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I was a half-blood, but I was also the Apollyon, a child of a pure and a half, a union that had been forbidden for thousands of years because an Apollyon was more powerful than any pure or half could ever hope to be.
And I always got to the traitors’ hideouts before they did, so the Sentinels were usually left with the cleanup, which I was sure absolutely thrilled them.
The first to enter was a female half-blood dressed just as I was. Her black hair was pulled back in a neat little knot at the top of her head. She was older, probably in her mid-thirties. It was pretty rare for a Sentinel to live that long. Her dark skin paled as she stopped just inside the entrance. She clenched titanium daggers in her hands like she expected something vicious to pop out from under the bloody mess.
The female Sentinel tipped her chin up, and the overhead light sliced across her broad cheekbones. She bore a jagged scar under her right eye, the skin lighter in tone. She saw me and froze.
My smile widened.
Behind her, another Sentinel rushed in, almost mowing her over. He saw me and whispered, “Seth.”
He’d said my name like I was the monster under his bed, and I sort of liked that. Then another Sentinel and another rolled in. The fifth took one look at my interior design work and keeled over. Slamming his hands on his knees, he hurled up his dinner.
Our society existed completely unknown to the average mortal and had operated under what was known as the Breed Order for thousands of years. The Order had been dismantled, which meant halfs were no longer forced to choose between becoming Sentinels—hunting down violent creatures, protecting pures, enforcing laws, and otherwise usually dying pretty damn quickly on the job—or servants, which was a job that really wasn’t a job, but more like slavery. Since then, many pampered pures had signed on to be Sentinels, making up for the loss of the halfs who’d pretty much said “screw this shit, I’m out.”
This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
For example, the dumbass puking all over my blood-covered floor was a pure. When he straightened, his face a greenish hue, he backed away, shaking his head. “I can’t,” he gasped out. “I can’t do this.”
Then he turned and hauled ass out the doors.
I sighed. This was why we couldn’t have nice things.
The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…
It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.
Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.
But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.
Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.
The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another winner by Jennifer Armentrout. Loved seeing another side of Seth and deeply appreciated Josie, the girl who sees the best in Seth and brings it out in him, too. The Greek Mythology is fantastic and I really loved the connections to the Covenant Series.
I’m was completely captivated by the story, and even though I received an ARC at BEA and subsequently read it within a day, all these months later I can recall the details of what happened between Josie and Seth. The bind Seth is in with the Titans is a difficult one, and he’s still reeling from his actions in the Covenant series. He’s serious about trying to be a better “person” and most definitely doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of love or forgiveness for his past sins. He made a lot of mistakes and was under the influence of some pretty bad “gods” and semi-gods,” and now he has to pay up.
I love Josie and how she responds to Seth. She sees him clearly, flaws and all, and Seth sees how different and special she is. He wants her to have the very best, which in his mind means someone better than him. Josie totally rocks as a strong female character. Exactly what Seth needs.
I love this series. I love the chemistry, the mythology, and the action. There’s danger and heart pounding scenes that will have you racing to find out what happens next. I cannot wait for the next book!
View all my reviews
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
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The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.
Heidi prepping for the party.
Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies, inspired from WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout
I adapted one recipe to create this one:
5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger Brand
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
30 whole walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven at 300 degrees – approximately 5 minutes.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container at 1/2 power. Stir until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar, then add melted chocolate/butter mix and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, stir in with a spoon. Put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. It will firm up! Take a tablespoon of dough and flatten in a circle in the palm of your hand. Add toasted whole walnut and fold over chocolate dough. Roll into a ball, completely covering the whole walnut. Cover the entire ball in powdered sugar. Place dough on greased cookie pan. Bake cookies at 350 for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes gently use a fork to flatten the dough to a 1/2 inch thick. Bake for another 2 minutes, then cool cookies on a cooling rack.
4 cups shredded potatoes
Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes
1/8 cup flour
1 diced small onion (I didn’t use it for this meal, but I do recommend including it for flavor)
Mix all ingredients together. Spray a cookie pan with vegetable oil. Spoon out a 1/4 cup of potato mixture. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is brown – about 10 minutes. Flip over with a spatula and brown the other side.
Recipe used: Martha Stewart
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas
Recipe used: Food.com
Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV
One of the suggestions that Heidi had was for us to collect books and donate them to a school in need. I found about Hmong American Peace Academy, a school in Milwaukee desperate for books and in the middle of a library campaign. The school services over 1200 students in K-4 through 12th grade. Over seventy-five books are already in the hands of students.
