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180 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
After reading the synopsis, I was eager to read HALF-BLOOD and discover this interesting world which looked to be a UF novel of a hybrid vampire-Greek god race. While the mythology set-up was interesting, within 25 pages of reading, it became clear that something kept me from liking this book too much. And what would that be?

This book seemed to be a direct clone of the first VAMPIRE ACADEMY book. This was noticeably in the first *25 pages* and grew more and more pronounced as the book progressed. Now I understand that in the world of UF and YA vampire novels, a lot of mythologies and ideas overlap, but this was no mere coincidence. There were literally plot lines and direct phrases lifted from VA. I couldn't believe it. Here are the startling similarities: (**warning: spoilers if you have not read Vampire Academy or Half-Blood)

*Girl is 17-years old, of a halfie race that is considered a lower caste than the superior pure race above her who have power to wield the four elements.

*The halfie race retains incredible physical powers that allow them to battle an evil vampire-like form of their race, who are immensely powerful and drain the blood of the pure and half-race. Young halfies are trained at their race's society-run boarding school, where they train to be deadly guards/protectors to the superior race and slayers of the evil race.

*Girl has been on the run from the school officials for several years due to an unclear danger there Is caught by a hot older guy belonging to the elite group of guards and brought back.

*Girl is almost expelled by headmaster/mistress, but is vouched for by previously mentioned hot guard, who agrees to train with girl every day to make up the years lost in her training.

*Girls apparently has a reputation at school for being a flirt, admits to kissing a lot of guys, but is still a virgin. There is a pretty mean girl who constantly snarks at Girl and tries to get her expelled.

*Which is not hard, because Girl has a fiery personality and doesn't take smack from anyone. Also has problems with rules/authority, constantly gets in trouble/almost expelled.

*Hot guy is a quiet one who rarely smiles and acts all serious/professional most of the time. But the more time Girl spends with hot guy training, he lets out these rare smiles that make Girl's heart race, as she falls for him and he starts falling for her

*Girl gets injured during training. Hot guy insists they step aside as he treat her injuries delicately, while they have Deep Meaningful Conversation.

*There are important political things going on with the political elite, with power-struggles and a small but growing call for new rules/laws between the halfs and full bloods. The half-bloods have no political power or say in politics.

*Girl knocks on door of hot guys room. Commence heavy making out that is interrupted by an important plot point.

* Girl is attacked by fellow acquaintance that has been turned into one of the evil vampire races. Is saved by hot guy.

*Climax occurs at a cabin/cottage far away in the woods. Girl helps save day, then blacks out.

*In the end, hot guy admits he wants to be with Girl, but they can't be together because of their social positions. Cue angst.

Now, these are the similarities I could list off from the top of my head. Although Armentrout's writing is easy and flows nicely, I find it lacking descriptions to detail, such as not enough information is given about the world they live in, it's history, et cetera. I was also bothered by the fact that I recognized entire phrases and sentences from Vampire Academy in the book. Moreover, I find the romance a bit rushed, and the fact that the main character was supposed to be a flirt who has "kissed lots of boys" unbelievable given the small glimpse we get of her interactions with her peers. Overall, I found the book an enjoyable read that was constantly overshadowed by the vastly superior Vampire Academy.
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80 of 100 people found the following review helpful
As I was reading this novel I kept wondering why it felt so familiar, after the first three chapters, I realised I was reading Vampire Academy with gods instead of vampires. Everything is just a blatant, unimaginative, uninspired ripoff, if I were this author I
would be ashamed of myself, and if I were Richelle Meade, I'd sue.

****SPOILER ALERT****

Without giving too much away to those who still want to read it, everything, and I mean everything is pretty much the same.

Girl that's a part of a lower caste of half-breed supernaturals training to defend the full blooded? Check.

Broody mysterious Superman type instructor that saves her bacon then agrees to train her so she doesn't fall behind her class year? Check.

Even the scene where Rose and Lissa are dragged before the head of the school with three Guardians in the room that plead on Rose's behalf is duplicated.

And oh dear god, the daimons are former pure-bloods that become daimons when they drain aether from the blood of another pure-blood, much the same way that strigoi become strigoi draining moroi. Even her name for the pure bloods (hematoi) is in the same phonetic family.

I'm sorry that's just pathetic, Richelle Meade put all lot of hard work into VA for someone with less than stellar writing skills to just rip her off.

