Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Length: 281 Pages
Paperback, via Amazon.com
Rating: 3.75 Brownies
Hema-Wha? You heard correctly-- Hematoi. That's just one of many ambiguously pronounced words found throughout Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Luckily, each copy comes equipped with a mini-pronunciation kit of some of the more challenging terms; you never have to worry about accidentally calling them the Hee-Ma-Toi.
Now, before reading Half-blood, I would wince any time I decided to skim its reviews. I read review after review about the countless similarities that the novel shares with the Vampire Academy series. I've yet to read any VA novels, but perhaps if I had I would not have enjoyed Half-Blood as much as I did. That said, I think it's unfair to completely debase a series just because it-sorta-kinda resembles another. The world Armentrout creates does not involve Vampires and does not feature any characters used in the VA series. Sure, parallels may be drawn between the two, but it's the readers job to immerse themselves in any book he or she sets out to read. If you know you won't appreciate the similarities, don't read it unless you're willing to give it a chance of its own.
Whoosh. Sorry, had to get that out of the way. Continuing on--
There were many things I really liked about Half-blood. For one, Alex, the protagonist, manages to pull off both strong and relatable-- something many novels fail to do. Usually it's one or the other, but Alex displays both characteristics. The world building is also quite enjoyable; any time I crack open the book I'm able to picture the beautiful island setting clearly. Not to mention the whole idea behind the Apollyon, (read A-POL-ee-on). I won't spoil anything, but the concept instantly reeled me in. This aspect, among others, gives the book its page-turner quality. It's very easy to watch hours fly while reading this book.
As for things I'm not looking forward to in future installments, I sense an inevitable love triangle in the works. Again, I shall spoil nothing, but I think it's fair to warn anyone looking into this series that I feel a strong, triangle-y vibe coming my way. As someone who tries to avoid novels with unnecessary romantic complexity, this is something I wish I had known before reading. I'm not certain this will be the case, but it sure seems like it from where I stand now in the series. The great features of the novel, however, help to make up for this frustrating element.
At the end of the day, is Half-Blood anything special? No. Is it thoroughly enjoyable? Yes. Such is why I give it a 3.75-4.0 rating. If you're looking for a great, immersive and creative series to read, Half-Blood is certainly something I recommend. I already own the first of another series by Armentrout, Obsidian, and I intend to read it as soon as I finish Pure.
Also, I'm Team Aiden so far. ;)
(Seen First on GoodReads)