Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Apollyon

APOLLYON
Covenant #4
Jennifer Armentrout
Paranormal Young Adult
Spencer Hill Press
Available April 9th
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.


MY THOUGHTS
After the heart-stopping cliffhanger of Deity, we enter into this fourth installment of the Covenant series with no shortage of trepidation, wondering when or if the Alex we’ve laughed with, hunted with, and lost with will return to us as we so desperately wish her to. Ms. Armentrout could have easily alienated readers with this book, dragging out the ramifications of the prior book with excruciating slowness until we were nothing but seething masses of frustration longing for the moment when Alex overcomes her altered state. Luckily for us however, she gives us just enough time with an Alex we don’t recognize to have us gripping the pages with white knuckles before the real world snaps back into focus and our dark journey with Alex begins once again.

For three books Alex has been a young women in possession of inordinate strength and courage, but accompanying those positive attributes has been a recklessness stemming from a youthful sense of invincibility, making her a balanced though, at times, frustrating young woman. She has steadily grown throughout the series–never one to shy away from admitting to and owning her mistakes–but in this newest installment her maturity reaches an entirely new level, and we can’t help but glory in the woman she is becoming. While the bravado and the snark are still present and accounted for (after all, she wouldn’t really be Alex without them), she’s much quicker to curb her infamous temper before it erupts and creates problems for her or others, and she truly thinks before leaping into action.

Her relationship with Aiden, previously a main source of tension in the books, plays the exact opposite role in Apollyon, instead becoming a source of comfort and much-needed light that wards of the ever-encroaching darkness. There is of course still a tidal wave of complicated emotions resulting from both of their actions when Alex was fully in Seth’s thrall, but despite their lingering hurt and guilt, they finally stand fully as a team, hiding from neither those around them nor from themselves. As much as we delight in their feelings for one another, their happiness only adds another layer to the sense of unease that’s been building from the first page, and we're left to wonder just how many physical and emotional blows it will take to dull their shine.

Though Alex has faced many a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in books prior, at no time has defeat seemed as much a possibility as it does in Apollyon, and we emerge from the final chapter physical exhausted from holding every muscle taut for the hours we’ve been reading. We’re spared a cliffhanger as dramatic as Deity’s, though Alex’s future is certainly not one to be described as bright in the final chapters, but just as we’re skating the razor’s edge and about ready to tip over into blackness, Ms. Arementrout comes through with a brush trailing a silver lining in its wake, casting just enough of a glow that we don’t feel the stifling presence of certain death so strongly.

Rating: 4/5

39 comments:

  1. Sounds intense!! One day I WILL find out for myself why Jennifer L. Armentrout seems to have so many enthusiastic and loyal fans. It seems apparent to me from your review at least that she has a real talent at crafting likeable characters and meaningful romance. It's great that she raised the stakes for this one, too. Overall, I'm impressed! I will read this series one day. Nicely reviewed, Jenny!

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    1. I love this series Aylee! Yes, book one was eerily similar to VA, but honestly that didn't detract from my enjoyment at all, and since then the series has become it's own:) This was the best one yet I think!

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  2. I haven't even started this series and I'm fully invested in Alex and her fate! I've got to get going on this one. I'm so into the Lux series and I've read that this one is even better. Where to find the time??? I thought you did a good job not revealing much from previous books. I have no idea what the big thing that happened in previous books was, so well done!

    Heather

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    1. Oh, yay! I'm glad I didn't spoil anything for you because the end of Deity is epic. I hope you do get time for these books, I think if you love the Lux series, you'll love these too:)

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  3. Only few more days until my book arrives - if I could I'd jump out of my skin. I'm dying to have this one. My craziness about this story is way too high. Anyway I'm glad to see that you liked it. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. I hope you love it as much as I did Tanja!!!!!

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  4. I completely agree with you about Alex's growth, Jenny. Her maturity in this book is extraordinary. But as you pointed out, even when she was reckless and prone to misjudgments, she always owned up to her every mistake, and that made me respect her even when I thought of her as spoiled.
    I love the turn her relationship with Aiden took. I'm a big fan of angst-free romances, of couples that face troubles from the outside, and the two of them are now a perfect example of one such couple.
    Gorgeous review as usual, my friend.

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    1. YES MAJA! I so loved that about their relationship in this one as well. We're done with the forbidden aspect, and now they're solid with no secrets between them or laws keeping them apart. Love it:)

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  5. Awesome review and I couldn't agree with it more! This was by far my favorite book in the series yet. I truly loved it and it will be bittersweet to read the last installment.

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    1. Yes, yes it will! I'm both dying to read Sentinel and scared to read it, I don't want this series to be over!

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    2. I feel the same way! I really hope Alex and Aiden get their HEA. I think I would be heartbroken if they didn't.

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  6. Lovely review, Jenny!
    I read this book a few weeks ago and ended up really enjoying it more than the other books in the series. I loved Alex's growth and how action-packed the book was. It kept me on the edge constantly.
    I'm happy to hear that you liked it too!

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    1. Yes! Alex is someone I've liked from the beginning, but I absolutely adore the person she's becoming:)

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  7. I haven't read any of the books in this series but I am always a fan of the covers. It's good to see that the relationship steadies out in this one, that was my problem with her other series, Lux. It annoyed me that Daemon and Katy just never got together, the back and forth really gets to me in YA. Fabulous review! I really need to get started on this series!

