My thoughts: When I first started reading Half-Blood, I was half excited half scared of the similarities I saw between Half-Blood and Vampire Academy. Especially because in the past I've read stories that reminded me so much of others books that I couldn't separate the latter story from the former ones. Thankfully Half-Blood reminded me of Vampire Academy in some good ways but overall stood out as its own story.
This is not to say that I never saw daimons as Strigoi, Alex as Rose, or Aiden as Dimitri. But the more I read the more I was able to separate the two stories, while still admiring the positive similarities between the characters in both books. And eventually I stopped comparing Alex and Aiden to Rose and Dimitri and started liking them for their own unique qualities. Through Alex's background story which showed the source of her strength and vulnerability, it was easy to connect with her. And Aiden had these confident and wise aspects to him that had me deeming him as a top literary crush.
And although I enjoyed the characters, my favorite thing about this new series was that it wasn’t just (if at all) about a girl falling in love with a guy. There's a situation/problem that is revealed in the middle of the story that gives the book more meaning and makes it understandable why the story needs to be told out in a series instead of just one book.
So at this point I just really want to know what's happening in regards to the main dilemma of the story which started to become a serious problem near the end of Half-Blood, because this series has the potential to go from really good to great.
Additional note: I really love that the book’s setting was in North Carolina. It’s not often that a character from a YA book can even make ANY kind of reference to the state I call home.