Series: Covenant, #5
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: young adult, fantasy, Greek mythology, romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆
There is a spoiler-free section in this review.
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.
[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]
I feel like I should specify that this part does spoil things that have happened earlier in the series. It just doesn’t spoil anything that happened in Sentinel. If you haven’t read the series and are wondering if you should, you should check out my review on the first book, Half-Blood. (Just a fair warning: that review was written several years ago so it might be a bit crappy. Sorry in advanced.)
It’s about time I finished this series. I feel like I’ve been reading for forever! I had a two year gap between the third and fourth book, and I think part of the reason that happened was because I was so defeated when I realized I was reading the fifth book before the fourth one and gave up altogether. Recently, I decided to pick the series up again because Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite authors (and the most reviewed author on this blog) and I really liked the series. I was just beat up that I spoiled myself.
This has nothing to do with the actual story, but the covers of this series are desperately in need of a makeover. At the same time, this series was published in the early 2010’s… so can you really blame the lackluster cover? Anyways, I digress.
For all the hype that was building up throughout the first four books about this epic smack-down that was going to happen between Ares and Alex, I was a bit skeptical that Armentrout would deliver. It was INTENSE leading up to the climax! There were so many complications along the way that you can’t help but wonder if anyone was going to be standing by the end of this war. Seriously. Half the time I wondered if any of the main characters were going to remain alive.
I loved the character development in this story as well. Aiden is protective and supportive as ever, but Alex really shined through in this book. She started as a little twat (just kidding but also not kidding) at the beginning of the series, but you get to see her act so mature as the series goes on. Her maturity peaks in Sentinel, and you can see that through her decision making, her arguments, and the sacrifices she makes to ensure the safety of her friends, family, and the world. She has to give so much just because she was born an Apollyon, but she doesn’t let that weigh her down to fight for what she believes is right. Alex is still the stubborn, cocky girl I’ve learned to love, but she’s seriously matured, and that human aspect makes me love her even more.
We didn’t see much of Seth in Apollyon, but he also developed and changed throughout Sentinel. He changes, but who knows if it’s for better or for worse?
One thing that has been brought up to me recently is the portrayal of romance in entertainment and media. If you think about it, a lot of the romance between characters in media can be unhealthy. A person going after another despite them constantly turning them down could be categorized as sexual harassment, but I see that somewhat frequently in romance books. Granted, these books are a work of fiction, but they often portray an unrealistic version of a happy romantic relationship. This series, however, does not. I love how Armentrout adds in the couple arguments that Alex and Aiden have. They argue in a respectful and healthy manner (another example of Alex’s maturity), and I think that’s an amazing way to show the younger audience what a healthy relationship could look like. I understand why some authors gloss over couple arguments in their stories (because they often don’t fit the plot, take up too much unnecessary time, or are boring), but I like how Armentrout kept some of them in.
Overall, I think Sentinel was a fantastic conclusion to the Covenant series, and I’m ready to dive into its spin-off series, Titan!
This is the section with SPOILERS. If you don’t want to get SPOILED, then SKIP DOWN TO THE CHARACTER SECTION.
Don’t worry about it.
I’m giving you time to scroll down.
Go before it’s too late.
Alright, if you’ve committed to reading up to here, I’m assuming you’re okay with some spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though.
Let’s rip the band-aid about Olivia’s death, shall we?
I wish we get to see more of Olivia in the last couple books of the series. She was prominent in the beginning, but as the series went on, she started to fade into the background. I think I said in my Apollyon review that I wanted to see more of her in Sentinel, but unfortunately we don’t. Her death was so sudden, which isn’t the part I’m complaining about. To me, it felt like Armentrout was trying to hard to make Olivia’s death dramatic, but for some reason it fell flat for me. It didn’t have that impact that normally comes with character deaths. If normal character deaths hit me like an arrow to the heart, Olivia’s death bounced off pretty harmlessly. Sure, I felt the impact, the pressure, but it didn’t put me in pain. That is probably my one and only complaint about this book. It’s a small detail, but I thought I’d share.
I loved how Armentrout didn’t shy away from the fact that the protagonist had to die. There was no way around it, and she didn’t make some loophole up just to save Alex. She committed to the fact that the God-killer (a.k.a. Alex) was not allowed to exist, and she delivered but with a happy ending. I also liked how she added Alex trying to come to terms with her death in the story. It’s not something you see very often in young adult novels. We talk about how others try and cope when their loved ones pass away, but we rarely discuss how the person who died copes in the afterlife (whether you believe in afterlife or not). It was an interesting concept, and the way Armentrout talked about it through Alex’s emotions and actions in the Underworld was rather unique. You’d think that Alex would be happy to rest after all that she sacrificed for the gods to save their asses, but her restlessness and the unfairness that she had to give up her life harps at her. It’s understandable, even though I myself have not gone to the afterlife. You feel her pain of losing what could’ve been.
The ending was perfection. I loved how Alex’s story tied up all nice and neat, but Armentrout left just enough vague and open for her to be able to write more stories if she’d feel like it. And she did, apparently. She has a spin-off series following Seth and his journey after he basically sacrifices his life to serve the gods. I think it’s super clever that Armentrout was able to wrap up one story but also kick-start another.
I thought I’d be pretty indifferent about Alex by the end of the series, but I actually kind of like her now. Do I have a friend-crush on her? No, but I do respect her as a character.
This dude is perfect book boyfriend material. If you’re looking for someone to obsess over, ladies and gentlemen, look no further.
You want to hate him, but you can’t.
We don’t get to see too much of Marcus, but he’s the best, slightly awkward uncle anyone would ask for.
I give Sentinel 4 / 5 unicorn horns! It was a great conclusion to an epic series!
Until next time….