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    1. I think Alex and Aiden's relationship is far less turbulent than Katy and Daemon's (I actually had a lot of trouble with Daemon in book one), so I Their's is tense not in a "I want you one minute but not the next" way but rather a "you could be executed if we're together" type of way.

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  8. Keeping a series going strong after the usual three is quite a feat! I actually got a sample of the first book to see if it's for me, but I'm really digging the characters already from reading your reviews. :)

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    1. I encourage you to keep going even if you're not so sure about book 1! I think they get better as they go (though I did thoroughly enjoy book 1).

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  9. Jennifer Armentrout's endings KILL me. I'm so anxious to Sentinel and this series to be done so I can finally breathe.

    At least until I read the end of the next Lux book (or something else she's written), and then it'll be all hyperventilation again.

    This series made me fall in love with her writing, and I'm glad to see book 4 is the same caliber of writing. Awesome review, Jenny!

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    1. I know. As soon as I get my hands on Sentinel I know I'm going to flip straight to the back and make sure things end the way I want them too. I can't not cheat with this series:)

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  10. Holy crap. This series is on book 4 already? I am so behind the times, Jenny. *crawls away in shame*

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    1. I know. I feel that way about so many series Amanda!

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  11. Brilliant review, Jenny! Our ratings match for this one. I was really glad that Armentrout didn't drag out Alex's situation at the start. I agree that she could have very easily alienated the reader there, so it was a huge relief when alex snapped back to her former self fairly quickly. :) I'm seriously nervous about the next book! I just hope my Aiden comes out of it all unscathed. ;)

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  12. Awesome review Jenny. Have you read her other series? The Lux series. Dude, if not read it! Seriously, if you like this series you'll love that one.

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  13. Why have I not started this series yet?!

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  14. Jenny, first of all, I wrote you a comment on your book choice yesterday (LOVED IT), but my PC is still making my life a living hell and I couldn't post the comment. After being furious with my PC, I just gave up and didn't even open it after shutting it down so yeah.. Anyway, APOLLYON!! I can't wait to read it although my mom seems more excited than me, lol. I like that Jennifer doesn't drag this Alex-Seth thing out for long. I like Seth a lot though, so I hope he won't be Dr. Eviiiil for long. I just can't wait to read this and it's so exciting that you liked it:) I hope I won't be disappointed like with Deity. Great review!

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  15. I have only read books one and two, I seriously need to get back to this series because I love it and your review has me drooling for the deets!

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  16. I still haven't picked up this series. I had book one and was all jazzed to read it but then this certain blogger who shall remain nameless ( I already chewed her out on her blog) reviewed book one and said it was a VA ripoff. This same blogger is now on book four and loves the series. Anyway I need to read this series ASAP but another reason I am holding off is I know Armentrout writes some vicious cliffhangers. My next venture is the sexy brothers in the Elemental series. I am glad that Armentrout didn't completely tear your heart out with the ending of this one, Jenny. Small silver lining....

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  17. Everyone do seem to like her books so yes one day perhaps

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  18. My sweet mom knew I was having a bad time of things and bought me Deity. I haven't read it yet because of the dreaded cliffie. I'm waiting on getting this one. Oh but now you have me worried about the Aiden relationship.

    *big teary eyes*

    It sounds like I can safely pick this one up after Deity, but will still hunger for the next. Typical in this series. :)

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  19. I'm so happy Alex is back to herself, but that she hasn't lost her snark (you're right, she wouldn't be Alex without it!) And I'm glad the relationship between Aiden and Alex is in a better place. I am pretty much head over heels for the guy, so this series has been rough on my emotions.

    I'm totally dying for Sentinel. HOW will I manage to wait? She really knows how to keep us hanging. Fabulous review, Jenny! :-)

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  20. I skimmed through this since I plan to start this series eventually, but I'm so glad it continues to be such a great page-turner for you, Jenny! I'll have to check it out really soon! :)

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  21. I love these covers. They're so eye-catching and I love to hear that what's inside matches the gorgeousness of it all. I do have to admit to not reading this series yet but I HAVE TO! When you have such amazing character development that you hold on tight to the sides of the book as you read about her (or him), that's a definitely must read.

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  22. I love knowing that there's character growth in Alex. Book after book characters jump into things without thinking when the whole time as a reader I know something bad is going to result from it.

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  23. Well obviously if you've read the fourth book you love this series. Unfortunately I never had an interest, but I really enjoyed your reading your post.

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  24. I enjoyed the first book when I read it but have been sitting on the second one for some time. I haven't had a strong urge to continue the series, but since you liked this one a lot (and so have others whose opinions I trust) I will try to get caught up on the series one of these days.

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  25. You are so right, Jenny when you say that Alex was a reckless and at times frustrating character. I love how much she's grown in this series though, and I'm glad she did because I wanted to strangle her at times in Pure! I have a copy of this as well, I just need to read it! Lovely review Jenny.

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  26. Love this series, can't wait to read it now. Was terrified after Deity. Great review!

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  27. For some reason I didn't like this one QUITE as much as Deity, but I did still enjoy it. Loveee Aiden/Alex, so that part was great. Can't wait to see what the last one will be like!! =)

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  28. Half Blood was way too similar to VA but I love how Armentrout has now made this series her own! I can't wait for April 9 to get my hands on a copy of this one. Only two more days, Jenny!

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