Covenant Novels #2 and #3
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Paranormal Young Adult
Spencer Hill Press
Pure: Available Now
Deity: Available November 6th
Received from publisher for review
PURE (from Goodreads)
There is need. And then there is Fate
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.
When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude or killing her.
When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.
Books two and three in the Covenant series build beautifully on the events of Half-Blood, drastically increasing not only the emotional intensity between Alex, Aiden, and Seth, but also the physical intensity between our heroine and the innumerable dangers facing her as a half-blood and an apollyon. Ms. Armentrout’s world is one that continuously ignites our anger and frustration, the treatment of the half-bloods something that sets our teeth to grinding and our fists to clenching as we are constantly reminded that they are perfect to sleep with, abuse, and defend the Pures with their lives, but it remains unacceptable for those who consider themselves an exalted race to love, respect, or die for them in turn. With Pure and continuing into Deity, Ms. Armentrout introduces a new villain, a man who strictly adheres to the most revolting of Pure tenets and causes our lips to curl into an involuntary smile as we root for Alex to show him what she’s made of.
Alex is as entertaining as ever, her smart mouth continuing to get her into trouble with classmates and authority figures alike, and while we sometimes share in the viewpoint of those around her who wish she were a little less outspoken when in the presence of those who have the power to make her life miserable, we can’t help but appreciate her determination to stand her ground, however misguided at times. As she did in Half-Blood, she often makes snap decisions that have monstrous consequences, but she’s always quick to recognize and admit her mistakes instead of clinging to the pretense that she’s always right. She shows a distinct vulnerability in both Pure and Deity – her love for Aiden like an open wound that’s poked and prodded with rough fingers and her fear that her Awakening will fundamentally alter who she is a piece of sandpaper that rubs and abrades sensitive skin again, and again, and again.
The romantic element is present on a grand scale in both books, the seemingly impossible relationship with Aiden creating a raw ache in our chests as he pushes her away from him and toward Seth, and though we might roll our eyes at the familiar plot device, Ms. Armentrout executes it in spectacular fashion, leaving us with heavy hearts and hollow souls as Alex struggles. What works so well in Alex’s case is that the love triangle is one of circumstance as opposed to conflicted feelings, her heart belonging solely and indisputably to Aiden while her connection to Seth becomes something manufactured as a result of their bond as Apollyons. Seth does play his role as potential suitor stunningly well though, every now and then the cocky arrogance set aside in favor of what appears to be sincerity, but the most intense of their interludes are always precipitated by a change in – or strengthening of – the spiritual cord running between them, reminding us of the difference between what Alex shares with him and what she shares with Aiden.
Readers should prepare themselves for a massive cliffhanger with Deity, the last page leaving us with the desperate desire to write Ms. Armentrout and see what we can do or say to help move the release date for Apollyon up several months. Things in the next book will no doubt be even darker and more intense than what we’ve experienced thus far, and time is sure to pass excruciatingly slowly as we wait to see what’s to become of Alex, Aiden, and Seth.