Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Apollyon by Jennifer Armentrout

by Jennifer Armentrout
Read: April 8 - 12, 2013
Published: April 4, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
Source: Kindle Purchase
Category: Urban Fantasy, YA
Series: Covenant book 4

NOTE: Apollyon is the fourth book in a series. If you have yet to start this series, skip the summary paragraph. The first part of my review is safe for all readers. I've noted where you should stop reading if you are new to these books. Find my review of book 3 Deity, HERE.

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. (From Goodreads)


Before you start Apollyon, make sure to read Elixir, a free novella from Aiden's POV that takes place after the events in Deity. Find it HERE

I am completely hooked on Jennifer Armentrout's Covenant series, even though I still have reservations about the world building. I'm not going to rehash my issues in this review, though you can find them at the bottom of my Deity thoughts. To its credit, this series has become more and more unique in each installment. However, I’ve been asking myself why I stuck with it at the beginning, and why my reservations have not stopped me from vigorously eating up each book. I think it's because Jennifer Armentrout writes great characters, couples with amazing chemistry, and she allows her readers to indulge in both within her complex and engaging stories. Moreover, in each book of her multiple series, the scope of the world she's created continues to widen in proportion to the mounting tension. Everything gets bigger, more important and scarier, and it all increases realistically within the story. 

Armentrout writes fantastic characters that are likable, flawed and strong, and that have believable thoughts and emotions. These characters also have fantastic chemistry with other characters with those qualities. Then she moves her story in realistic directions, without sacrificing characterization or adding annoying elements just to keep the tension high. She also allows her readers to actually watch her couples fall in love and see their relationship grow. In so many series authors try to keep their story interesting by adding obstacles, triangles, or pulling apart their couples, but I love that Armentrout allows her readers to see the strength of them together. The way they compliment and support each other, makes her stories stand out to me.

Possible spoilers beyond this point if you haven't started the series: 
Alex grows up a lot in Apollyon, individually, and also in her relationship with Aiden. She has to come to terms with what it means that she is the second Apollyon, including making tough decisions and sacrifices that have big affects on the world around her. Known for rushing headlong into danger, Alex is learning that isn’t always the best course of action. Her character growth is one of my favorite parts of this book. I also love how much Aiden compliments and supports Alex, and in many ways tempers her impulsive nature. In Apollyon I really enjoyed seeing the sweet and playful side of their relationship, amidst the very real danger they are in. Although Alex is the all powerful Apollyon, it is clear that they are an equal match of strength and will, and that they truly compliment the other.

Of course Seth is still very much part of this story. What I really appreciate about this series is that it does not descend into the predicted triangle route. Seth is tied to Alex, but it is always clear where her heart lies, and it does not waver. In many ways I think this series is stronger because of the complicated relationship between Alex, Aiden and Seth, without it involving her being torn between two guys. I think that has allowed me to sympathize more with Seth and his situation, because I’m not stressing about the triangle.

If you're wondering specific details about what happens in this book. Alex is connected to Seth when the book begins, and she calls him my Seth. How long that frightful situation lasts (or if it ever ends), you'll have to find out for yourself. More gods pop up. Alex spends some swoony time with Aiden. She learns a lot about her role as the Apollyon and what it will take to stop the people coming after her. She takes two trips, meets new people and does a lot of fighting along the way, including against spiders (*shudders*). Alex also interacts with two specific characters from her past in very moving scenes, which were also great lulls in the overall stress of the book. Basically the tension is raised a lot in this installment, and the scope of the danger gets increasingly wider and more dire. 

Although I wouldn’t call the ending of this book a cliffhanger - because it is a natural break in the action and there is low immediate danger, the big moment I though this story was working towards did not come in Apollyon. That doesn't mean that what happens is any less scary. Also, I have a lot of questions after the end of this book. Although the story ends on a quiet moment, I’m still confused about several things that happened near the end, and I'm very eager for answers. Thankfully, Sentinel releases in December. 

Cliffhanger Scale: Low - Medium (Medium, because a lot of questions have been left open, the action isn't completed, and there are big things looming. Low, because the book ends on a quiet, safe moment.)
Love Triangle Factor: Mild


  1. I actually read the entire review because I don't know when I'll actually get to this series and am likely to forget most of these details before then. At this point, I will probably wait until it is finished. I honestly didn't start the series because I just never was drawn to the covers, but the fact that you have stuck with the series is telling to me - perhaps I would enjoy it. So Sentinel will be the end, is that correct? Maybe this is one for me to try and read next year if you think I'll like it?

    1. I think you will like this book, Asheley. They are pretty quick to read as well. However, I maintain that you need to start with the Vampire Academy if you want to tackle a series like this. They begin similarly, but their stories greatly diverge in later books.

    2. So I want to make sure I understand correctly - before I take on this series, you recommend the Vampire Academy books? Is that right? Correct me if I misunderstand.

      I'm actually *considering* the VA books for the summer challenge. Not sure yet, so don't hold me to it!

    3. This series is like a Vampire Academy remix, at least in the beginning. It becomes much more unique as it goes along. In some ways I like this one overall better, but I feel bad saying that because it's not the 'original.' BUT I think that if you're planning on starting one of them, you should pick VA first. I would LOVE for you to read them this summer. Heather and I both read the whole series in a week. It's a good one for a cram session!!

  2. I only read the beginning of your review since I haven't started this series, but I'm so glad you enjoy these books. As you know, I've only read Armentrout's Lux Series (and one or two of her adult books, which are quite underwhelming), but I'm interested in starting this. I have heard that it's very similar to Vampire Academy, though, so I have no idea if I really WILL read it, but it sounds like something I might need when I'm in the mood for quick reads. :)

    1. I think the biggest blight on these books is the fact that they are pretty much a Vampire Academy remix - at least in the beginning. If you can overcome, or ignore that, they become more and more their own stories, and are very well written and engaging. I actually like Aiden better than Daemon, and Alex and Katy are both kickbutt, and it's fun to be in their heads. Unfortunately, the fact that these books start as a piggyback on another series, will always add a stigma. Even so, there are things about this series that I like more than VA. It is certainly has more swoon!

  3. Haven't read this and have also heard that it's very similar to VA. But I love that series so I do intend to try these one day :)

    Jen @ YA Romantics


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