Review: The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Genre: New-Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 335
Series: Titan #1, Covenant series spin-off
Release Date: February 16, 2015

3.5 Stars

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I’m certain that Jennifer L. Armentrout has reached that point in her career where she can demand better covers that actually have some relevance to the plot of the novel, instead of a random shirtless dude being featured there like it’s the cover of a Playgirl magazine (I know that’s not an actual magazine, but I don’t know any real ones for girls).

I mean seriously, whoever designed the cover didn’t even bother to add his glyphs! I know they’re invisible to almost everyone, but we know they’re there! And if you don’t know, that means you haven’t read the Covenant series, in which case, I really think you should. Because the Covenant series…

a) is better,
b) has a better female protagonist
c) will help you appreciate and understand this novel more, and
d) is better.

But that kind-of-insulting topic aside, lets move to the next kind-of-insulting topic (I know, I’m on a roll). And that topic is… the author!

You see, I’ve read about a dozen novels by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and if you exclude the Covenant series, I’ve been highly impressed with exactly none of them. They’re all decently written and most of them are entertaining or interesting enough (Lux series not included; it sucked) but they’re ultimately pretty meh, or even aggravating. All this led me to think that maybe the Covenant series was a fluke. And while I enjoyed this novel, that belief still kinda stands.

This book follows Seth, who is an Apollyon, the child of a pure blood (descended from the Greek gods) and a half (half human and half pure). He did some very, very, extremely shitty things in the past (see: Covenant series) and to make up for some of them, he made a deal with the gods that pledged his existence to serving them, before and after death.

Apollo, who is freaking awesome, tasked Seth to protect a very important and special *rolls eyes* girl named Josie, because the world is in danger again and she’s very crucial to saving it.

Now, I enjoyed the book, I really did. It has a heavy focus on the romance but I’m okay that. I’ve read plenty of paranormal romances and I’m good with authors building on the relationship between characters before focusing on the big problems. And the fact that I liked Seth’s arc helped things along.

In the Covenant series, I hated Seth. I may be one of the only few people who did since everyone seemed to be in love with him, but I had a very hard time forgiving him for the shit he pulled. And even after he somewhat made up for it in the end with his deal with the gods, I still liked seeing him guilt-ridden over his actions and struggling with all that took place. Seth is a changed man, and though I miss his funny and sarcastic moments, his emotional arc was with it.

On top of that, for the most part, I liked Josie. She does have a habit of talking too much; and not in a cute-and-rambly sort of way, but more like she stops listening to what anyone has to say and words start pouring out of her mouth and you’re just waiting for her to shut the fuck up. But yeah, other than that, she was good.

The pace of the novel was good and you can fly through it very easily. It has plenty of clichés with the whole innocent, perpetually-blushing, virgin female MC, the obligatory guy-is-suddenly-shirtless scenes and stuff like that. But it was still readable and fun; made better that it would have been, by the addition of Seth’s character complexity.

As for reading the sequel (there are at least three more books in the series, probably more), I kinda, accidentally, on purpose spoiled myself on some things, things that I know I won’t like. So I will read it, but it will likely not happen very soon. If you’re a fan of the Covenant series, I think you’ll sufficiently enjoy this one (especially of you love Seth). If you haven’t read the previously mentioned series, read it first and then come back to this one.

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