Mythological Mondays is a feature I created to spotlight books brimming with--you guessed it--mythology! I adore this sub-genre and can't wait to share my love with all of my fellow bookworms! This feature isn't just focused on novel reviews; it may also include interviews, looks at original mythological tales, etc. Please feel free to do this with me! If you guys ever do a mythological feature and want to join this and snag my lovely mermaid, I would LOVE to see the feature. I’ve even included a Linkbox for you. It doesn’t have to be Greek mythology, or even mythology per say. It can be mermaids, unicorns, or heck, even fairy tales (because I’m too lazy to do a separate fairy tale feature…). It doesn’t even have to be every Monday. I’m sure there will be Mondays when I skip, too. ^_^
One of my favorite reads this summer, HALF-BLOOD immediately throws readers into the action and sends them on a whirlwind adventure. Once you pick this up, you won’t stop to breathe again until the end is in sight…and then you’ll be clamoring for the second book in the quartet, PURE. It’s that good. Luckily, Spencer Hill Press put out a free prequel novella, DAIMON, which can be downloaded and read now. I waited to read it until after reading HALF-BLOOD in case there were spoilers, and I’m happy to say there weren’t. In fact, the beginning of HALF-BLOOD can be a little confusing only because readers are dropped RIGHT into a scene and have to slowly unravel what the heck’s happening, who people are, and how they correspond with one another. It would have been nice to have read DAIMON going into HALF-BLOOD. At the same time, I can see why the author and publisher went this route: There’s not as much action in DAIMON as there is in HALF-BLOOD. Jumping right into the thick of things adds a shot of immediacy straight into the reader’s veins, causing their story to get into the blood…hooking us. And the COVENANT series is seriously an addiction I can’t quit!
I’ve been drooling over the synopsis for HALF-BLOOD ever since I first heard about it. Hello, it’s mythology! Say no more, I’m already half-in-love. Luckily, HALF-BLOOD lived up to all of my expectations and more. The book has a definite BUFFY vibe to it—but in a good way. It felt gritty and organic, with some truly kick-ass action. What more do we need? How about…a story of star-crossed lovers! The romance between Angel and Buffy was one of the hooks that first had me falling in love with Buffy…and the same is true in HALF-BLOOD. Enter Alexandria (Alex) and Aiden. Aiden is gorgeous and absolutely perfect, a top-dog at the Covenant. He’s also a Pure, a full-fledged Hematoi. Hematoi are the descendants of couplings between gods and mortals. When two Hematoi have a child, that baby is considered pure-blooded. If a Hematoi has a child with a mortal, the baby is a half-blood. Sadly, Alex is a half-blood, which means she doesn’t have as many powers as a Pure and is treated poorly because of her parentage. Plus, it’s forbidden for Pures and Halfs to get together and sully the blood.
Alex has always had a crush on Aiden, but knows she has no chance…and then he becomes her sole hope if she wants to remain at the Covenant after something horrible happens and he vouches for her. He begins training her and bringing her back up to speed. Alex learns at a faster rate than most half-bloods, and I want to know where this is going…actually, I already have an idea that I want confirmed. The story gets very dark very first, delving deeper into a world that was built with a strong foundation. In addition to Pures and Halfs, there are Daimons, creatures who were once Pures until they fed on aether from the blood of another descendant. Now addicted, they must consume more aether to survive. Their nature is very vampiric; they can leave tag marks all over their victims. Most victims don’t survive. To combat Daimons, the Covenant trains Guards and Sentinels. It is rare for a Half to be trained since the abilities don’t run as deep as they would for a pure. Alex, however, shows a strange aptitude and is good at what she does. Plus, she’s extremely motivated: Daimons killed her mother. If she can’t remain at the Covenant in training, she’ll be forced into servitude, the only option for most half-bloods. Plus, their minds become controlled to the point where they like serving others. Alex doesn't want that life—especially because she knows she’ll wind up in her pure-blooded stepfather’s household.
I can’t say enough good things about this series. I want PURE now. Heck, no I don’t. I want all four books right now! On top of that, Jennifer L. Armentrout has a couple other series debuting in 2012 that sound amazing. I’m in love with her already and can’t wait to have a whole library of Armentrout books to call my own. HALF-BLOOD was so much fun, and I've been waiting on pins and needles to finally be able to share my love of this fresh new series with all of my bookworms!
The cover’s a little generic, but it’s also stylized to the point where any book in the series will be recognizable as being Covenant. I love that the first book is purple. To me, there’s no better color in the world! The way it has dark petals and lavender veins with a mix of the two at its stamen. I like the way the pollen is already spreading, as though being a Half-Blood is catching. I like that the image is wispy and not a real flower, as though someone has blown it out of smoke. Here one minute, gone the next!
[This entry is part of The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge of 2011. See how I've done so far here.]