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.
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.
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.
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.