I fully intend to get refund for this drivel, I will not support plagerism. Some similarities in ya fantasy fiction is to be expected, but this is just a blatant copy.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
My summary:

Alexandria or Alex is seventeen-years-old and having a harder time than most teens. Her mother just died before her eyes. Her real dad has been gone for a while. Her step-dad - well let's just say she doesn't trust him. Chasing her way back to the covenant with daimons hot on her trail, she has very few choices. Her only option is to return to the covenant that her mother forced her to leave without explanation 3 years ago. The covenant won't be happy about the absence. They may train her to fight daimons or drug her into servitude. Oh and then there is the little issue of Alex being a half-blood. A mix of Hematoi and mortal, she is only good for fighting or serving as far as the covenant is concerned. Add the gorgeous Aiden, who just happens to be a pure blood and completely off limits to any half-blood, and Alex is really having a hard time. Can she follow the rules and control her crush on Aiden long enough to become a sentinel so she can fight the daimons that killed her mom? Or will her reckless character cause her to fail in her duty and face a future far worse?

My thoughts:

5 stars - A must read

The world that Jennifer creates in Half-Blood is unique in the world of angels and demons. The mixture of aether in the blood determines the class in this society. Pure bloods are full of aether (from the Gods) and have power over one of the four elements. They also had the ability to use compulsions to get others to do what they want. Pure bloods are treated almost as royalty where half-bloods are second class. They have very little aether and no power over the elements. They are faster and stronger than regular human and they can see through the magic to identify pure bloods that have been turned into daimons. Thus they are good fighters so if they are lucky they get to be trained as guards or sentinels. Otherwise they are drugged into servitude. I loved this world not only because it is unique but also because it has many compelling aspects to it. The classing of people has never worked in history so I suspect it will come back to bite this society as well. I am excited to see that happen.

The characters in the book are dynamic and real. Alex has a very strong personality. She doesn't do well with rules yet she lives in a situation that could blow up in her face at any moment if she doesn't follow those rules. Despite this, Alex remains a strong, reckless, and compelling. Aiden is super hot. His pure blood status keeps him off limits to Alex but that doesn't mean she isn't looking. He is strong, mysterious, wounded, and determined to help her. I love his fierce patience with her and his quiet manner. Caleb is the biggest supporting character and he is a great friend to Alex. At first I thought he was a love interest but it became clear quickly that he is just a very supportive friend. Seth comes into the story mid-book and is quite the mystery. There is so much about him that we don't know yet. He is the Apollyon, a half-blood who controls all four elements and more. An incredible fighter, he is a daimons worst nightmare but he has been called back from fighting. He's as interested as anyone why that is the case. There certainly is some strange connection between Alex and him and I love how he gets under Alex's skin. I'm sure there's a lot more to come from Seth.

While the ending isn't a cliffhanger (thank heavens - can my heart take any more of those), things are far from settled. I can't wait for the next book. The problem with reading books before they actually come out is having to wait even longer for the next one.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Not sure how to rate this book. Was I entertained? Yes but only because it gave me my Vampire Academy fix that I've been in need of since the series ended. There is no originality in this story, it's a retelling of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Scenes are similar, circumstances are similar, even characters personalities are similar to their counterparts. The author should've just called Alex-Violet and Aiden-Pyotr (get it because of Rose and Dimitri?). I mean if you're going to go for it... GO FOR IT!

Alex is a half-blood. As a half blood she has two choices, become a Sentinel or Guard of pure bloods or become a slave to the pure bloods. She was in school to become a sentinel, the highest of protectors, that is until her mother and her ran away for reasons unknown to Alex. Three years later sentinels find Alex not long after her mother's killed by daemons. She's brought back to the school by the baddest sentinel of all, Aiden, and a couple of other Sentinels, where the dean is reluctant to have her back. In fact the dean (who is her uncle) is ready to take away her free will and turn her over to a pure blood as a slave. However, Aiden and one of his co-sentinel's speak up and convince the dean to give her another shot. Aiden soon finds himself as her training instructor even though his job is to fight daemons. Pretty soon the sparks start flying between the two of them but their love is forbidden amongst their society. While fighting their attraction, Alex learns that her mother wasn't killed but in fact turned into a daemon and is now hunting her, she has a special bond with a guy named Seth and he can sense her feelings and even though Aiden has feelings for, they must remain as student and teacher.

I hate to admit this, I was entertained. Not that anything was original but because I miss Rose and Dimitri so much that I felt like I was reading their story through anothers eyes. I really wish something from this was original but sadly even the conflict girl in the story Lea, is just like Mia! She causes problems for Alex, spreads stories about her and then when her parents are killed by a daemon attack, her and Alex sort of call a truce. Ugh...

