Friday, August 23, 2013

Review of Jennifer L. Armentrout's 'Pure'

*This is a review of Pure, the second book in the Covenant series. I am including the synopsis of the first book in the series, Half-Blood, in case you have yet to read it.*

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

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.

Author Bio:

  # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. 
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 
Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. 
Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. 
My Review:
I received an ARC of Pure through Arcycle in exchange for an honest review.
I want to start out by saying that although I am a fan of book series' I have been avoiding series' in general because I have such a ridiculously large to be read pile. I have read a lot of good things about Jennifer L. Armentrout and when I saw this book up for grabs I thought 'Eh, what the hell? It's the second in the series so I'll give it a shot'. I went ahead and got the first book from the library and was absolutely hooked from the very beginning. This series sucked me in and still has me in its clutches. I read the first three books in four days, have a hold on the fourth one at the library, and am eagerly awaiting the release of the fifth and final book. This second book is when things start to get REALLY crazy.
This book picks up pretty much right where the first one left off. Alex has killed her daimon turned mother, knows she's going to awaken as the second apollyon (a half-blood who can compel and harness the four elements plus the fifth and final element, akasha), and is continuing her training in the hopes of becoming a sentinel (a daimon hunter). After having been held captive by the daimons and learning about their plans to turn half-bloods in order to infiltrate the covenants, Alex is called to the New York covenant in order to tell what she knows to the council. While in New York she grows closer to Seth (the first apollyon and her 'other half'), learns first hand why she and Aiden (her pure love interest) must deny their feelings for one another, and quickly realizes she has many enemies that view her as a threat that must be dealt with by either forcing her into drug-induced servitude or by simply killing her.
This book marks a turning point for Alex. By visiting the New York covenant she gets a better look at just how dangerous her world really is. She is forced to grow up rather quickly and learns that her lack of impulse control could not only hurt her, but also those she loves. She also learns that the covenant that she has called home for most of her life, North Carolina, is quite a bit different from the other covenants. In New York the half-bloods are openly discriminated against and the New York council, who have the most power, are sneaky and brutal. I loved witnessing Alex grow so much in this book without losing herself in the process.
As sad as I was that Alex and Aiden spent the majority of this book avoiding one another, I have to admit I kind of learned to love Seth a bit more. This is the first time we really get to see the larger than life apollyon as a vulnerable, real human being. He grew on me throughout this book and I found myself rooting for Alex to choose him by the end of it. I still had a place in my heart for Aiden, but the impossibility of their relationship was really made clear.
I think one of the reasons I love these books so much is how real Alex is in them. She is a badass with incredible strength and ability, but her dialogue and thoughts are so realistic. She talks and responds to things exactly the way a regular teenage girl with a good sense of humor would. I felt totally connected with her and could easily put myself in her shoes, feeling what she feels. Armentrout has a remarkable way with her characters. They can drive you nuts, but you ultimately love and root for them all.
Pure is an action-packed rollercoaster of a book. It sucked me in and kept me riveted until the very end. The writing is fantastic and the dialogue is perfect. I had no intention of continuing this series, but I am completely addicted now. Alex's world is introduced to us in the first book, but after reading this second book it's clear that it only scratched the surface of the hematoi (descendants of the gods and demi-gods) world. Pure delves into the nasty politics and the seedy underbelly of the hematoi. This book, along with the series as a whole, is a definite must read for lovers of tough female leads, detailed fantasy worlds, and impossible romances.
My Rating:


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