I’m finding that usually when I read one Jennifer L Armentrout book I have to read another one by her and then my belly is sort of full of her stuff to the next release.
But honestly, reading The Covenant series always makes me feel a little squeamish, so I think even if I hadn’t read Origin first, I still would’ve felt weird about this book.
Let’s be clear, I don’t hate The Covenant series. I have a lot of problems with it. If you read mine or several other reviews about Half Blood, you probably know what the problem is. It’s a very good Vampire Academy knock off. And lots of books in the genre are knock offs, I know. But this series borderlines on the Cassandra Clare level of knock offs minus Plagiarism and Laptop gate.
In this installment, there are still some similarities to Vampire Academy but Armentrout decides to add another popular YA series into the mix. The Mediator by Meg Cabot.
This series has been around for awhile, so a lot of readers might not be aware of it which is a shame. Because The Mediator really was ahead of its time. If the first book probably would’ve been published post Twilight or for that matter post Meg Cabot fame, I guarantee you CW show at the least. This is one kick ass YA series with a love triangle that’s not annoying. And Armentrout tries to pick up on that vibe. And well….Alex ain’t no Suze. Seth does make a pretty good Slater though and Aiden when he’s not dull as a bag of rocks makes a decent Jesse though I still prefer mi queirda to whatever Aiden was saying in Greek.
Honestly, Alex was the biggest problem I had in this book.
She’s not the worst YA heroine I’ve ever read about. No, that honor goes to Bethany Church or that Luce girl from the Fallen series, but she’s just not that relatable. I think a lot of it is because she’s a poser Rose and a poser Suze. Oh yes, Armentrout tries to bring her into her own but it’s like she’s pretending to be something she’s not.
I know, that sounds strange because Alex is a fictional character.
I guess another analogy to describe is she suffers from “strong independent woman” syndrome. A term that was defined by the Nostalgia Chick in her list on God awful female superhero movies. Basically this trope is when female characters are made to look strong but still need their butt saved at the end of the day. And of course, in the movies they wear pretty skimpy clothes while doing it. There’s not a lot of description of Alex’s clothing, so I can’t go there too much. But I will say girl needs a lot of saving and there always, always has to be a man in her life.
As for the love plot, I got the attraction to Seth. I liked him as a character. And he is a sexy asshole. But as a romantic connection to Alex? Girl, should’ve known better. He was so pulling a Paul Slater on her. Even Suze admitted that Paul was up to no good when she had those few make out sessions with him and Paul was sneakier than Seth.
And Aiden, well, he was a little less boring at times…but his devotion to Alex? Um, a little unrealistic at this point. They’ve only had sex once people. And haven’t really been on a real date. I get they’ve been in YA lust for two books up to this point, but the stuff he does….there needed to be more relationship building. I actually understood a lot of the rolling my eyes worthy stuff that Daemon did in Origin because he and Katy actually had a relationship that didn’t involve…well, just sex and lust. They actually grew as a couple. Here we just had soap opera love which equates to longing, amazing kiss that turns to sex, eternal love and probably pretty soon marriage.
Speaking of the Lux series, I think I’m starting to pick up on more Armentrout tropes because I notice some similar things in here to that series. All authors have their own tropes, but usually their not this identifiable. I mean, since we’re talking about her take Meg Cabot for instance. I know that most of her heroines are going to have some neurosis to a degree and probably will have something special about them. But the tropes aren’t so identical that I just groan. Here we have plot related choices that I’ve seen before. Almost a little cut and paste change a few details and bang new story. Which is really annoying after awhile.
I didn’t hate this book though. Once the action picked up it was a decent story. And I am looking forward to reading the fourth installment. I just…I don’t know I haven’t been able to love the Covenant series like I love the Lux series. And I’m sort of okay with it now. I forced myself to try to love it for about three books, but once I realized that my issue was with the main character and not the fact that it rips off two really good YA series I was sort of able to forgive myself. Although, I’m still annoyed with Armentrout, who I think really is quite talented, for ripping off popular YA series. Especially after the last installment with Lux (I know, unrelated but if you read my review of Origin you know what I’m talking about).
You’re not Cassandra Clare, Armentrout, don’t try to take the Queen of YA Plagiarism’s place. You’re too good for that.
Overall Rating: Five Deities. Average.