5 star

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

There is need. And then there is Fate… Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Pure is the beginning of the overarching plot of the Covenant series. The previous novel, Half-Blood, introduced the characters, their complicated relationships, and the basic set up world with all the rising tensions between the Pures and Half-Bloods. Pure then begins to extrapolate on them creating a unique world with different socioeconomic classes, the divide between them, the tension between the Pures and the Half-Blood because of the servitude forced upon the Half-Bloods, and, most importantly, Alex’s developing awareness of the injustices her race is subjugated to by the Pures.

This is my first time rereading this book in five years and what I’ve noticed more this time around is the social commentary Armentrout, either purposely or not, is making on racism and class division. The Pures believe they can treat the Half-Bloods however they choose because they are the superior race and that’s how the gods wish them to be treated. Alex, and the other Half-Bloods, face injustice after injustice and are forced to swallow their pride unless they wish to be executed. The dynamics between the Pures and Half-Bloods is an interesting one that adds another layer of intricacies to the stakes the characters face and how they navigate their world.

What this novel does the best is showcase Seth. Seth is a frustrating character because of his asshole tendencies coupled with his more sensitive and sincere side. As Alex and Seth spend more time together training, she begins to see a different side of him. This side she sees is fiercely protective almost to a fault and playfully flirty. Despite Alex’s warming emotions about him, Seth is a very secretive character. Alex, and the reader, never learns his last name or anything about his life before be became the Appolyon. He’s a mystery yet to be revealed even by the end of the novel.
And for the people who have already read the series in its entirety as well as the Titan series, it’s interesting to witness Seth’s actions knowing where he ends up later in the future.

Alex and Aiden share a few romantic and beautiful moments in this novel. They are few and far between, however this leads to a credible friendship/relationship between the two. The consequences for a Half-Blood to engage in any sort of physical relationship with a Pure is punishable by death, so for them to cave to their feelings in unrealistic. I love the slow burn of their relationship coupled with the curveball that is Seth.

Overall, Pure, like Onyx from Armentrout’s Lux series, is a game changer. Pure is when the comparisons to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy novel begin to fade quickly. Alex is forced to view her the world she’s a part of in a harsh and unforgiving light and what she sees maker her question her past and future choices.