Review of Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Don't Look BackDon’t Look Back
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

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Review of Apollyon by Jennifer Armentrout

Apollyon Apollyon (Covenant 4)
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

My Rating:
star

If you haven’t read Elixir, a novella that is from Aiden’s POV that takes place between Deity and Apollyon, now is the time to do it!

Summary (via 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:
The story picks up with Alex being awakened and connected to Seth, this makes her ‘Evil Alex.’ She is kept imprisoned to keep her and everyone else safe since her emotions and actions are not her own, she is more Seth than Alex. Jennifer Armentrout’s books always have a fast pace and never cease to entertain. Between the witty dialog and fast paced action scenes her books make for fast reads. As a whole Apollyon delivers; the beginning third of the book dragged for me but as I got deeper into the action I was more immersed.  I actually found a lot of the fighting in this book more engaging than I have in the other books. Alex awakened is really amazing in a fight.

Akasha ripped from me, arcing through the air like cloud-to-cloud lightening, homing in on its target and striking true.

The Characters:
Alex has really grown and matured through the progression of the series. She actually thinks before she takes action or speaks; she’s as surprised as the reader by her changes. She has embraced her responsibly as the Apollyon and has started to realize the important role she has.

I was a tad bit disappointed we didn’t have more Seth. I have finally lost my battle with denial and admit he’s on the bad guy’s team, but I still love his snarky, egotistical attitude. I think Seth and Alex’s interactions drove a good amount of my enjoyment in the previous books. But for Aiden fans this book will make them exceedingly happy; Armentrout really builds on Aiden and Alex’s relationship.

Final Thoughts:
Another engaging installment in the Covenant series, Apollyon sets the stage for an exciting final book, Sentinel.

Mini-Review of Elixir by Jennifer Armentrout

Elixir by Jennifer ArmentroutElixir A Covenant Novella
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

My Rating:
star

Contains spoilers if you have not read Deity!

My Thoughts:
Elixir is a novella in the Covenant series focusing on the time period between Deity and Apollyon. The most intriguing aspect for readers is that it is from Aiden’s point of view, which I was eager to read. The revelations and insights Elixir provides are not essential to the main story arc but it is a wonderful extra to see Alex after she’s connected with Seth and become ‘Evil Alex’. It’s hard to see Alex mistreating, taunting and threatening those she loves the most but seeing her like that really proved to me what Seth was doing was so, so wrong. I have spent the majority of the series blindly refusing that Seth was a bad guy. All the flashes of a smug smile or his trust of Lucian I refused to believe made him bad. I still hold a small, small kernel of hope that somewhere deep in his heart there is some good. But reading Elixir really changed my perception of his character.

On the opposing side, reading Aiden’s thoughts about Alex and seeing him wrestle with how to save her at any cost really raised him in my esteem. Of course, I always liked his character but this really pushed me over the edge.  I also think it was nice to see interactions with the secondary characters from a new POV. There is a nice bonding scene with Aiden and his brother Deacon.

Final Thoughts:
Every fan of the series should read Elixir before Apollyon, it will only give further depth to the characters.

Check out my review of book one of the Covenant series: Half Blood.

Book Recommendation for Half Blood by Jennifer Armentrout

Half BloodHalf Blood, Covenant #1
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

My Rating:
star

The Summary (via Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:
This was my second reading of Half Blood book one of the Covenant Series. I found it held up very well for a second read through. I find Jennifer Armentrout’s writing to be infectious and so easy to become absorbed in; I tend to speed through her books. To me, its impossible not to enjoy her characters (she really has a way with male characters…Daemon, Aiden, now folks are loving Cam) and the humor she uses in her dialog.

Half Blood’s fast pacing and easy banter between characters gives the book a light feel though it delves into dark and sometimes serious subjects. Armentrout writes of castes (the pures vs half bloods), slavery and death.  Having read the story before I found that I focused more on the darker elements that slipped by my notice the first time since I was so eager to see what would happen next.

Armentrout has a gift at giving her characters distinct voices and traits that are more often than not humorous. Alex (Alexandria) has a bold personality and she exudes a confidence that she doesn’t necessarily have. I personally don’t have anything in common with her, since I tend to be quiet, reserved and in no way have the guts to break all the rules. I find these differences endear her to me. Though her choices are so different than the ones I would make in her position I am able to understand and empathize with why she makes them.

I can’t help myself but I really like Seth’s character. First time reading I liked him more than Aiden (gasp!) but having reread I found that I was leaning more towards Aiden because I could understand his choices and responsibilities better. I preferred Seth initially because he is less concerned with the rules and more with what he wants. His boldness and arrogance actually appeals to me though I think as a match to Alex he’s not nearly as suited as Aiden is.

All of the books I’ve read by Jennifer Armentrout are quick, easy and entertaining. It’s automatic that I read anything and everything she releases in the paranormal young adult genre.

Extras:
Check out my review of Obsidian and Onyx (book 1 and 2 from the Lux series) and the Opal Release party I attended where I met Jennifer Armentrout and Pepe Toth, the cover model on the Lux series books.

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout Review

Pepe Toth and Sztella TziotzioszOnyx  (A Lux Novel, Book Two)
By: Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating:
star

Possible spoilers if you’ve not read Obsidian, book one of the Lux series.

Summary (via Goodreads):
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies

The Story:
Katy is struggling throughout Onyx with what her relationship with Daemon really means and how he truly feels. She is having trouble coming to terms with what is real in this new world she’s been dropped into. We learn more about the Luxen and what their community expects from them as well as the government. The tension is upped by adding several areas of concern for the Luxen and Katy. As the reader you are sorting through things as much as her which makes for a thrilling read. The pacing is fantastic and the bits of romance take the edge off the stress.

The Characters:
You really feel like you are Katy as you are reading, Jennifer Armentrout drops you into her thoughts allowing the reader to see things much as she does. I love that Katy stays true to herself even as her world is turned upside down. There are a few moments where I was frustrated with her for not trusting Daemon with what’s happening. Daemon is true to his character from Obsidian and if its possible I love him even more after reading Onyx. The word ‘kitten’ will never have the same meaning to me again, Daemon Black has entered my mind and won’t ever leave…and that’s not a bad thing. You see more sides to his character but he doesn’t lose anything in having a clearer sense to who he is. She is a master at creating the ‘bad boy’.

Final Thoughts:
The Lux series moves at a fast pace making for a quick and fun read. Jennifer Armentrout really does a great job making characters you love (especially her male leads).

Onyx trailer:

Check out my review for Obsidian here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Armentrout and Pepe Toth (Daemon on the book covers). Check it out here.

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