you liked it :)

  2. Same level as Percy Jackson? Sold. So far, I’ve found nothing that can compare, but this looks awesome! Aiden sounds amazing (and hot) and I’m glad the romance is done well. Great review!

  3. Yep, in total agreement with you re: the Vampire Academy similarities! I had to pause during my reading to think back to VA and how things played out there. Still, I managed to get through it and I really ended up loving the book on its own merits. I’m looking forward to the next! :D

  4. Wow, YOU are saying this is as good as Percy Jackson?! Amazing :) I haven’t read Vampire Academy yet, but I’m disappointed to hear there are so many similarities. Still, it sounds like a fun book overall.

  5. wow, I almost agree with everything you say. loved the plot, but gosh it read JUST like Vampire Academy!! I swear it felt like VA was used like a template for this book! but i did leik the greek mythology stuff

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