We utilized Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner’s end-of-the-year survey:
Click here: Jamie’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey
Q: Best book you read in 2013:
Daughter of Smoke & Bone, In Darkness, The One and Only Ivan, The Testing, The Burning Sky, Sea of Tranquility, Reclaimed, Second Chance Summer, Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Defy, Things I Can’t Forget, If I Find Me, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Where the Stars Still Shine, The Winner’s Curse, Covet, Hopeless, Goodbye Rebel Blue, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Q: Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013:
Etiquette & Espionnage, Easy, Dear Cassie, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Six Months Later, Reclaimed, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Tangled, Alice in Zombieland, Uninvited, Unearthly, Stir Me Up, Ruby Red, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Q: Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013:
Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Allegiant, Champion, If He Had Been With Me, Second Chance Summer, This Song Will Save Your Life, Things I Can’t Forget, Sea of Tranquility, The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, If I Stay
Q: Books you are most anticipating in 2014, non-debut:
The Worlds We Make, No Surrender Soldier, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Landline, Ruin & Rising, Panic, Isla and the Happily Ever After, On the Fence, Ignite Me, Split Second, Into the Still Blue, Dissonance
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I’ve read a lot of excellent books this summer (June 21-August 31), but not all of them are included in this list. That’s because they were ARCs and haven’t been published, yet. I look forward to putting together another post at the end of 2013, which will include those novels.
Each of the books or series listed below were memorable for different reasons and I want to share them with you. One lucky winner will get to select two books of choice or one audiobook via Audible and a book. Two winners will have a choice of a book or audiobook. International winners – you must have access to Audible or the book must be available through The Book Depository. Giveaway ends September 22, 2013 11:59 PM CST.
In no particular order:
Why it’s on the list: I love characters who go through major transformations.
Review: An exceptional story.
A note about the cover: It’s perfect for this novel. That’s melted ice cream that formed the outline of the faces on the asphalt. It fits so beautifully, so kudos to the designer and the publisher for going with it.
I am NOT going to talk about Josh. Or Sunshine. Or what happened to her in THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. I am not going to discuss the unfairness of what Josh faced over and over again. Many others have done so and done it extremely well. I second, third, fourth my agreement.
I will say this: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY begs the reader to take action, to make a change, or a choice, even a small one like picking up the phone and calling a loved one to say “I love you.”
To read the rest of the review, click here: The Sea of Tranquility
Why it’s on the list: I’ll remember what happened to these characters for a very long time.
Review: Voices so real, it’s hard to believe this is historical fiction and not biographical.
I picked up this novel from the library, but then returned without reading it. That was nearly a year ago. I had heard that it would rip my heart out, and I wasn’t ready to grab the knife.
But when my dear friend Heidi from YA Bibliophile @hmz1505http://www.yabibliophile.com raved and raved and raved about the audio, I knew I had to listen to it.
Once again, Heidi was right. The readers brought this novel to life and had me riveted. I was drawn into the story of female spies and female pilots during WWII and the friendship between two women – Queenie and Maddie. As they both had their turn to share the sequence of events that led to their friendship and what happened when Queenie was captured by the Nazis was absolutely stunning. The characters seemed so real and their voices were so authentic, that it’s hard to believe that they were created in Elizabeth Wein’s imagination.
To read the rest of the review, click here: Code Name Verity
Why it’s on the list: Speaks to anyone who’s felt like they didn’t fit in.
Review: Wow, wow!
Can a song save a person’s life?
Hmm, you’ll have to read This Song Will Save Your Life to understand the magic of music. I was deeply impressed with the Leila Sales’ powerful portrayal of Elise Dembowski, a sixteen-year-old girl who has endured bullying and friendlessness for as long as she can remember. As the daughter of divorced parents who share custody, she’s scheduled in and synced to both parents’ lives. With her dad, she’s an only child. With her mom, she’s the big sister and a step-daughter. Elise is bright and creative, and music means everything to her. Her father is a member of a one-hit 70s band, still playing at various venues like cruise ships, bars, etc. while he also works at a music store. It is he, who gave Elise such a passion for music.
To read the rest of the review, click here: This Song Will Save Your Life
Why it’s on the list: Addresses a serious issue: Date rape after being drugged.
Review: Very realistic. Compelling. Painful. Serious issues. One of the best book boyfriends. Ever. Definitely recommend.
What Happens Next was recommended to me by Rachel fromhttp://rachelwritesthings.blogspot.com Thanks, Rachel!
I was immediately taken in by Sid’s story, a sixteen-year-old girl who goes on a school ski trip with her two best friends. While on the trip, the three of them split up and Sid meets a college boy named Dax. He’s fills her with lots of compliments and begs her to come to a party. Her friends are totally against it, by Sid ignores them. What happens next is absolutely horrible and real and a warning to girls to never go to a stranger’s place.
As Sid tries to figure out how to deal with what happened to her, she meets Corey Livingston, a boy who seems like a complete loser. But as the two of them take months to get to know each other, something special blooms between them.
To read the rest of the review, click here: What Happens Next
Why it’s on the list: For anyone who has ever been torn between two boys or struggled with identity, this story will hit home.
