Emily May's Reviews > Half-Blood

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Sep 14, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult, paranormal-uf, 2011
Read from December 24 to 26, 2011



Surely this book is illegal. I mean, someone once tried to sue J.K. Rowling because their book included a kind of wizard sport tournament similar to the one found in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they claimed she had stolen the idea from them... and this small matter takes up such a minuscule percentage of the novel! Not to mention the fact that no one I knew had ever heard of the guy's novel before...

Now, pretty much everyone I speak to has heard of - if not read - the Vampire Academy series. The first two thirds of Half-Blood is exactly the same as the first in the VA series, I'm not even exaggerating. There are some scenes where if you changed "Alex" to "Rose" and "Aiden" to "Dimitri" then you would have a difficult time guessing which book is which. In each novel, the protagonist has been away from their centre of training (St Vladimir's and The Covenant) for a long period of time. When they return, they are admitted for a trial period in which they must attend training by professional (and super sexy) hunters. In the training rooms, they fight the older and forbidden pros and get their arses handed to them repeatedly... then slowly they get better, stronger, and things start to get just a little too hot and sweaty between them and their trainers.

Oh, and another in-your-face similarity? There are pures and half-bloods, the former look down on the latter, pures would never stoop so low as to start a relationship with a half-blood, etc, etc. Alex, like Rose, is a half-blood. The only big difference is that Aiden, unlike Dimitri, is a pure. So the relationship in this novel is even more forbidden than the one in Vampire Academy. But I was just astounded by how many characters mirrored the ones in VA, this wasn't an accident, it simply couldn't be.

Two stars on goodreads means "it was ok" and, trust me, this very nearly got one star because plagiarism is never ok. But there was a big improvement in the last third that gave me the feeling that the second book in this series - Pure - would leave the VA books alone and show some originality. Things started to branch off from the obviously stolen idea and take their own shape; like the introduction of Apollyon (a half-blood who is granted super powers in order to keep pures in check, but only one can exist at any given time) and some other interesting discoveries that I can't talk about without giving away huge spoilers.

Even though Half-Blood is a well-written, dark and sexy novel, I couldn't help but be turned off when I discovered that the author had taken someone else's idea. Perhaps I'd have felt differently if I hadn't just read Vampire Academy in 2011? I don't know, but I'm not particularly interested in reading Pure right now.
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Reading Progress

12/24/2011 page 51
18.0% "Oh my god, this is more than just a VA rip-off, this is VA itself. Scene for scene!"

Comments (showing 1-50 of 60) (60 new)


Katie SO glad someone gave this a low rating. I'm reading it right now and wondering what all the fuss is about...


Emily May Have you read Vampire Academy? It's exactly the same book, I just can't believe the author can get away with this!


Katie Emily wrote: "Have you read Vampire Academy? It's exactly the same book, I just can't believe the author can get away with this!"

I haven't, but everybody keeps saying that. I've got it on my shelf. Now I really want to pick it up so I can compare the two.


Emily May You should, it's unbelievable how similar they are.


message 5: by Megs ♥ (new) - added it

Megs ♥ Thanks for the warning. I will not be reading this now...I hate reading things that copy other works...and I really love VA so I'm good with just this series for now.


message 6: by JJ. (new) - rated it 3 stars

JJ. I had the same thoughts about this book even though the last time I read Vampire Academy was quite a while ago. Armentrout has a talent for writing scenes with potent sexual tension, but it irked me when I realized she didn't include Richelle Mead in her list of writing influences because--hello--so much of half-blood is a copy of Vampire Academy.


message 7: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Dec 28, 2011 12:15AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Very true. Even though I ended up enjoying it by the end *bows head in shame*, I couldn't bring myself to give it more than two stars. As I said, if we start rewarding such a thing, where will it end?
You should stay away from Twilight Obsidian, I think. :(


Emily May Maja wrote: "Very true. Even though I ended up enjoying it by the end *bows head in shame*, I couldn't bring myself to give it more than two stars. As I said, if we start rewarding such a thing, where will it e..."