Should I even touch the scene where Alex almost gives herself over to Aiden only to be snapped out of the trance at the last very second? Oh yeah... *Shakes head* Everything read just like Vampire Academy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2013
There's a reason (actually there are quite a few) why I'm such a big Jennifer Armentrout fan. She adds snark to her characters that are lacking in a lot of other books. Alex is such a smart-ass, always joking and so much fun reading. She's the type of girl you'd want as your best friend. She's incredibly strong-in the sense that she can have everything going wrong in her life but you would never be able to tell looking at her.

My friend has been begging me to read this series for awhile now. It's not that I didn't want to, believe me, I did (I even had these books sitting on my shelf, signed and everything) but the problem was finding the time to read them. I finally caved and what better time than now? I won't have to wait in between books and can read the whole series straight through. I've never been able to do that so I'm glad it's this series I get to read straight through.

I read Daimon before starting Half-Blood, I wanted to read them in order, including the novellas (can I say how much I love how you can get the novellas in print; more publishers should offer this). What I loved about Daimon was it was a more in-depth look to what happened with Alex and her mother, Rachelle, while they were living in Miami, before all broke loose.

I love the idea that Pure-Bloods and Half-Bloods aren't allowed to mix, romantically. That Pure's think Half's are so beneath them, it's s***ty but it's awesome. It gives this whole mystery to everything plus it gives Alex and the immensely good looking Aiden a problem. He's a Pure and she's a Half, there can't be any hanky panky between them or else they'll take it on Alex. But you know . . . rules are meant to be broken sometimes. Aiden is hot and sweet and nothing like I was expecting. He's a bad-ass but a reserved bad-ass because who knew they existed? They do. He's our proof.

I was waiting and waiting and waiting for a character named Seth to appear. I knew the main three characters going in to this series so I was curious to see what he was all about. Let me tell you . . . I was NOT disappointed. Oh man, I think I may like him best. It's too early to tell because I really, really love all these characters. All of them. I really love Caleb, too. Not in the sense of him with Alex or anything but as a character, on a whole. There was a scene in this book that I was literally holding my breath reading and it involved Caleb.

This is a love triangle in the making that I not only don't mind but one I'm really curious about and I cannot wait to read more of. It's kind of weird going in to this series already knowing some stuff but even though I know them I don't want to spoil it for anyone else. The story in this book is tough and I have mad respect for Alex. She's just so awesome I can't even put in to words how much I like her. She's going on my 'girl crush' list which is very small.

There are some really tough decision made in this book; ones that I would never be able to make but this is why I'm the reader - I don't have to be the one doing it. Do I agree with every decision? Absolutely not but hey, we got four more books to go.

I used to like the Greek Gods when I was younger but all the details I learned have become fuzzy over the years; it doesn't make me love books less that involve them, it actually makes me wish I remembered more. But I really do like the premise of this book and the Gods.

Reviewed by Jessica @ Step Into Fiction
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
I started reading this and thought I swear I havent read this yet, Then it hit me, Vampire Academy! It had a few differences but overall the characters were the same Alex/Rose, Adain/Dimitri, Adrian/Seth Gees shall I go on. Same story! I mean I just could not belive what I was reading. This book was ok but nothing is ever as good as the original.

If you like the sound of this story don't get it until you at least check out the Vampire Academy series It has alot more of everything and you will be happy to paid a little more. Plus There is so much more to that series than this one.

And those who hate it when the series ends, Richelle Mead has another series Bloodline which is continued from the Vampire Academy series. Its just as wonderful.

I am not trying to knock this writer BUT come!

So you want a teaser to the real story I guess go ahead a read this but take my advise get the Vampire Academy Series You will NOT be disapointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2013
Real rating: 4,5 stars
Half-Blood is awesome! My favorite part of it is definitely the characters. Alex, for one, is badass! Not as badass as Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight) but hey, you can't have it all.
Caleb too, is a very vivid, very well-defined character, whom I've grown to love.

Aiden, as the love interest is absolutely amazing! I mean, I'm practically in love with him, which I don't think has ever happened to me before?! Maybe because he is just so flawed he seems real, and nothing more. He's a truly good person, and he gets Alex in ways that is unusual in YA.

Seth is a jackass. He seems real, but if so, he is a real JACKASS. YES, I said it!

I see the similarities to VA, which I have read book 1 and 2 of. But then again, there is too many books for any of them to be originals, everything is a cliché, and why should that hold me from enjoying a well-written book? Yes, I've seen it before! I've also read The Hunger Games before, but I still enjoy it every time.