Review: CAMP BOYFRIEND is . . .
authentic. Beautifully captures the difficulties of navigating friendships and relationships. So much more than a love triangle. (Don’t let that turn you off. It’s a huge plus.) This novel is about self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem.
I really want to see this in all middle schools/high schools/libraries.
CAMP BOYFRIEND does an incredible job of portraying the inner turmoil of a girl torn between two really good guys. But it’s also so much more. It begs the reader to ask, “What’s important to me?” Until that question is answered, it’s tough to know the bigger question, “Who am I?”
I am NOT going to summarize this novel. You can read that in the description. Instead, I want to share with you . . .
what I LOVED about CAMP BOYFRIEND.
To read the rest of the review, click here: Camp Boyfriend
Half-Blood (Book 1)
Why these books are on the list: The first line of my review says it all!
Review: Adventure, romance, heart-pounding action, and Greek mythology rolled into a captivating, unforgettable series.
Jennifer Armentrout created an fascinating world you’ll appreciate and visit on each page. I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with Aiden and Alex.
Thank you, Jaime, from http://fictionfare.blogspot.com for sharing the first three books with me and to Spencer Hill for the fourth book APOLLYON and the novellas.
I read all four books in THE COVENANT series plus the novella ELIXIR over the past four days. That should say EVERYTHING. I was completely sucked into the Greek mythology and the incredible storyline told by the hyper, daring, courageous, snarky Alex (short for Alexandria). Alex is a half blood – someone who is born to a pure blood parent (from the Greek gods) and a mortal parent. Pure bloods and half bloods don’t mix. They’re forbidden to love and they’re most definitely a lower class. Half bloods can become slaves to pure bloods, losing themselves by being forced to drink elixir that takes away their ability to think and act on their own freewill.
To read the rest of the review, click here: The ENTIRE (to date) Covenant Series
Why these books are on the list: Powerful portrayal of a teen redefining herself told through free verse poetry.
Review: SHARK GIRL will keep you captivated and will reel you in! Perfect for reluctant readers.
SHARK GIRL is about a girl named Jane who’s life changes in an instant when a shark attacks her and severs her arm. The story of that moment is told in free verse poetry. Throughout the novel, letters from concerned, compassionate people, along with reporters who want her story, are interspersed, breaking up the free verse poetry with the reality of what it means to be in the national spotlight. Jane shares her painful recovery, her deepest emotions, including her fears, frustration, and anger at the loss of her arm. Once a promising artist, she sees her future plans disappear as she has to relearn how to do everything with her left hand.
To read the rest of the review, click here: Shark Girl and Formally Shark Girl
Why it’s on the list: Fantasy at its finest!
Review: A captivating audiobook that kept me completely enthralled and invested in the story. Characters came to life.
About the story: Alina and Mal are two orphans who were raised in a Duke’s home (he takes in orphans who are “cared for” by a his servants. They rarely see the Duke.) Alina and Mal become each other’s best friends/family. Eventually, Alina and Mal come to serve the king as trackers. But when it’s discovered that Alina has a special talent, she’s whisked away from Mal and taken to the Little Palace to hone her skills as a Grisha and become the Darkling’s match. Putting their gifts together, they’ll be invincible. But Alina has a lot to learn before that can happen.
I loved the Grisha and their unique abilities. I could visualize the Shadow Fold and the nation of Ravka as well as the Little Palace, which isn’t very little at all.
To read the rest of the review, click here: Shadow and Bone To read the review for the second book in the series, click here: Siege and Storm
Why it’s on the list: A historical (romance) novel set in the former Soviet Union-USSR (Russia.) I don’t think many YA know about this time period in history.
Review: An accurate portrayal of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Terrifying and heartbreaking. Highly recommend.
When Laura goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad program, she believes meeting Alyosha on the bridge leading to her foreigners only dorm is a chance encounter. She quickly develops deep feelings for him and it appears that he feels the same way. He and his friends are hungry for anything that connects them to America. Does he love her because she’s wonderful, bright, kind or because of what she represents as an American? There is danger lurking around every corner, people who are willing to get this young couple in trouble, especially Alyosha, for anti-Soviet sentiment. Alyosha longs for the freedom that he perceives America represents. What does this really mean for Laura? You’ll have to read the novel to find out.
To read the rest of the review, click here: The Boy on the Bridge
Why it’s on the list: Simply unforgettable – Like SARAH’S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay.
Review: Part 1: Written on 7/20/13
I need to spend some time digesting this novel before I complete my review. I will say this – I am so glad I read the prequel (HONEYMOON IN PARIS) – See my review on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/…
Or the next day.
Must. Close. My. Mouth. It’s on the floor.
Part 2: Written on 7/23/13
Impactful. Eye-opening. Shocking.
Okay. Deep breath.