She did it again?? I wouldn't worry, anyway, I have no intention of reading anymore of this author's work. I quite enjoyed it too, but every time there was a good bit, I couldn't help but think she only had Richelle Mead to thank for that :/


Emily May Jen wrote: "I had the same thoughts about this book even though the last time I read Vampire Academy was quite a while ago. Armentrout has a talent for writing scenes with potent sexual tension, but it irked ..."

Unbelievable. My pdf version of this didn't have any writing influences included, but that's shocking :( Is she just trying to get away with stealing? I can't imagine what Armentrout is playing at...


Emily May It's surprising just how many there are out there :(


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Loving that you have noticed too!!


message 12: by M. (new) - rated it 2 stars

M. A lot of people are saying that this series is too similar to VA but since Richelle FAILED to deliver a satisfying end to VA I might give this copycat a try.


Emily May Well, I know quite a few people who've said they prefer this series to VA, so maybe it will deliver what Richelle Mead failed to do :)


Celestite This is well pointed out, but with my only disagreement being that I don't care if it's the same plot, because I'm a vampire hater sadly, so I wouldn't have read the story if it was vampire related (yes boo me, we are have different tastes). While this one, being mythology, which I do love, I am enjoying. I wouldn't enjoy it if I was a fan of vampires instead. But that's why I don't really hate the book even if the story seem very ripped off. :)


ranne LOL that's the thing with copying others' idea. You get to copy it AND make it even better. The similarities between VA and this book apalled me so many times but ohmygod I still liked this! Anyway, from what I've read in others' review of Pure, the similarities with VA DID NOT end in the first 2/3 of Half-Blood!


Heather There actually were times while reading this I did actually ask myself if I was reading VA.


message 17: by Megan (new) - rated it 1 star

Megan I just keep asking myself how it was even legal to publish this book. I'm not done reading it yet and feel like most of what I read was straight copy/pasted from VA. So, I should conceivably be able to re-write, say, the hunger games, change a few names and places and just sit back to count my money, right??


message 18: by Hal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hal That is so true,Half Blood was a great book, but you have a point.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I know what you mean. This book seems like a copy cat of VA. I mean not the whole book, but majority of the book, I was going like " Isn't that what happened in Vampire Academy?" I totally agree with you.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Michelle wrote: "A lot of people are saying that this series is too similar to VA but since Richelle FAILED to deliver a satisfying end to VA I might give this copycat a try."

Me too darling, me too.


Sarena Phew, I'm not the only one who's noticed all the similarities to Vampire Academy! I seriously started compiling a list.


 Athena Ivashkova ~♥~ I felt the same way! I hate it when they do that, and the ratings were pretty high to my surprise. It's just loathsome.


Sarah It's so true... And it's disappointing because I really wanted to like this book.. And I do like it. But when you hold it up against VA it pales in comparison.. And that's the other problem. It's a carbon copy!

I still like it...

But probably love and desperation for more VA keeps me reading it.

*le sigh* No one compares to Dimitri (cause he's real.. obviously..)


Twizzie Acctually, its okay to start a book off of someone else's idea. Im a writer. It cant be EXACTLY the same but it can be similar in some places and have different characters. But I think that when Jennifer Armentrout was writing this, she had recently just read Vampire Academy and got her mind stuck on it. Thats what happens to me. It's happened a lot in the past year. I start writing after a i read a couple books to gather some info and then I had created something almost similar. She probably didnt notie it until after publishing. If your a true reader, you would look past that and see it as a good book. I do.


Emily May This is a bit more than "almost similar" and I think it's impossible for her to not have noticed it until after publishing. A "true reader" would have no respect for plagiarism, just as a true author wouldn't stoop so low as to plagiarise in the first place.


message 26: by Ahna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ahna Matata i will always love Jennifer's work! plagiarism or nOt.. You still won't deny the fact that she has talents.. And VA?duhh it's been 2-3 years ago.. ! You guy's needs to move on.. Just don't read this book of you dont' wanted to. no one is pushing you to like or read this..


