First reaction after finishing: “WHAT? You could’ve ended at any place, and you ended- WHAT? A pox against your house! Well, not really, this is pure awesomeness, but… I have to wait a whole ‘nother year for the next book? YOU MASOCHISTIC FIEND-”
Ahem. Well, that’s embarrassing. I apologize for that, Jennifer. I enjoyed meeting you at BEA and getting my copy signed- *cough, dusts self off*
Anyway. I suppose an actual review, would be helpful here.
Summary: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout (November 2012 from Spencer Hill Press), the third installation (see reviews for the first and second books here and here) in the Covenant series, follows 17-18 year old Alex Andros in a paranormal romance dealing with the Greek gods and goddesses of mythology with a modern twist. As a half-blood, a diluted mixture of demigod and mortal (which is an even more diluted version of the Pure-bloods, the original spawns of a demigod and mortal pair), Alex battles questions of duty, love, and fate as her 18th birthday approaches and she becomes the second Apollyon, a super powered energy sink linked to her “other half”, Seth. While her birthday is the ultimate course for the action, the star crossed love triangle between Alex, Seth and pure-blooded Aiden creates crucial romantic tension and development of the high stakes, life-and-death kind.
The nitty gritty: Although I would definitely characterize this series as plot-driven, this novel would be nothing without the characters. There are some eye-roll inducing moments with teenage displays of testosterone (I think we can all fill the blanks on this one), but overall, all the main characters give the impression of awesome and flawed flesh and blood people who just happen to be extremely gorgeous. I love Alex, love-love-love Aiden, and hate-hate-hate Seth, and these feelings bolster my investment in the good moments and the bad. I read this book weeks ago and my heart still dissolves into puddles when I think of Aiden; I can’t remember the last time a novel character made me feel like that. Feels weird.
Over the years, as an aficionado of romance novels I’ve noticed that the romance often seems to take precedence over everything else, even common sense. The main couple usually forsakes everything, including loved ones and duty, because they’re so “madly in love” that they become selfish and vapid, or the heroes are so “perfect” that instead of rallying for their love I want to stab them in the eye with a fork. I’m happy to say that with Deity, this isn’t the case. Even when their relationship escalates halfway through (i.e. they become a couple OMGWATFINALLY), Alex and Aiden don’t change much, and their love scenes are done tastefully but with a dash of sexy just big enough to still scorch the page. Seeing them be tender/sensual together just makes me smile (well, and wish very hard for an Aiden clone, but still). And that’s what true love is supposed to be about, right?
At some point I broke out in a cold sweat – I can’t quite remember if it was because of sexual tension or pulse-pounding action at the time, probably both – so Armentrout’s writing, written in Alex’s perspective, definitely needs to be praised for being so damn vivid and engrossing. The greatness of a novelist’s prose is determined, in my opinion, by how easily you can ignore it. Here, you never lose grasp of Alex’s personality, but at the same time, in the pivotal scenes it’s easy for her snark and musings to fade away until you feel you’re watching the novel scroll by in widescreen cinema format.
As I hinted at above, the novel stops just short of the next key conflict in the plot, pitching the reader off a cliff(hanger) so intense that they’ll still want to keep flipping feebly at the pages even though there’s nothing left to read. Although cliffhangers usually irritate me to no end, Deity still possesses enough plot and character development to stand alone, leaving me satisfied to the point that after the initial shock, I actually don’t mind the wait… no, that’s totally a lie – I’m practically foaming at the mouth for Elixir to get here. But either way, I know that when I finally get hands on the next novel (or novella, as it were), it’ll definitely be worth it.
I really can’t remember the last time I was this hooked on a series, or a book, period. It’s been awhile, and although it’s nice to know I’m still capable of getting the feels, the intensity of my obsession is starting to concern me. Please, for the love of God Jennifer, release the rest post haste and put me out of my misery.
Final verdict: As the third book in a planned series of six, Deity ramps up the action, suspense, and romance without ever losing a step, and it makes me crave the sequel like I need it to breathe. I’ll make due somehow until the next installment, but I assure you Aiden and Alex will be haunting (soothing?) my dreams for a long, long time.