Half Blood: Jennifer L Armentrout

Considering the fact that the blurb is written by someone who ripped off Twilight, I really shouldn’t be surprised that this is a rip off either.  

The Covenant series.  I’ve heard great things about it.  And after devouring the last Lux book, I really was in need of a Jennifer L Armentrout fix (that new new adult book of hers, wasn’t really doing it for me).  So why not try her other popular series, but as I read it…I started having a since of deja vu.  Let’s see why, shall we?

General Summary: You can read what this book is about here though replace Rose with  Alex and Dimitri with Aiden.  Oh, and there’s no best friend here just a dead mother.

Review:

I really don’t know how to review this one.  On one hand I want to praise it.  It wasn’t the greatest book I’ve even read, but it did engage me and make the Monday back from Spring Break bearable.  On the other hand…

It’s essentially Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy with Greek mythology loosely incorporated throughout it.  And that just makes me feel icky.  I’ll talk about this more in my worst feature section of this review-and, well, throughout other parts of the review as well.  Let’s just say that while I enjoyed reading the book, I couldn’t get past the fact that it was a Vampire Academy rip off.

So, Vampire Academy aside what do I have to say about this book  I thought it was a fairly engaging story.  And a pretty good debut (this was Armentrout’s first published book).  Alex was an engaging, relatable character and Aidwn didn’t fall into the douchiness that so many YA characters fall in.  I didn’t like Seth though, but I don’t think I was supposed to like him.

The climax was also well written.  The fight scenes were really nail biters and the decision Alex has to make is pretty heart breaking.  Though I wish there was more emotional turmoil from said decision (guess that’s what sequels are for).

So, is there anything that I have to complain about this book besides it obviously being inspired by Vampire Academy..um, yeah.  The world building for one thing was little to non-existant. You wouldn’t have known that Alex or everyone else in this novel was descended from Greek gods unless she didn’t outright tell us.  Honestly, I thought they were vampires for awhile there and that’s not because of the obvious, it’s because daimons feed on pures and half-bloods.  And I totally didn’t understand the pure and half bloods system and why the half bloods put up with it especially when there’s a super duper powerful half born each century or so.  Seriously, why not just over throw the pures it’s not like you need them like in Vampire Academy.

A lot of the time it just felt like Armentrout was riding on cliches.  For instance, Alex is conveniently a special snowflake which explains so much about why the daimons are after her.  A soul mate concept is discussed.  And then there’s also the fact that Alex is just the most amazing out of amazing sentinels in training.

In other words parts of the novel really are unicorn poo.  Despite it’s great potential if it hadn’t been a blatant p2p fan fic.

Best Feature: Great voice.  I really love Armentrout’s voice.  It’s always easy to get lost in her books. Her characters are likable and engaging.  Her books always make me smile and that’s a good thing.  I really liked Alex too.  She’s funny, smart, and can kick ass but….

Worst Feature: Vampire Academy ripoff. I would’ve liked (okay, really liked) this book if it hadn’t been a blatant Vampire Academy ripoff.  Look, I get that YA books (especially YA paranormal books) are going to be sharing similar themes.  That is expected.  However, I think this pushes the envelope a little too much.  Not only does it share a similar premises, the love interest is similar as well, and Alex is spunky just like Rose.  Even the villain is sort of similar.  And to me, that just seems wrong.  Maybe I’m sensitive because something similar happened to me when I posted a story on fan fiction and a fellow poster took my plot ideas and changed them slightly before posting a “new” story.  And yes, I get that there is no such thing as an original idea, but did if have to be such an obvious ripoff.  Look at Armentrout’s Lux series.  It’s similar to Twilight, but it’s different enough where it stands on it’s own.  For example, it involves aliens instead of vampires and has a no nonsense-I have hobbies besides cooking-herorine with a plot that other than new girl moving to new school and falls in love with a strange boy is completely different.  I swear, it is.

Appropriateness: There’s some violence, the language is PG-13, and some kissing scenes.  It’s definitely tamer than a House of Night novel if that’s what you’re worried about.

Blockbuster Worthy: It’s already becoming a movie.  Oh wait, different series.  So I guess I have to do some casting, right?

Alex: Alexis Bledel: Yeah, yeah, I know that Rory Gilmore is too old to play a teenager now.  But that’s who I imagine Alex looking like.

Aiden: Channing Tatum.  Yes, I know he’s too old for the role.  But when Channing was in the right age group he would’ve been the perfect Aiden.  He has the necessary muscles and God knows he looks like a god.

Overall Rating:  Sigh, if it wasn’t such a blatant rip off I’d be willing to give this book a solid six.  Maybe a six point five.  But because it’s a rip off it’s getting a four.  Look, I get that there are no original ideas.  I took Property I, but this is really pushing the envelope.  The fact there hasn’t been any sort of lawsuit for copyright infringement sort of amazes me even though I know the difficulties/time it would take/ and money to pursue or to even prove such a case.  And yeah, I get the novel became more of its own thing once it reached a certain point, but still….still.  Poor Richelle Mead.  She had to do all the heavy lifting.  She did all the work when it came to the novel’s set up, its world (oh, wait the vampires are replaced by gods and goddesses), and character interactions (at least  this version of Dimitri and Rose was slightly less creepy, though slightly less hot as well).   However, I will be picking up the next book.  After, I read Frostbite the second book in the Vampire Academy series.  Why you might ask?  Well, I’m hoping the series starts to deviate more from it’s fan fiction source material.  Maybe then I’ll be able to forgive myself for liking this blatant rip off.

God, I feel like I need to go to confession now.

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2 thoughts on “Half Blood: Jennifer L Armentrout

  1. I agree, I found this one very tough to review as well. I wasn't quite sure what to think because it was so similar to VA, and yet also fairly entertaining at the same time. I don't think you're being too sensitive at all. I've heard that the sequels are quire different from VA, but it's frustrating and confusing that JLA seems to have used VA to set up the world and the series.

  2. Yeah, it's a very difficult book to review. I'm really hoping your right and that it does deviate a lot (I think it will), but it left a very weird taste in my mouth so we'll see.

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