Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review: Pure

The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of those books that has been on my reading list for so long that I forgot about it for a little bit. I backtracked and finally got around to reading it, and couldn't have been happier to do so. At time of writing, I'm on the third book, Deity, and while I'll be talking about Pure, the second novel today, I can say that I'm glad I put it on my list. The series is spectacular, exciting, and full of unexpected twists and turns with a strong female lead at the helm. Urban fantasy, Young Adult, and Greek mythology fans will not want to miss this one.

All the covers have this beautiful, ethereal look to them.

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.

Alexandria has just learned that she's an Apollyon, a supremely powerful half of two people that will come together to create the feared God Killer. The second person of that half is Seth, snarky, egotistical warrior who fully embraces what he's destined to become, while Alex is terrified of losing herself to this per-adorned fate, and losing the man she truly loves in the process. There will be consequences to whatever Alex chooses... if her enemies don't kill her first.

If I'm being perfectly honest, Pure kind of felt like a filler book with lots of setup. Don't get me wrong– a lot happened, which I'll get to soon– but I didn't really see the story itself progressing as much as I wanted. Most of the first half was character building, but it was only by the end of the book that I felt the story as a series was progressing. Though I suppose it was appropriate, since it had to happen some time.

That being said, you won't find me complaining about what I read. Alex is a phenomenal heroine with strength and attitude, but flaws and vulnerability. She's a deep character, and Armentrout excels and fleshing her out to the point where I could truly believe she was real. I truly enjoyed watching her grow and endure the terrible trials and heartaches she had pushed upon her.

The most important second characters– Aiden and Seth– had excellent development as well. I find Seth interesting and complex, especially since he appears to be putting up a front for everyone to shelter his true feelings. The mask only evaporates with Alex, though at this point it's unclear whether or not that's because he truly cares, or because the Apollyon bond between them is forcing the emotions.

But I'm an Aiden girl at heart. There were times when he was unbearably frustrating with his feelings toward Alex, but his loyalty and devotion was powerful and awe-inspiring. I'm excited to see their relationship continue, even though I know it will be epically complicated.

The story itself took some shocking twists, including the ends of two important characters. I won't say who or risk going into spoiler-mode, but I'll say that I still wasn't expecting the biggest one, even if it was all but spelled out from a prophecy. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page, and eager for more.

The action scenes were fantastic, especially at the end when Alex was fighting for her life against some truly nasty creatures. When the villains roll out, they truly seem like an unstoppable force. Not just physically, but mentally as well, as many of them prefer mind games to punching and kicking. The dialogue is smooth, easy, and fun. You can definitely get a sense of Alex's age when you read the book, and the minor pop culture references helped me relate to the characters more.

I started this series last week and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I want to keep going, to plow through to the end and see how it all wraps up. I know I'm in for something epic, and filler book or no, Pure was absolutely excellent. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys reading about fiery teenage girls who can kick ass, Greek mythology, or who want to read something thrilling and memorable. To my fellow Canadian readers, I had to buy my ebook from Kindle, so if you have a Kobo, you may have to do the same. And you totally should do it. As Alex learns time and time again, there are some opportunities that shouldn't be passed up.


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