Series Name: The Covenant Series, # 1

Review By Veronica

Half-Blood might be a great fit for those readers who loved The Vampire Academy series.

Favourite Quote:

Everything around me stopped in an instant. The air went out of my lungs. 

No. No. No. 

He stood at the mouth of the alley, directly across from the bungalow and right beside the front porch where the old ladies sat. They glanced over at him as he stepped out onto the sidewalk, but they dismissed the stranger and returned to their conversation. 

They couldn’t see what I saw. 

No mortal could. Not even a pure blood could. Only half-bloods could see through the elemental magic and witness the true horror—skin so pale and so thin that every vein popped through the flesh like a black snake. His eyes were dark, empty sockets and his mouth, his teeth…

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

I’m a huge fan of Jennifer’s books, both adult and YA. So, when a staff member at Indigo showed me the new edition of Half-Blood, I knew I needed to bring it home with me. The cover and its sprayed edges are gorgeous. I was also really excited to read another YA series by Jennifer. I was obsessed with The Harbinger series and hoped this book would spark a new obsession. Unfortunately, this book was a bit of a miss for me. This is one of Jennifer’s earlier books, and I think her voice and the storytelling that I love in her later books haven’t been developed at this point yet. As always, just because I didn’t enjoy this book doesn’t mean that others won’t love it. Every book has its reader and not every reader is meant to love every book. 

Here are some good things about this book. The first quarter of this book has a pretty fast pace. Alexandria is on the run with her mother, and when things take a turn for the worse, Alexandria finds herself alone and running away from daimons. I really enjoyed this part of the book. I am a sucker for a good urban paranormal story, and this scratched that itch for me at times. I liked the world that Jennifer has created. It does have some Vampire Academy vibes to it, which I kind of liked. There aren’t any vampires in this book, but the daimons do drink the blood of Hematoi and half-blood. For those looking for a YA on the lower end of the spice scale, this book would be a good fit for you. The spice is pretty much non-existent in this book, unlike most of Jennifer’s later books, which are very spicy. 

So what didn’t work for me. The structure of this book is very weird. I wanted to find out if this book was released in smaller chunks because it’s broken up into smaller parts, and at the beginning of each part, Jennifer does a quick recap of what just happened. It would make sense if this book was released in smaller parts with chunks of time lapsing between each release date. This structure doesn’t work when you are reading the book as a whole. In fact, it’s quite annoying. I don’t need a recap of things that happened on the previous page. It makes for a jarring and unpleasant reading experience. The other problem I have was with Alexandria. I just didn’t click with her, which really sucked because I loved all of Jennifer’s other heroines. There is just something lacking about her personality. She’s blah, and that’s not a good thing in any book, but especially a paranormal book. I found I really didn’t care what happened to her. Many of the characters’ interactions felt off, and I just didn’t connect with anyone. 

Half-Blood did not live up to my expectations, but I still think Jennifer is a fabulous writer, and I adore many of her other books.