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 11, 2013 05:00AM) (new)

Ahna wrote: "i will always love Jennifer's work! plagiarism or nOt.. You still won't deny the fact that she has talents.. And VA?duhh it's been 2-3 years ago.. ! You guy's needs to move on.. Just don't read th..."

So just because you love an author it gives them the right to take someone else's work and profit off of it. Well then She and everyone else should rip-off other books: Hunger Games, Divergent, Shadow and Bone, Throne of Glass, and others then too huh?

My, My what does that say about you?

The point is it's unethical. And what's the point, she's already read it in Vampire Academy. If she didn't read then she wouldn't have given a review.

You people get on my nerves "Don't read if you don't like it." Well how she she going to form an opinion if she didn't?

She can't judge something if she didn't read it. Now can she...yeah, I thought so.


 Athena Ivashkova ~♥~ Well....since I'm constantly getting notified of this, let me just get the truth out straight:

In books, there are words. Words have the greatest influence on humanity, whether one is a reader or not. And who created words? Us. Therefore, we're permitted to express them as much as we can. And yes, debating is a type of expression.

And Ahna, I've read both VA and this book,plus Pure. And let me also tell you this straight: the author may have funny dialouge and damn hot make-out scences, but she's not talented enough to portray anything new in the YA genre. Being a teen myself, it's saying a lot. So the kind of talent she portrays, you can get it anywhere. I suggest you ponder over for what you said For this website is also there for those who are willing to read any book with an open-mind, that are not reluctant to be frightened to speak eloquently, yet maintaining to have a proper tone.


Alexis "Apollyon (a half-blood who is granted super powers in order to keep pures in check, but only one can exist at any given time)"

My friend... thus is Avatar: The Last Airbender, haha


message 30: by Marla (last edited Jan 06, 2014 09:20AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

 Marla @Alexis - I was thinking Apollyon was like Buffy, in every generation there is one Slayer, except when there's two.

I would love to know how many of the 4 and 5 star reviewers have read Vampire Academy. And if you read both and ignore the plagiarism, which do you like better. I can't even be objective because I was so shocked at how similar the books were. But it is a good story and I would've really liked it if I hadn't read VA.


message 31: by Lenny (new) - added it

Lenny sounds a lot like the percy jackson and the olympians series too. But still. I really want to pick it up sometime


Annie in-love-w/-books yes there are similarities, no doubt, but the series goes in a completely different direction with the following books. I can strongly recommend this series and JLA!


message 33: by Jaylah (new) - added it

Jaylah Reads Oh my. Well, for starters you will not have to worry about that with Obsidian. Because there are no similarities to any books in there. Im actually surprised to here this but the Lux series is amazing for a reason. Idk about her other books but Lux series is completely original. Don't anyone turn from that one. It got good ratings for a reason. And VA left me upset. It was very incomplete. I surely do not want to read something like that so I doubt if I will have the patience to read this. But Lux is amazing and it IS original. But a lot of books have similarities. Especially if it they are the same genre.


Anika Rajan I agreed with you, but I think that the character personalities are different. Think about Rose. She wouldn't be able to kill someone she once knew, but Alex can. Dimitri is stone cold. Aiden isn't. There are differences. Subtle, but they are in the personalities of the characters.


message 35: by Annie (new)

Annie So which is better, Half-Blood or Vampire Academy?


Emily May Vampire Academy, IMO.


