Monday, 17 March 2014

Book Review: Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Sentinel
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Book #5 in the Covenant series
Release Date: November 2nd 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Number of pages: 297 pages
Source: Paperback copy purchased by reviewer

Grade: 2.5 stars

Novellus malus!

Goodreads appetizer: It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

My Thoughts: This is probably one of the hardest reviews I ever had to write. Both because Sentinel was one of my most anticipated books of this year and because Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite authors ever. So yes, I expected some fireworks from the last book in one of my most beloved series in the last years. Scratch that, I was pretty sure that Sentinel would be mind-blowing or at least a very satisfying conclusion. And I don't know if my high expectations ruined everything for me but sadly, Sentinel was nothing like I expected it to be...

And here I have to note a motive that has formed over the last books I read and reviewed by JLA. A motive that isn't complimentary I might add... I couldn't help but notice that all those things that I really liked in this author's books before has lately tired me more and more... It's like reading the same stuff in small variations again and again and again... Characters that resemble one another, plots that are very similar, twists that one can easily expect, it's like the novelty of this author's stories has wore off for me and now everything feels and reads the same...

But enough with generalisations, let's talk about why Sentinel didn't exactly work for me.

From the very first chapters I felt bored. Oh yeah, you heard me right, I was reading a JLA book and I couldn't wait to finish it and move on to the next story. Nothing could grab my interest. The pace of the story felt excruciatingly slow. Nothing happened. Sentinel was the last book in a series, so I kind of expected that things would happen in quick succession. What I got was a plot that dragged from one point to the next and endless chatter of nothing of real importance. I mean the first half of the book is dominated by Alex's pregnancy or not. Why oh why should that be added in the mix??? From the first moment something like that was hinted I couldn't help but roll my eyes, a reaction I maintained everytime it was discussed. I thought that it was added in the story just to cover the cliche of the teenage heroine getting pregnant by the end of the series...

And here I must add the fact that for a last book, the better part of the plot instead of being focused on crucial things was just dominated by relationship matters, sex or make out scenes and repetitive discussions of the same topics.

And now it's time to discuss the main characters... Where shall I start... Let's start from Alex who bothered me more, even more than Seth, to my astonishment. Alex was plainly irritating, especially in the first half of the book. She's overcome by her fears and vanity and acts like nothing of the Apollyon she's supposed to be. Granted, her behavior is more or less explained, but I would like her to fight her fears more, to rise above them. Isn't that what badass heroines do? Overcome any obstacles and show that they deserve to be the heroines of a story. Alex failed me in that department. And maybe the author wanted to show a more mundane side of her with all that I don't know, the fact remains that I was unimpressed and it didn't work for me at all.

Seth on the other hand, is the other character I spend my time being mad at while reading Sentinel. Granted, I was never team Seth. I even felt sorry for him despite acting like an ass in Apollyon. But the way he just understands his wrongdoings just because his actions ended up hearting Alex was not only unbelievable fut frustrating as hell... I mean you are the reason that hundreds of people, pures and half-bloods have lost their life and you only feel sorry for what happened to Alex and that is what makes you see what an ass you were? Sorry but I'm not buying it... And to make things worse, as soon as he claims that now he's against Ares everyone falls for that in a minute, believe that he won't betray them, thus gaining his redemption? Oh no, no, no, he isn't redeemed in my eyes, not one bit... And the whole ending was just another proof of how easily you can wrap up a story and make a character look like a saint even if he doesn't really deserve it. JLA should just have Seth remain a villain rather than glorifying him in such a way. In that case, I would at least respect him as a villain.

I won't talk about the rest of the characters much. Aiden was ok I guess but here I just have to comment on the gods that appeared in Sentinel. We're talking about a total cliche-fest! It was like watching an episode of Xena the Warrior Princess or Hercules... I'm quite familiar with Greek mythology, being Greek myself and Olympian goddesses don't dress with their nipples showing, wearing next to nothing or flirt shamelessly. And most importantly, not one of the Olympian gods talk or act like a teenager. And Perses, a Titan, talking in slang??? Nice touch there...

And now let's come to the ending. Wow! Just wow! I couldn't even predict how nicely everything would wrap up, with Seth's help of all people, or how utterly disappointed I would be by the way one of my favorite series ended...

Verdict: Sentinel, in my abject horror, is one of the most disappointing books I ever read. Not one of the worst. No... But it's the book I had such high hopes from, only for them to be crushed in the most painful way... To be completely honest with myself, I'm pretty afraid to read again one of JLA's stories... Given the fact that her stories don't work for me anymore the way they used to, it's only natural that I'm afraid I won't like her next story. I have a bad track with her books lately...

Plot: 5/10
Characters: 5/10
Writing: 6/10
Ending: 4/10
Cover: 9/10

Buy it:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Order of the series:
Book #1 - Half-Blood
Book #2 - Pure
Book #3 - Deity
Book #4 - Apollyon
Book #5 - Sentinel

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