Publisher: Spencer Hill Press; First edition (April 2, 2012)
Format: Kindle edition
Plot: (FYI MAJOR SPOILERS HERE!!!) Alex, the feisty fighting Half-Blood we met in Half-Blood, is back and training harder than ever at the Covenant with Aiden, the Pure blood Sentinel she loves, and Seth, the Half-Blood Apollyon with whom she has a freaky-deaky connection. As training progresses, her love for Aiden intensifies yet in order to protect her, Aiden refuses to acknowledge the romantic feelings they both share, alienating Alex and pushing her closer to Seth, the snarky man-whore who comforts her as she sleeps but annoys the crap out of her in daylight.
When her best friend, Caleb, is captured and killed by a Half-Blood Daimon, Alex is devastated and obviously heart-broken. Seth supports her in a way she never thought possible and she finds herself leaning on him instead of Aiden for emotional support. Then Alex is called before the Council and accused of wanting to destroy all Pures as soon as her own Apollyon powers manifest. She scoffs at this and attempts to explain her mother’s plan of creating a Half-Blood Daimon army but no one is willing to believe her until the Covenant that houses the Council is attacked by that same army. When the Gods themselves send the Furies to ensure nothing gets out of hand during the ensuing battle, it’s Alex who kills all three and when a Pure who witnesses this claims that she’s the Half-Blood who will destroy them all, Aiden uses his powers on him to compel him to forget. This act is treason and could get Aiden killed but proves to Alex once and for all that he really does love her and maybe one day in the future there might be a chance for them yet. That is of course she can get away from Seth and what being the Apollyon entails…
Review: Well, it probably comes as no surprise but Jennifer L Armentrout has written a sequel that’s on par with and in some ways surpasses the first in the series! Most sequels fall victim to the dreaded 2nd book syndrome–you know dull, lifeless, uninspired with little to no action which serves as filler until the third book can be released–but I can honestly say that this book was freaking awesome. The story is just as fast paced and tightly wound as Half-Blood, the dialogue is snarky and witty with a whole lot of action and drama. What surprised me most though was the evolution of Alex and Seth’s relationship from book 1 to book 2. In Half-Blood, Alex makes it very clear that Aiden is her be all and end all. Seth is just an annoyance, a good looking one but still obnoxious with a capital O. In Pure, we see their relationship evolve and Seth shows a vulnerability that I would have been surprised at in book 1. Of course these two are still fighting about everything both literally (in the training room) and figuratively but when she needs him, Seth can be a sensitive shoulder for Alex to lean on. Shocking! Especially considering how much Aiden forces himself to back away from her in this book. Of course, we all know he’s sacrificing his feelings and well being for her so that she can be safe and also have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. God, warning warning: this book causes major anguish and heart ache, forcing you to flip flop between Team Aiden and Team Seth virtually every other chapter.
My one big problem with Alex in this book is how little she’s learned and evolved from Half-Blood. She is still doing ridiculously dumb things when she knows she probably shouldn’t and it costs her the life of Caleb, her best friend. Sure, she’s devastated and realizes how his life was just wasted because of a silly decision on her part but she still doesn’t seem to learn or grow from that. She still proceeds to lash out and fight anyone with a different opinion and doesn’t just stop and think a problem through. Maybe this will get better as the books progress but her abrasive personality slowly began to grate on me by the end of this book. Here’s hoping that the next is different!
Now I don’t want to say too much more since if you haven’t read the books, well, you want a little bit of suspense (who are you kidding?? If you’re here it’s cause you want to know what happens now!) but I’ll just say that with Pure, Jennifer L Armentrout proves she’s an exceptional writer with a gift for crafting multiple storylines that weave together seamlessly. She also shows us that she’s going to tug at our heart strings for as long as possible until we discover Aiden and Seth’s real motivations.
Final score will be: 9/10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 8. I like Alex just as much as in Half-Blood but girlfriend is NOT maturing as quickly as I’d like. She’s still a hot head, still hell bent on doing stupid stuff that ends up getting her best friend killed and putting herself at risk, and she can’t decide whether she likes Seth even though he’s always been 100% sweet and pretty loyal to her. She is as fickle as an alleycat and I want to see that change. Fingers crossed that it does in Book 3.
How much did I like the love interest: Aiden: 10/10. God, could he be any more of a winner? Alex really won the love lottery when she wound up with him because Aiden is a selfless, gorgeous hero who is like the total package. Lethal, sweet, willing to do what it takes to keep her safe. The fact that he’s kind of still annoyingly perfect almost dropped his score down but then he does something so kick butt droolworthy at the end of the book (you know when, right? The part at the end? With the Furies and the compulsion?) that his score rocked back up there.
Seth: 10/10. It’s no secret that I adore Seth and this snarky blond bad boy has just gone through the roof! He doesn’t take advantage of Alex when he clearly could have, he holds her and rocks her to sleep to keep her nightmares at bay, he seems to truly care about her (omg, Caleb’s funeral! Sob!) and just wants to be a good guy with her. He can’t help that he has needs and is HOT. Oh who am I kidding? Keep it in your pants, Seth!
How believable is the plot: 10. We’re still talking about an elite school for the children of Greek Gods and humans right? Plus there are soulless wraiths called Daimons and weird, freaky powers being used left and right? Well, my understanding of reality has been suspended so this book is soooo believable, y’all!
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Jennifer L Armentrout wows me every time. Her editing is incredible. There are rarely any grammar or spelling issues, the writing is spot on–a mix of tasteful, witty, suspenseful–and her dialogue is killer.
How much did I want to keep reading: 10. I’m still asking myself over here: will Alex and Aiden ever get together? Will Seth and Alex ever get together? Can’t they just be one happy threesome? What’s the deal with the Apollyon powers and what are the Gods doing???
Final Score: 9/10. Okay if Alex had matured a little bit, I would have given this a 10. But as it stands, girlfriend has got to grow up and prove that she can be a hero and not a crazy Half-Blood with a really sharp knife. Love it all the same and will definitely keep reading this series.