Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Released: October 18th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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. (from Goodreads)
Half-Blood was just as good as I hoped it would be. I’d read so many raving reviews for it, so my expectations were pretty high. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the concept (and yes, okay, it was similar to Vampire Academy, but I think Jennifer did a lot to make this story her own, so I’m overlooking it) and I loved the characters and by the end, I was devastated – actually devastated – that I didn’t already have the sequel to read. I can’t wait until April, I actually can’t. I need Pure NOW.
Alex was nothing short of badass. She was freaking awesome. I’m generally quite a shy person, so some of the things Alex did came across as a bit rude or reckless to me, but I absolutely loved that she didn’t really care what anyone else thought of her, and that she was determined to do her own thing without being bossed around by people who didn’t even know her. Sometimes I wish I could be as brave as her! I really love heroines with strong personalities, and Alex was just that. She was a fighter, and didn’t really know any other life, so I think that’s why she was so scared of being forced into servitude. If she didn’t catch up on all the training she’d missed over the three years she was away, the Covenant were going to force her into serving the pures (pure-blooded descendants of the gods), and the thought disgusted Alex (as it did me – I can’t believe they would force people into that!) because all she wanted to do was fight the daimons that killed her mother. But as well as being kick-ass, sarcastic and talented, Alex was also pretty damn funny. She always had some great comeback, or something funny to say, and the back and forth banter between her and Aiden was brilliant to read. They were so good together! Alex also made me laugh when she felt flustered or embarrassed – as she was usually quite a confident person, seeing her blush or blabber incoherently was hilarious because it was so different from her usual self.
Aiden was...I can’t think of a word to describe him really. Sort of in a new league of book boys. He’s definitely joined my list of favourites. He was harsh on Alex while they trained, but you could tell it was because he cared. He was usually quite formal and straight-faced (and hot and stoic), but occasionally, there were these moments where he slipped up and grinned, or did something adorably sweet that just made me wish I could be Alex for a few hours. And because those moments didn’t happen that often, it was extra-amazing when they did. I just loved him, and every other page I was cursing the stupid law that made it illegal for half-bloods and pure-bloods to be together. Aiden quite clearly didn’t see half-bloods as second class, and treated Alex just like anyone else, but ahh. There was definitely tension between the pures and halfs and the law just made things worse. What exactly would happen if they did get together and reproduce, anyway? I’m so curious! I need more! And more Aiden and Alex, because those two have amazing chemistry and they need to be together. I am so Team Aiden right now, it’s unbelievable.
Another character I liked (even though I didn’t want to) was Seth. Ah Seth. The bringer of the love triangle. I just know, now that Seth has arrived, that there will be a love triangle in the next book. I’m not necessarily looking forward to it (being sick of love triangles, and all) but I think I’ll be okay with it. Mostly because in this book, Seth was pretty great. He was funny, almost as reckless and loud-mouthed as Alex, and just cool. I liked him and the way he never took much seriously, and he seemed to understand Alex more than a lot of other people. That being said, I’m still Team Aiden all the way. But I’ll be interested to see how things play out in the next book. Caleb, Alex’s best friend, was also pretty cool. He was quiet hilarious, understanding and always there for Alex. He had her back and was a good friend (well, maybe a bit reckless himself, but a good guy deep down ;]).
The plot was a bit predictable (I guessed the thing about the Apollyon from early on) but there were a few twists that kept me absorbed and I had loads of questions that I was desperate to know the answers to throughout. The book was fast-paced and never, ever boring and I finished it in one sitting. The sequel cannot come fast enough.
Overall, Half-Blood was a funny, compelling novel, with great action and amazing romance. It’s been described as a mix of Vampire Academy and Percy Jackson, which I think is exactly right. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who liked either of those series, or to anyone looking for feisty heroines and an awesome forbidden romance.