The writing is a rather fine work, and Alex' voice is entertaining as hell. She has humor, I'm not going to deny that.

So...
The reason I only gave it 4,5 stars? Well, I am not sure, but I wouldn't change my rating. It is a great book, with a good plotline and a great worldbuilding, vivid characters that grows throughtout the book, but the thing is, is isn't more than that. It didn't blow me away, it didn't compell me to keep reading, and it took me a few days to finish, even though it is a fairly short book.
I wasn't left breathless, and even though I had the second book right at hand, I didn't just jump onto it. Yes, I am reading it now, but I read other books first, because I just didn't care enough.
So a great read, but nothing more than that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
This review has spoilers for both this book and vampire academy.

Ok I know everyone is going around saying this book is exactly like vampire academy. Well I'm here to say that yes there are similarities but this book is its own.

1. Rose and Alex have the same personality, but that's ok in my book because they are great characters.
2. Yes Alex has a thing for her trainer but the age difference isn't as wide.
3. The BIGGEST difference is there is no Lissa. Which in my opinion makes this book it's own because she is a freaking omg huge part in the whole vamp academy series! That's why I find this whole she plagiarizes VA stupid. Rose wouldn't even be alive without Lissa!
4. I've heard Caleb compared to Mason. Stupid. He isn't in love with Alex. He is her best friend and acts like it.
5. The only thing similar between Seth and Adrian is the fact they both have crazy episodes. And Seth's aren't as bad as Adrian's.
6. I've also heard that Alex and Aiden's love scene was the same as Rose and Dimitri, wrong. Alex and Aiden weren't under a spell. Which in my opinion makes it sweeter.
7. Where Rose and Dimitri can be together it's just frowned apon, Alex and Aiden can't because it's illegal.
8. The halfs in this book are nothing more then slaves. Which if you remember in VA the dhampirs aren't slaves if they don't wanna be guardians they don't have to nor do they have to be slaves. And Mia's parents in VA where servants and they were full blood!
9. The pures before being turned into daimons if you recall weren't vampires...unlike VA where the morai are vampires. I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong. Oh well.
10. My other BIGGEST thing is Aiden doesn't remind me of Dimitri. He is younger and less serious. Yeah he likes to read but hey he also plays the guitar. And. No. Leather. Duster.

So I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. I freely admit it has similarities to VA but not enough I was like I've already read this! For those of you who haven't read this book because of the reviews I would give it a chance. If you still find its to much like VA that's your opinion. Get a refund.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I was very pleased with this book, it is well written and very exciting with many quirky funny, parts. I love Alexandria (Alex for short), she is a very strong young girl. Aiden is swoon worthy, and after reading chapter one and two from his point of view on the author's website, I like him even more.

I read the Prequel Daimon first, and was glad I did, as it just made this story flow well, and I already knew why she was where she was in the beginning. (she had already been on the run from the Daimons that killed her mom, we never read that whole scene, it's not in this book, only in the prequel)

Alex is a half-blood (half descend of the Gods) and the Pures are Hematoi (Her mother was a pure) father a mortal human. Basically before the original demigods had died along with Hercules and Perseus, they'd all shacked up with each other in the way only the Greeks could. Those unions had produced the pure-bloods, the Hematoi, a very, very powerful race. They could wield control over the four elements: air, water, fire and earth, and manipulate that raw power into spells and compulsions.

Half-blood's are gifted with the same strength and speed of the pures, but had an extra special gift that set them apart. They can see through the elemental magic the daimons used. The pures couldn't. There are lots of half's and they are used to protect the pures from daimons, since they can see them for what they are (they look all gross, and no eyes, thick ugly veins show, ugly, then the magic will kick in, then they look like a pure again)

Aiden, the one who comes to Alex's rescue is a pure, a Sentinel. (daimon hunter) and he ends up training Alex to help her catch up so she can join the Covenant again to train to also be a Sentinel. She wants it more than anything, and she even was able to kill 2 daimon's while fighting them off before Aiden showed up, well, one she killed after he got there. He was very impressed that she was able to do this, as she has been out of training for 3 years. He sees something special in her. And boy, is there something extra special in her all right. But I will leave that little mystery for you to find out on your own.

I love the connection Alex and Aiden have, even though it's forbidden for a half and pure to be together, or anything of the sort, they have trouble fighting their attraction. But Aiden is a good guy, and thinks of what it will do to her future if he allows them to become close. He is a real gentleman, much to Alex's dismay!
Here is a nice little quote, kindle location 3345 (note, this same scene, well whole chapter is at authors website from Aiden's POV, chapter 16)

`He moved, ever so slightly, and his lips brushed across mine once, and then twice. It was such a soft, beautiful kiss, but when the kiss deepened, it wasn't a shy one. This was one of dangerously pent-up need, a desire that'd been denied far too long. The kiss felt fierce, demanding, and soul burning.'

