REVIEW ✧ THE RETURN

“Say that I’m not just the Apollyon,” he whispered, his voice harsh.
Tears built in my throat. “You’re not just the Apollyon, Seth.”

☆☆☆3/4

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series.

When I was finishing the Covenant series a few months ago, I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d start its spinoff series because it was focused on Seth and, well, he pissed me off a lot. I know that he redeemed himself but I wasn’t 100% ready to get into his story back then so I waited. And then I waited some more. And now that I’m into Armentrout April and reading only her this month, it seemed like this was the right time to read it. Do I still hate Seth? Meh, it’s undetermined. I mean yeah, he’s redeemed and did the right thing in the end blah, blah, blah, but there are still minuscule bits of his personality that kinda bother me. Although, I will say I found it really weird to be enjoying Seth’s character as the book went on but I guess that just means that JLA is a really good writer because I no longer loathe him. Go figure. I enjoyed majority of this book, including the plot and all the references to Covenant, but I don’t think I can go higher than 3 and 3/4 stars right now. There are just some small things (and by small, I mean Seth) that I wish were different but I still think it’s another solid work from Armentrout. Let’s be real, I’m docking a 1/4 star because of how much Seth bothers me. I’m petty, let me live.

I don’t think I’ll be revealing any spoilers from this book specifically but there will be A LOT of spoilers from the Covenant series, so if you haven’t read that yet, this SPOILER ALERT is for you.

THE GOOD

  • The most consistent thing about Armentrout, for me, is how much I love her writing and how she’ll never disappoint me. Everything from the plot to the characters to the romance are always on point and it’ll always be the one thing I can count on, which is why I won’t go into detail about it. What I will go into detail about is how much I enjoyed the way she worked in the Covenant story and how those little recaps were woven throughout the book. There are two things in particular that come to mind when I think about this. One is how rather than getting Seth to tell Josie his backstory and everything that went down between him and Alex, Armentrout used Deacon to tell this story. Deacon isn’t entirely a third party observer, since he is Aiden’s brother and very much connected to him and Alex, but because he’s not one of the direct people from this story he was able to provide more of an objective viewpoint and point out the goods and bads of Seth’s actions. He could’ve picked sides but he didn’t and I think that helped Josie look at this thing more objectively as well. I also liked how he told the story to her and I think it shows how far Seth’s redemption has gone amongst the group. The second thing how Josie actually got to hear this story in the first book because I was more or less accepting the fact that we’d have to wait at least another book for her to learn the truth and then all the drama from that would ensue. But instead we got it now and hey, no drama either! Wins all around. Again, I think that highlights how good of a writer Armentrout is and how she knows what her audience (aka me, just me) wants and she’ll always deliver.
  • So far, I really like Josie’s character. I definitely relate to her personality because it’s a lot like mine, especially the way she speaks and thinks, but I like that she’s not the typical badass female I’m used to in this genre from Armentrout. What I mean is that she’s not like Alex or Ivy from Wicked, but she’s not entirely like Katy from Lux either. She is like Katy in the fact that she starts off as an ordinary mortal but then discovers she’s something else entirely, but she doesn’t have all these awesome fighting and self defence skills yet. There’s this one quote from Seth where he’s talking about other girls he’s been with and compares Josie to that and notes how she’s not strong like they are, but she’s not weak either. She is strong in her own right and I admire that she wants to learn how to fight and defend herself if she’s gonna be part of this world now. She is definitely the kind of female character I gravitate to and I’m hoping that she continues to impress me and make me fall in love with her.
  • The romance is actually surprising me, since I’m slowing becoming pro-Seth, and I honestly do think Josie is the best thing for him. I know usually there’s always the focus on how good the guy is for the girl but Josie is a pretty solid character on her own and I don’t think she needs Seth like he needs her and his character development definitely needs Josie. But the romance, in particular, is really good for me because Josie actually sees Seth for who he is instead of what he is and for someone like Seth, that’s beyond important. Even the brief romance between him and Alex was about what they were instead of them as people, like how it is between Alex and Aiden. I like that Josie understands Seth more than anyone else has and because they’ve had similar childhood experiences and felt abandonment they’re able to understand each other on an equal level. And I think because Josie sees Seth as a person, and likes him as a person, it humanizes him more than before and he becomes a better person due to how she sees him. I also think it’s really important that she doesn’t immediately forgive or excuse Seth for everything he did to Alex and company and I think that also helps the reader look at Seth character and his redemption in a new light. Or at least it helped me.
  • I’m so happy Armentrout brought back so many characters from Covenant! I honestly did not expect her to bring anyone other than Seth and maybe Apollo back so I was so happy and surprised to see characters like Marcus, Solos, Deacon, and Luke back and they seem to have really important parts in this series, too. I figured Deacon and Luke would’ve been a one scene thing but they look like they might be sticking around in Josie’s life just like they did with Alex so I can’t wait. And Apollo continues to be the best and full of surprises as always so I’m excited to see more characters come back. I’m still waiting for Alex and Aiden to show up, and I’ve been promised they do, so check back with me in a few days about that. If Caleb shows up, though, I might burst into tears.
  • Not to give too much away I like that we’re exploring more Greek mythology in this series, particularly the demigods aspect, and I’m intrigued to see where this plot is gonna go. But I’m expecting to be constantly surprised because that’s what Armentrout seems to do to me.

THE BAD

  • I think honestly my only issue remains to be Seth because he bothered me for the entirety of Covenant LITERALLY until the very last chapter of the last book. And I know that he redeemed himself and I’ll absolutely grant it, but the way he talks and acts still gets on my nerves. But he did grow on me as this book went by and the more time I spent in his head the more I began to understand him and I think Josie can change him. But the torch that’s not really a torch he’s carrying for Alex needs to stop. She’s not yours buddy, so it’s time to let it go.
  • I feel like this could’ve been a bit more New Adult-y but on the other hand, we might’ve ventured too much into insta-love territory so I’m ok for now. Hopefully we can get more of the paranormal and NA balance in the next books.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • This was a pretty pleasant surprise. I might not always be willing to give characters a chance at redemption but I think that this series is gonna change my tune. With an author like Armentrout and amazing characters, old and new, this book is a promising beginning to what could be a series that has the best of both worlds. But if you read this without reading Covenant first, we can’t be friends. That’s just not right. Why would you do that?

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Return (Titan #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: February 16, 2015
Pages: 353 (eBook)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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