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. – Goodreads
Let’s get it out of the way: yes, there are some similarities to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. At least in the beginning, anyway. While some readers may think, “Huh, this sounds familiar…”, I think it’s a fairly basic and common formula that both books follow. There may be a certain surface likeness in social structure, and the forbidden/older love interest, but I don’t think those are the standout qualities for either book series.
Anyway, moving on, Half-Blood was a fantastic read that refused to let me put it down until it was over. It was well paced, had interesting characters, and quite the romance. Alex is the main character and she was full of fire, snark, and determination. She was away from the Covenant for several years, but a horrible event in her life marked her return. After having seen her on her own in Daimon, kicking ass, her place in the Covenant hierarchy was a little difficult to swallow, but I admired her standing up for herself.
Aiden…woah, I did not expect to love him as much as I did. He was so incredibly sweet, patient, and protective (+ hot!) and he thinks very highly of Alex. I loved how attentive he was to her and the mutual respect the two shared. Their chemistry was so good and things definitely got a little steamy between them — which was a pleasant surprise! Hopefully there’s more where that came from.
Then there’s Seth. His character really threw me for a loop. I have to admit I was a little creeped out and wary about him at first, but he definitely grew on me. I’m still not completely sure how I feel about him, as he’s still very mysterious, but I did enjoy his interactions with Alex and the bond they share.
A lot of recent YA novels have been disappointing with their use of Greek mythology. Their execution has left a lot to be desired because of their attempts to attach themselves too closely to the original source material. With Half-Blood, Jennifer L. Armentrout does something a little different. Instead of tying her story with any particular myth, she created her own world with some Greek mythology twists. It was a great setup and I’m curious to see how/when the actual gods will come into play in the upcoming installments; it’s an exciting thing to look forward to!
Half-Blood is definitely a book worth giving a read. If you’re looking for a small taste of what it’s about, you can check out the prequel, Daimon, here for free. It’s not necessary to read this to enjoy Half-Blood, but I do think it adds some further insight into Alex’s character and the world Armentrout created.