We also meet Seth in this book, his interactions with Alex are quite funny at times, I won't say who he is, or what he is there for, so not to spoil anything. But its big, and cool. Not really a love triangle or anything, it's far more complicated than that. That will be all I say of that.

I found this story very refreshing, and the idea quite new, Jennifer is an amazing writer, up there with some of my favorites now. I look forward to reading the rest in this series, and will also go read her other Lux series too.

I highly recommend this book, it's not a copy cat, or anything of the sort. I read tons of books, and will tell you now, this is a very well written series, and you would be missing out if you passed on it.
I have a link at my blog to get the Daimon prequel free, go get that, get yourself a taste of the story, with no expense, you will see, it's a story worth reading.

See my profile to get my blog link, more extras and reviews there as well.

Note: I recieved a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2011
Once I was done reading Daimon, I was so glad I had a copy of Half-Blood in hand and hoped it was as good as the prequel. I can safely say that Half-Blood exceeded any expectations I had! I completely loved it! It was so awesome that it's now one of my favorite YA paranormals, and if this keeps up, I know Covenant could end up being a definite favorite series of mine!

After three years in hiding with her pure-blood mother, 17-year-old Alexandria Andros is finally back with the Covenant, a place where pure-bloods, the children of Hematoi (who are descendants of demigods), and half-bloods, the offspring of mortals and Hematoi, live away from the mortal world. It's also where some are trained as Sentinels and Guards whose purpose is to kill daimons and protect pures. Halfs also have a chance of becoming docile servants to pures if they aren't cut out for Sentinel duty or if they break the rules. As a half-blood who broke the rules by running away with her mother and living in the mortal world, Alex chances of becoming a servant are high. To gain back the trust of the leaders she has to prove her loyalty and that she has what it takes to become a Sentinel by catching up with the three years of training she missed before the end of the summer. But following the rules is easier said than done, especially when Alex starts to fall for a pure and finds out the real reason her mother took her away from the Covenant.

First, I have to quickly mention the setting. There are Covenants located around the country like Tennessee and New York, but this particular Covenant is located on an island off the coast of North Carolina. Being on an island sounds awesome, and I like that the author chose a fitting name for it: Deity Island. And I have to admit that I'm pretty bias to anything North Carolina, so of course I'm happy that it's located there!

Now on to the characters. Alex was just awesome! She's funny and kickass. Strong, yet vulnerable. Her interactions with the rest of the characters, like her best friend Caleb and another fellow half-blood Seth, were great. Those characters were very likable as well, and I loved that they were all important to the story. Another character I really liked was Aiden St. Delphi. He's the pure-blood who volunteered to train Alex, and if you've read Daimon, he's actually the 'older guy' Alex use to have a crush on. I knew there was a chance I would swoon over him, but I didn't realize just how much! Aiden's such a sweet and protective and patient and nice (and I could go on!) guy, and I completely understand why Alex would fall for him, even while knowing a relationship between a pure-blood and half-blood is forbidden. I absolutely loved their moments together, and it makes me so happy when I really like the main character and the lead male character. I cannot wait to read more of their interactions!

I think this is my first experience reading a YA paranormal book where the characters are descendants of gods. I'm impressed with how the author incorporated Greek Mythology into the story, and I have a feeling Half-Blood will stand out among the other YA books with Greek Mythology released recently. I've already mentioned how much I love the characters, the relationships and the romance, and I think another aspect readers will enjoy is the action. Half-Blood is filled with it! It was never boring. There are plenty of scenes where Aiden is training Alex, and I loved that Aiden did not go easy on her. There are also parts with the daimons, which were pure-bloods who changed into dangerous creatures after drinking the aether, a pure's esscene, from another pure. They're powerful and ruthless, and I never knew what to expect from them. Another was finding out the reason Alex's mother took her away from the Covenant; it was a bit surprising, and I really want to know how Alex will continue to deal with this sudden revelation and what the outcome will be.

When I finished Half-Blood, all I wanted was more! I was satisfied with everything. The author is a great storyteller, and I'm extremely excited for the second book Pure! It's being released in less than a year, but I wish it was out already. I look forward to finding out what happens next with Alex and the rest of the characters and to learn more about their world. If you're a YA paranormal fan, you don't want to miss out! Definitely check out this series!
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