Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoilingthe Vampire Academy series. Do not read any further if you haven't read the VA series and don't want it spoiled for you.
Sydney protects vampire secrets - and human lives.
Sydney belongs to a secret group who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the world of humans and vampires.
But when Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, she fears she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. What unfolds is far worse. The sister of Moroi queen Lissa Dragomir is in mortal danger, and goes into hiding. Now Sydney must act as her protector.
The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one... From Amazon UK
I am a seriously huge fan of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series, huge! I loved how the series ended, but was sad it was over, and sad for some of the characters. So when I heard that there wa going to be a spin-off series, with Sydney, Rose's Alchemist friend, I was over the moon! More awesomeness from the world! And once I had the books in my hands and opened the first page... well, I didn't stop reading until it was finished. Amazing!
I lapped the book up! However, although I read it in one day, I did have to get used to the difference. This is Sydney's story, not Rose's, and she's not as strong willed and angry as Rose can be, so although there were emotional highs and lows, it was a little less to do with immediate danger, and more to do with Sydnety's dislikes of certain people, worrying that she will fail, and going out of her mind trying to follow rules yet try to keep everyone happy - despite the fact hanging out with vampires isn't her favourite pasttime. Even so there is a big difference between the characters of Rose and Sydney, and their priorities - which makes the stories different - Bloodlines was still an amazing story!
I found it really fascinating finding out more about Sydney's life, and the role of Alchemists, and all the tricks they have up their sleaves. It's just so interesting to seethe science that they're work is based on. It's quite refreshing to have science play a bigger part in a world of myths. Yes, there's is another YA vampire series where there is a scientist, but it's different with Bloodlines. This is chemistry, mixing things together to get what you need. It's just a strange but cool way of separating the moroi from the alchemists - one used magic, one uses real, physical science. I just found the contrast really interesting.
But the science isn't the main focus, that is keeping Jill safe, and to do so, she hasn't come on her own. As well as Jill, we also get Eddie and, hurrah, Adrian! There are cameo appearances of some of the other characters we know, including Rose, but Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian are the main four we stick with. Jill is still a young, teenage Moroi girl, and wants to have a teenage life, but she's having enourmous trouble fitting in, is seriously underconfident, and feels that no-one relly cares about her, they just want to keep Lissa, who is now the Queen, safe - on top of trying to get used to the fact that they're related. Eddie is Jill's guardian, and is super vigilant, but still the nice guy we know from the previous series. And Adrian is his usual laid-back, snarky self, but he's also hurting a lot over wht happened with Rose. Despite this, I am so happy Adrian is back, because I absolutely love him! He just cracks me up!
Sydney isn't a guardian, so there's less fighting in this book that we're used to, but she is smart, so where it's a battle of the fists and stakes with Rose, it's a battle of the minds with Sydney, and whether she can out-smart those that need out-smarting. There is, however, a big, and quite disturbing, fight scene. Oooh, it was good! And worrying - as I said, Sydney isn't a guardian.
Now, I don't knbow if it's because I have read all the previous books and therefore know the signs, or just jknow the world enough, but two out of the three major plot revelations I guessed fairly early on. I don't know if it will be the same for other reasons, but they both just semed fairly obvious to me. That doesn't take away from how good the book is though; just because I already knew what these revelations would be, I didn't know how the characters would find out, what that would mean, and the consequences of finding them, so it was still really good watching the others figure things out. The third I had half right, I just didn't know the reasons for it. But I did shout at my book at least once saying, "Come one! It's so obvious!..." with frustration that the characters weren't as quick on the up-take as I had been. Still, as I said, it didn't make the book any less enjoyable.
In all honesty, Bloodlines isn't as heart-pumping exciting as the Vampire Academy series, but it's amazing nonetheless. It is the first book, so ground work is laid, and with a few hints throughout the novel make me believe that the book will get the whomp we've come to love. There are a fair few unanswered questions that I'm highly intrigued about! And the stirrings of possible feelings that you know are just going to cause all kinds of complications! Oh, I love it! I am just so excited to read the next novel, The Golden Lily, when it comes out next year. The wait makes me wish I hadn't read Bloodlines in one day! It will most definitely be worth the wait though! Mead has done it again, an amazingf start to what I can tell is going to be a brilliant series! I just have to get my hands on her adult series now!
Thank you to Puffin for sending me a review copy.
Published: 25th August 2011
Publisher: Razorbill UK
Buy on Amazon US
Richelle Mead's Website
My reviews of the Vampire Academy series:
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy Book 1)
Frostbite (Vampire Academy Book 2)
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy Book 3)
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy Book 4)
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy Book 5)
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy Book 6)