 Marla I also liked VA better.


message 38: by Darcywillow (new)

Darcywillow Thanks for the heads up I'm a huge VA fan


Emily May No problem :)


Billie Bibliophile Just read the blurb for this and the first thing I thought of was VA!
Couldn't believe the similarity in just a short blurb!
Will not be funding a ripoff.


message 41: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia I thought the book was super boring. I didn't not connect with the characters and didn't even care about them it was a torture to read the whole thing. Now, I'm not saying that the author is bad ..it was a well-written book, but the story was really boring. I didn't even care about the similarities with VA, I mean if you are using someone else's idea as (let's say) a 'reference' or an 'inspiration' - at least make it entertaining.


message 42: by Erin (new)

Erin Exactly!! Her other series (Obsidian, I'm pretty sure) is exactly like Twilight! One series like another could be coincidental but two is something else.


Jorja Caldwell DEAR EVERYBODY:
This book obviously can't be a rip-off of a book written after it. half blood was wrote BEFORE vampire academy! Therefore, if anything va is a ripoff of this book! I loved vampire academy still, but really?


message 44: by Ana Luisa (last edited Jan 05, 2015 01:42PM) (new)

Ana Luisa Jorja wrote: "DEAR EVERYBODY:
This book obviously can't be a rip-off of a book written after it. half blood was wrote BEFORE vampire academy! Therefore, if anything va is a ripoff of this book! I loved vampire a..."


Really, how is that even possible? I haven't read either one of these books, but a quick look at their pages showed that Vampire Academy was first published in 2007, while this book was first published in 2011. So I don't get what you mean.


message 45: by Arty (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arty To the comment about obsidian being like twilight, ah you're 1,000% wrong and as far as half-blood vs vampire academy goes, yes there are similarities, no it's not plagiarism bc that is taking someone else's work word for word without giving credit. I was weary of reading this bc of all the negative comparisons but I'm happy I did read it, I loved vampire academy more than any book for a long time but while half-blood is similar it is not the same book. I hate reading others reviews because it can get stuck in your head and I put this series off too long because of that, I love Jennifer Armentrout, she is without a doubt one of my favorite authors and while ideas are similar I can see the difference between the two books, I feel sorry for those that can't and either give up a great series or never even start it.


Madelyn Blake Thank god! I am about 100 pages in and I've already marked about thirty different cliches of VA! It gets me so angry, I loved vampire academy and I hate to see Half blood take the whole story and just change the names!


Emily May Madelyn wrote: "Thank god! I am about 100 pages in and I've already marked about thirty different cliches of VA! It gets me so angry, I loved vampire academy and I hate to see Half blood take the whole story and j..."

I'm just amazed at how the author seems to have gotten away with this... crazy.


Madelyn Blake Richelle should take her ass to court!


message 49: by Nyree (new)

Nyree Wade There are in fact several well documented cases of major authors being caught plagiarizing other writer's work. The two that jump immediately to mind are Janet Dailey, who lifted several of Nora Roberts books, got them through editing and publication and into the market for a few years before anyone noticed. The second is Cassie Edwards who was drummed out of the business for taking passages verbatim from historical accounts as a form of "research."
In this instance, while i agree that there are obvious similarities, i think using the word "plagiarize" is too harsh. It is entirely possible the author hasn't read the Vampire Diaries, though being in the same genre it's less likely. In any case, there are recurring themes throughout fiction, and every author is influenced in varying ways by other author's works. If the similarities are TOO striking then the best thing to do is ask if the imitator has sufficiently changed the concept/plot/story enough to make it their own, and if they have, was it something you actually want to read. If not, skip it and tell everyone to go to the source, that's fair. Accusing the author of a crime, not so much.

P.S. The rift between the pures and the half-bloods in both series is nothing more than a fictionalized form of prejudice, which certainly isn't an idea one can claim as original in either case. Unless someone is putting forth that L J Smith invented discrimination, which i would assume she would most likely balk at.


Lover of Literature Emily May wrote: "Have you read Vampire Academy? It's exactly the same book, I just can't believe the author can get away with this!"

she claims that this was written long before Vampire Academy came out saying she sent her book to richelle mead and stole her story


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