I’ve been thinking about how to review this novel. A lot. And why it affected me so much. I’ve come to the realization that there are several things that deeply impacted me. The characters and the experiences are so real, that, as the reader, you get completely absorbed in what has happened to them. This experience is similar to what many would say happened while reading SARAH’S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay.
To read the rest of the review, click here: The Girl You Left Behind
Why it’s on the list: A unique, page-turner story. The characters are some of the most interesting I’ve read.
Review: An exceptional novel that will leave antique lovers drooling, nature lovers longing for the outdoors, animal lovers running to make a donation to their local animal shelter or humane society, and hopeless romantics swooning.
I seriously can’t believe that I waited a whole month to read this novel. I should have picked it up immediately. Looking for Me is storytelling at its best. Teddi and her brother Josh grew up on a farm in Kentucky. While she loves to give new life to old things like furniture, Josh becomes a protector of nature. Their father fosters their passions while their mother begrudgingly goes along with it. As Teddi and Josh grow up, they take their own journeys away from home. Their stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Some of the overall themes of this beautiful novel are the power of family ties, the bonds of friendship, and the power of love.
To read the rest of the review, click here: Looking for Me
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From Goodreads: Summary of Half-Blood, book 1 in the Covenant Series:
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 REVIEW FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES (also posted on Goodreads):
Adventure, romance, heart-pounding action, and Greek mythology rolled into a captivating, unforgettable series.
Jennifer Armetrout created an fascinating world you’ll appreciate and visit on each page. I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with Aiden and Alex.
Click on each cover to enlarge:
Thank you, Jaime, from FictionFare for sharing the first three books with me and for raving about the series. Thank you to Spencer Hill for the fourth book APOLLYON and the novellas.
I read all four books in THE COVENANT series plus two novellas DAIMON and ELIXIR over the past five days. That should say EVERYTHING. I was completely sucked into the Greek mythology and the incredible storyline told by the hyper, daring, courageous, snarky Alex (short for Alexandria). Alex is a half blood – someone who is born to a pure blood parent (from the Greek gods) and a mortal parent. Pure bloods and half bloods don’t mix. They’re forbidden to love and they’re most definitely a lower class. Half bloods can become slaves to pure bloods, losing themselves by being forced to drink elixir that takes away their ability to think and act on their own freewill.
Alex falls in love with pure blood Aiden, one of the most awesome male characters I’ve read in a fantasy novel, because trust me I’m married to a really awesome guy and the love of my life, but Aiden WoW . . . he’s is mythical. Well yeah, he’s a pure blood!
Throughout the series, Alex has to deal with some horrific challenges, including traveling to the underworld, killing her daimon mother, and being put on trial for a list of crimes she didn’t commit. Loving Aiden isn’t easy either and it sure isn’t easy for him to love her. Despite the odds and the potential for death if they’re caught, the two become an incredible couple.
As the story progresses, Alex becomes one of two apollyons – I won’t explain what an apollyon is because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say being one is extremely rare and special. There’s only supposed to be one in every generation, but during Alex’s time there are two. She’s one and Seth is the First. He’s an awesome character with an ego so huge, it doesn’t fit in this hemisphere.
I absolutely recommend this series for anyone who appreciates Greek mythology, an excellent fantasy novel, and/or a swoon-worthy, intense romance.
Ten things I love about this series:
1. I love how Alex develops as a character from a snarky, reckless girl to a thoughtful, caring, courageous young woman (with a healthy dose of snark).
2. Aiden takes the suffering he’s endured and turns it into a strength. He’s protective of Alex and fiercely devoted to her and his brother. He’s calculating, cautious, loving, compassionate. The path to loving Alex isn’t an easy one, but he puts love above everything else.
3. Seth – oh the EGO!
4. Apollo – love how he watches over Alex. He ‘s behind-the-scenes, especially in the beginning, yet oh so present. He’s a key part of the story, which makes it even more interesting.
5. The novella ELIXIR was from Aiden’s point of view and it was deeply touching to read how he felt about Alex and the choices he had to make to help her. A definite WINNER!
6. The concept of the apollyons. Wow – the battle with the Greek gods starts even before Alex’s awakening. (You have to read the series to appreciate how amazing this is and what it means for her to “awaken!”)
7. The chemistry between Aiden and Alex puts these novels in the category of over-the-top fabulous!
8. The training at the Covenant. To become a sentinel takes tremendous strength, physical endurance, fighting skills, agility. The descriptions of the training jumps right off the page.
9. Good versus evil. The evil characters keep your blood pumping. The lines between good and evil are often crossed. The scenes are intense, heartbreaking, and filled with so much action, it’ll be hard to catch your breath.
10. Mythology, mythology, mythology.
Why am I excited to read SENTINEL?
If my review for the series doesn’t say it all, this should: I cannot wait to find out the fate of Alex and Aiden.